It’s important that you keep this question in mind even when you are “grown up” and have started working.
There is a very good chance that it wasn’t to be a market researcher but now that you’re I hope that you are enjoying it.
At the early stages your career can often be a practical thing – you need money to pay off student debts and to fund a young independent lifestyle. Our advice to you is to always keep one eye on the future – you won’t know what it is yet but it will become apparent as you build your knowledge of this industry.
Networking is important for lots of reasons but one of these is so that you can meet people who can inspire you and who can become mentors, gurus and help you to know what to aspire to. There is a saying “you cannot be what you cannot see” so you need to “see” as many people as possible in these early years so that you can begin to see what your future could be. Keep your mind open, as a Graduate you may be thinking about FMCG, advertising and media but other sectors can be more diverse and challenging.
It is likely that throughout the course of your career that you will make several moves but at each point stop, take a breath and ask – will this move put me in a better place to achieve my goals? When you move make sure you move for development, skills, location, sectors, training or specialism. Try not to move just for money, these aren’t always the most successful and don’t worry if you do make a bad move, everyone is allowed at least 1 just don’t make it a habit.
Find a recruiter who can help you, someone who can guide you through those first job moves and who will understand what your overall goal is and will help you to get there.
An experienced recruiter can take you from a Junior Exec to an MD level role if that’s what you want.
This is your career, take care of it.