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If It’s Not All About the Money, What Are Graduates Looking For In Their First Job?

by Cayla Nava

Student Perspective 2

. When contemplating where to apply for your first job out of college, you may immediately think of one aspect that can stand out among all the rest: your salary. What will you be paid at this new job? Will it be sufficient to support you for the next few years or so? Will the pay be enough to motivate you to want to keep the position for the foreseeable future? While salary is a huge (and obvious) reason that many recent college graduates take certain jobs, it can be said that money is not the only motivator when applying for that first job.

According to multiple university students that were interviewed on the subject, there are many aspects that they, among other individuals in college, will look for when the time comes for job applications to be sent out. It was quite interesting and eye-opening to hear what my fellow Sonoma State students had to say on the subject. Below are some quotes from multiple individuals who all have the hopes of receiving the best, first job of their careers:

 “I would definitely say that experience is something that I’m looking for when it comes to applying for my first job after SSU. I want to be able to gain experience in my field no matter what.” -Kolby, Senior, Communications major

 “A job where I am going to be happy. At my current job that I have now, there is not a single coworker that I don’t like. I want to find a job where I will be happy and enjoy my time there. I would like one that is fulfilling in my morals and values, where I feel like I’m doing something good and I feel right by what my company is doing.” -Rachel, Senior, Communications major

 “A positive work environment is something that I would like to have in my first job out of college, as well as a doable commute every day.” -Nicholas, Sophomore, Business major

“In my first job, I’m looking to be in the career field as my major mostly. Since I am pre-nursing, I want to interact with patients and be in a hospital with good ethics. Somewhere that will support me in my growth and further my knowledge in the field.” -Alyssa, Sophomore, Pre-nursing

“For myself, I want a good commute, a chance to grow and build my resume, as well as a good job title to use on future job applications. I would also like to have good coworkers and employees to work with throughout my first job after SSU.” -Christian, Junior, Communications major with Business minor

“Something worthwhile and fun, and that I enjoy doing. I would like a job that gives me room for growth, and I am able to work my way up in the company. Good experience is important for me as well.” -Danell, Senior Communications major

It seems quite clear that many college students know exactly what they are looking for and what they expect when they are applying for their very first job after graduation. From experience, to resume builders, to great coworkers and doable commute times, each individual had a slightly different response to the question. However, there seemed to be an overwhelming consensus: besides a sufficient salary, college students want jobs that will help them grow in their craft, learn new things about their passions in the career world, and essentially enable them to move up or promote themselves in the business or company that they are currently with. For myself, I know that I stand with these testaments as well.

No matter the case or what your goals are in the job world, it is truly a great thing to know what you want to do and have motivations and ambitions that you want to follow. For these college students and many others, it is always vital to know what you want out of each job you obtain and where you want it to take you.