When we finish college or university some of us tend to feel a sense of stagnancy, after being in the education system from the age of five. We may find it quite challenging to figure out what the next steps are in our life.  Once you complete your education, the next step you are encouraged to take is to consider what your career path will be. We slowly realise that we will no longer be covered by the student privileges we once had to support our lifestyles. With this definite fate looming, we tenaciously search for the first job we can find, without really looking into what the company is really about.

When in the final months of schooling, you may receive a number of calls from recruiters and organisations attempting to sell you the idea of a great job. Why? Because companies have realised that the people who have just finished college or university are the most vulnerable. We may have been taught a lot of things in school but job searching was definitely not one of them. Leaving us inexperienced and at a huge risk of signing up with a company from hell.

If we are spending 40-50 hours per week in a job, increasing company revenue, shouldn’t we ensure that we receive some benefits and protection whilst working for them? Receiving a pay check at the end of the month is definitely a nice financial reward but if that is the only thing the company is offering (sometimes they can be offering that poorly too) You will find yourself frustrated, bored and unmotivated. If money was the only form of incentive, why do so many people wake up so groggy on a Monday morning?

Illustration by JJ Rand

How can I avoid being in an unconducive job?

One of the main things to remember is as much as a you need a job, the job needs you. These companies need people to fill these roles in order to maximise on their business growth. So you are well within your rights to do detailed research into the company and follow through with questions. When in the initial interview it’s recommended that you ask a range of questions to not only show your interest in the role but to see if this the right place for you.

Here is a list of questions we suggest you ask:

  • In the past three years how many people have progressed from their original role?
  • How long is the probation period for and what can I expect after passing?
  • Am I automatic enrolled into your pension scheme?
  • What is the most challenging thing you find in your role?
  • Can I confirm that the hours I will be working a week are XXX?
  • What is the business plan for the next 2-3 years?

Give these questions a try and you may be surprised to see how some managers react, as most are not expecting it. Be warned that some recruiters and companies if they are interested in you, they will do their utmost to sell the role to you. Even if what they are selling isn’t reality. How you can ensure all of this? Read your contract, despite how boring it may be! When we were students starting a part time job, hardly any of us cared to read our employment contracts thoroughly. It wasn’t like we was planning to stay there after graduation so why did it matter?

However, having that same mentality can have severe consequences once you are in full time employment. In order to make sure you are making the right decision ask them to send you a written contract with all of their terms and conditions. Read it carefully and have a checklist:

  • Do they indeed have a pension scheme?
  • Did the probation period and working hours’ match what they said in the interview?
  • Do they have company or statuary sick pay? (Look this one up, it makes a difference)
  • What is their disciplinary procedure?
  • The procedure for maternity and paternity
  • Do they have flexible working hours?
  • Do they have a union? (Again, something to look into)

When you have received that final qualification, you start the beginning of the rest of your life. In college and university, we had that safety net because it was in the school’s favour to ensure our well-being was prioritised. When working for a company their main priority tends to be how much growth is made in each quarter. With this being the case, you want to make sure you work for a company that is valuing your contributions to the business and will also take your career progression seriously. Furthermore, to care enough and show support when you do have that occasional off day and not show you the door.

If you are interested in knowing more then look on the following check out this website.

Know the contract, know your rights and know your worth.

Shannen Prempeh

(Founder of Statuelle)


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