This is a guest post by Aaron Michel.


job-stageYou’ve been hunting for a job for a while now. Slowly but surely, your standards of what makes a good “opportunity” have lowered. Actually, you’re at the point that even the terrible entry-level job listings on Indeed are beginning to sound good.


Don’t give in.


One of the first things you’ll learn as a young professional is that you rarely get everything you want from your first few jobs. But there is one factor you should never compromise when it comes to employment: your career path.


Taking a job that doesn’t help you develop professionally has long-lasting effects on your career. So while some jobs seem appealing at first, they might end up holding you back.
Here are four types of jobs that can cause you to veer off your career path:


1. The quick buck


No matter how old you are, money can be a big temptation. Especially when you’re just starting out in the professional world, it’s easy to get blinded by dollar signs. In fact, a 2015 CareerBuilder survey found that 62 percent of employees looking for a new job are searching to find a bigger salary.


That’s understandable. As a young adult, you’re still trying to figure out how to budget for your bills and lifestyle. But remember, a job needs to offer you more than a paycheck.


If a company offers you a nice salary but has no focus on employees’ career paths, chances are that you’ll make little headway achieving your goals. Then five years down the line, when you’re still in the same role making the same amount, the money will not seem as good.


Remember to always see what career development options an organization has to offer. Ask current employees how long they’ve been working for the company and how well it’s supported their career path. If they tell you they’ve never received a promotion or any valuable training, it’s probably best to look for a job elsewhere.


2. The big name

Each industry has its own list of well-established organizations. These are the giants that have been around for years and often grace the pages of the financial section. More importantly, to a young professional, they’re a big name that would look good on a resume later on in your career.


However, for many people, working at an enormous corporation leaves them feeling unfulfilled. In a 2015 LinkedIn survey, 47 percent of employees that moved to a smaller organization did so because they wanted to be able to make a greater impact.


Working at a company with thousands and thousands of employees makes it easy to feel lost in the crowd. It’s difficult to see why your hard work matters and it’s more likely for it to go unnoticed. So while a big name company might seem impressive, you may not feel like you actually accomplish anything during your time there.


Think long and hard about an organization’s mission statement. Is it something that excites you? Does it motivate you? Will those values be reflected in your work? If the answers to those questions are no, you’ll probably end up feeling like just another cog in the wheel as an employee there.


3. The exciting startup

First off, it’s important to note that working for a startup can be an incredible experience that offers countless learning opportunities for young people. Because of the multiple hats startup employees are required to wear, you get more hands-on experience and develop a wide range of skills.


But know that the focus of every member of a startup is getting that company off the ground. There will be no formal guidance when it comes to your individual career objectives. You’ll receive training because the organization needs those skills, not because they’ll help you professionally. If you want to work for a startup, you need to take control of your own career path.


That means paying attention to all the opportunities around you. If your boss needs someone to design a website and you’ve always wanted to learn the basics of web design, volunteer to help with the project. And speak up quick. Things move fast in a startup so if you don’t jump at chances that will benefit you, someone else will.


4. The work-from-home gig

For young adults, working from home can seem like the dream. In a 2016 Jobvite survey, 31 percent of millennials said the opportunity to telecommute was important to them.But the truth is that there’s more to telecommuting than sitting on your couch in sweats all day.


This may sound obvious, but working from home means you won’t be in an office environment. You’ll be separated from coworkers, supervisors, and possible mentors who could help you along your career path. And while there are many benefits to telecommuting, a study from Stanfordfound that employees who worked from home were 50 percent less likely to be promoted than their peers who worked in the office.


If flexibility is something you really want out of a job, consider one that allows you to work a few days in the office and few days from home. That way you’ll still get the chance to build relationships that help your career development without giving up the benefits of telecommuting.


In the end, your professional goals are your responsibility. You need to consider your plan to achieve them before accepting any job offers. After all, a job with every benefit in the world won’t be worth much if it keeps you in an entry-level position for ten years.



About the guest post author:
Aaron Michel is the co-founder and CEO at PathSource, a career exploration solution helping students and job seekers make better career choices. To navigate your infinite career possibilities, connect with Aaron and the PathSource team on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.