For the past two weeks or so I’ve been actively looking for a job. Then again, it wasn’t so much a job I was looking for than a career; a vocation; a calling. I’ve heard contrasting theories about the importance of the first job: one proclaiming that the first job is the most important one you can get, and the other proclaiming that it is the least.
On the one hand, having a good first job opens doors to future opportunities. Companies look at your resume and see that you’ve worked in, say, Google, and they’ll be more likely to give you a job if not at least offer you the opportunity for an interview. I mean, if you worked for Google you’d probably be at least pretty OK, right?
On the other hand, the first job is a feel in the dark; a starter pack that promises much but one that you won’t stick around with for long. My mom is a case-in-point. She told me she used to work for a company that traded in gold, a job she did not particularly enjoy. After about half a year she finally moved on to (arguably) a very successful career in an insurance company.
I find both theories convincing, but believe ultimately that whether or not the first job is important is largely dependent on hindsight. You really can’t tell how important it is until after the fact, and debating upon its merits is like debating how long a fertilised human egg is considered a life — everyone has their own opinion about it and it’s hard to convert anyone to an opposing view.