While job searching, I’ve felt strongly that I’ve pigeonholed myself somewhere that will be pretty hard to get out of. Which made me come to the realization that the first five years of your career are extremely important, and what you learn in those five years will shape the rest of your career.
I didn’t learn a lot in college, I especially didn’t learn much that had to do with my future job. I started off at a small non-profit that didn’t have a lot of growth or learning opportunities. And then I moved on to a company that I stayed at for the next four years. I learned everything I know on the job.
In those five years you learn important things like office culture, what a toxic manager is like, reaching goals, and learning what you do and don’t like about your field. But when you stay with one company for those growth years, you mainly just learn lessons that pertain to that company. Which makes it hard to find a new job, makes it hard to start over somewhere new.
I know most older generations hate seeing candidates who have job-hopped. But I actually feel like it’s so important to work at at least 2 different places in your first five years. Experiencing two different companies is so vital to learning about yourself. And it will help you choose if you want to start over or find a different path after two or three years. Because after five, it feels like there’s not much starting over that can be done.