4 Things College Graduates Should Look For In A First Ministry Job
By: Nicole Cochran
Everyone has been there, and if you haven’t, you probably will be soon: Senior year has come and gone, the end of college is near, and now comes the seemingly daunting task of searching for a job. You’re asked again and again what you’re doing after graduation. Maybe you have a general idea or maybe you have no direction whatsoever. It can be tempting to apply to every job out there if you’re desperate, but it’s important to remember that not only is an employer looking to find a good match, but the position needs to be a good fit for you as well. Whether you'researching for a church job or one in the corporate marketplace, seek jobs that align with your talents and passions.
We’ve all felt a little stuck when we’re in a job search phase, so here are four things you should be looking for:
1. People that will inspire you
Work can be miserable if you’re unhappy with your coworkers, since they are who you spend the majority of your day with. More than just getting along with the people in your office, your career will be much more likely to advance if you are surrounded by people who motivate you and teach you. Working alongside people with a willingness and desire to share and push you to learn, grow, and do more will benefit you in both your professional and personal life. Surrounding yourself with inspirers can make you feel valued and appreciated and in turn can make you inspire others.
2. Values and culture
A company’s culture is shaped around their values. By starting off in a place that has a work environment suited to you with values that you hold close, a new college graduate will thrive. By picking up and learning these values and culture at an early time in your career, you can better develop career goals and find a purpose in what you do. What is the staff culture like at the places you are applying? When you are interviewing, are people friendly and introducing themselves or is everyone quietly working on their own projects? Does the company have clearly defined values and are you excited about them? Try to picture yourself working there; do you like what you see?
3. Opportunity for growth
While it’s true that your first job most likely won’t be your only job and you will probably work for many different companies over the course of your career, looking for a place where you can grow in one spot for a while may be beneficial for recent college grads. Just like when you plant a tree, you want it to grow and prosper in one location for a while, this is how a first job should be treated. The amount of time may vary, but look for a position and company that can teach you and help you to flourish, rather than just a stepping-stone to another job. "What opportunites are here for potential for advancement?" is a wonderful question to ask a prospective employer. It not only assures them that you are looking for more than a stepping-stone, it gives you insight into the company and how they invest in their employees.
4. Somewhere you will be heard
Going into any new job, but especially a first job, you will spend a while learning the ropes and figuring out your new work place. As you learn, you will inevitably begin to have ideas for improvement or new initiatives. Find a place that will listen to you and will let your voice be heard. Sure there will be a bureaucratic system to some extent, and all your ideas may not make it, but having coworkers and bosses who are open to others’ advice and opinions will allow constant improvement.
What else should upcoming college grads be looking for in their first job out of school?
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