Students tend to take a scattergun approach to job applications with the numerous career fairs and job adverts available in the careers office. But if they do not receive a response for months on end, you can see why they might jump at the first offer they get – regardless of what the job entails.
According to a report by advisory firm CEB, one in five graduates apply for jobs that do not match their interests. So it’s no surprise that approximately one quarter of graduates leave their first role within a year of starting.
The head of careers and employability at De Montfort University, Lucy Madahar, said: “Graduates who leave their first jobs early on usually do so for one of two reasons. Their values don’t match those of the company or sector; or the reality of the job isn’t what they had envisaged.”
What should you do if you want to leave your graduate job?
Assistant director of the University of Edinburgh careers service, Helen Stringer, advises graduates to assess the situation. Is it a gut reaction, a temporary issue or a deep-rooted problem?
“Whatever the job or sector, there are bound to be periods of excitement and challenge, interspersed with monotony and boredom.”
The senior careers consultant with The Careers Group, University of London, Dave Carter, suggests that you should meet with your boss and have a frank chat about the situation you are in. You could also talk to other people outside of your team to find out if the problems you are having are commonplace within the working environment.
If you are afraid of how it will look on your CV, don’t be. “Yes, some employers may look unfavourably on candidates who’ve left a job prematurely. But just as many will take a more measured approach. It’s what you do after you leave, and how you learn from the experience, that can really affect your future”.