Summary: A recent college graduate asks if he should start looking for a better job elsewhere because his current salary is below his earning potential.
Question: I’m a recent college graduate with a degree in computer science from a top-rated university. I enjoy my current job as a programmer at a prestigious medical school, but I’m getting frustrated for two reasons: I feel my earning potential is below my current salary, and there doesn’t seem to be any possibility for career growth. I’ve only been in my current position about eight months, so I’m wondering if it’s too soon to start looking for a better job elsewhere. What do you think?
Answer: The rarity these days is the recent grad who doesn’t change jobs several times during the first few years after college. The hot job market is only part of the reason. You’re not expected to make a perfect employment choice right off the bat. Career exploration is an important exercise, especially when you can still afford to move around and try new avenues without having repercussions on your ability to advance. Employers expect you to stretch your legs as you move between departments, competitors, and even career directions. I recently met a history major who worked for an aquarium, a brokerage firm and a newspaper all within 18 months of graduation. Of course, you can use this time in your life to chase a larger paycheck, but the wiser approach is to discover what you enjoy doing versus what will leave you burned out in a year or two.Is It Too Soon to Look for Another Job? by Andrew Ostler