Experts reveal why the first five years in a career are the most important


According to the experts, the first five years of a working life are among the most important. This is when knowledge, skills and competences for better future opportunities are acquired. Those who do not acquire the necessary background during this period tend to risk of not becoming the Premium class employees.


It may not be possible later

Andžej Rynkevič, the Career Expert and Director at outsourcing services company Baltic Virtual Assistants, stresses that working in an incompetent and uncompetitive company for the first five years will most likely mean not developing sufficient knowledge or skills for the necessary professional competencies.

“Lack of adequate workload and challenges means inability to develop and acquire the necessary knowledge. It is likely that one may find it difficult to compete with other candidates when climbing up the career ladder, especially, those who had a clearer vision of a future career, gained better skills and knowledge. It may also mean that an employee would never become the so-called Premium level employee”, the expert says.

According to Rynkevič, after the first five years, one should already know the field they would like to work in permanently.

“It still is a period of professional development, however, the professional direction should already be clear to safeguard future career path. Initial work experience provides important background for future competencies and works ethic. Later, the employee may no longer have as much determination and flexibility, and even courage, to embark on a whole new career path”, the career expert says.

Andžej Rynkevič also draws attention to the fact that not all find the most suitable career path. Therefore, once they feel that it is not their cup of tea people are advised to take action immediately.

“In our company for instance we always monitor how our team members are doing and what their professional progress is. Once we see that the employee does not feel right about the job, we try to look for alternatives. We had several cases when our team members moved from one area to another and started to showcase their talent and skills in a different light”, says the head of Baltic Virtual Assistants.


Allowing oneself to learn and error

Psychologist Pojauta Vilkauskaitė points out that the period after graduation is a stage in personal development when one intensively develops the philosophy of life and, at the same time, makes decisions that set the direction for their future self.

“After graduation, one has already tried different activities, had some relationships, tried different lifestyles and lived in different places, thus has already learned himself better. Identity issues are highly important at this stage as well as raising questions such as who am I and what direction feels like my own. Defining one’s identity is as important as responding to the question of who I choose to be or not to be”, the psychologist explains.

As for people who find it difficult to determine their career path and who flounder around many areas, the psychologist Vilkauskaitė says that may be due to several reasons: “Some people find it difficult not only to consider, but also to try different occupations, and even harder to find courage and dive into uncertainty until they have a feeling and an understanding of what is best for them”.

Others find it hard to commit to a certain career path and refuse other interesting and attractive options.

“The modern world offers young people many opportunities to build their lives. There is less pressure nowadays on what is right or normal. Good self-knowledge and the ability to listen to oneself can help one find the right career path, as well as allow oneself to learn what works and what does not through real-life experiences. And good self-knowledge and listening can help you find the right career path, as well as allow yourself to know what works and what doesn’t. Search and doubt, courage to make choices and make mistakes may also be helpful”, emphasizes psychologist Vilkauskaitė.