Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I’ve published a blog post and I’ll let you take one guess as to why! I’ve been MIA because I started my first ever “big-girl” full time job about a month ago!! It’s been a whirlwind of mental, physical and emotional exhaust but I am here to let you know some things I’ve learned along the way.
SO, if you’re about to start a full-time job, or you have recently started your full-time job, or if you’re just interested in what it’s been like for a newly graduated gal in the corporate world, keep on reading!!
- You are going to be tired, regardless of how much sleep you get
Over the month I have tried so many different sleeping schedules to try and beat the inevitable 3 ‘o clock wall of tiredness, but with no major success. Your body isn’t used to being fully functioning for 8-10 hours straight at least 5 days out of the week, so give yourself a break!
Tips to not fall asleep at your desk: make sure you are getting 8 hours of sleep a night, caffeine (from any source you like), getting up and moving throughout the workplace, and drinking lots of water!
- You might feel alone or “on the outskirts” from time to time
This one may sound odd, but I didn’t realize I would feel this way until I did; and it really assured me when one of my friends at work said she felt the same. Going from college where your friends are around you almost constantly, to only being around coworkers who you haven’t bonded with yet was hard for me. After my first week, I felt like no one in my office was interested in getting to know me or just didn’t even realize I was there! It felt a bit isolating and was a feeling I didn’t think I was going to have from a full time job. Trust me, it gets better.
As corny as that may sound, it does get better and here’s how: for starters, the more senior employees might genuinely not know that you are there and have started; give them some time to start recognizing you and figuring out how you fit into the puzzle. Get to know those who started with you or are around your age/position level; it’s easier to relate and make friends with them. Everyone wants people they can make it through the day with, so reach out!! I know it can be scary and hard, but do reach out to people; make a coffee run or lunch plans to get to know people.
- If you were a mild coffee drinker before, you are now going to be an avid coffee drinker
Girl, trust me on this one. I’ve always been an avid coffee drinker but some friends I’ve made at work who rarely drank that much coffee (like one to two cups on the weekend) are now at the coffee machine every time I’m there!! Caffeine really does help keep you focused and alert, which is something you need to be at a full time job apparently??? (sarcasm)
Tips for more coffee lovers: for health reasons, maybe try and limit your caffeine intake to a reasonable amount everyday (I’m no doctor so I’m not going to even try to quantify that). I’ve weaned myself off of using cream and/or sugar in coffee and I feel better about the amount I consume now. Black coffee actually has health benefits! Above all else though, make sure you’re staying hydrated; try a cup of water for every cup of coffee!
- It’s okay to not be 100% all of the time
THIS!! Since starting, there have been multiple days that I was just not feeling it. Either I was really tired, I had other issues on my mind, overslept and didn’t leave the house looking how I wanted, or just anything else making me feel not 100%. Especially starting out, your coworkers and people above you get that this is a big change of pace in your life and with that comes off days; it happens to everyone (even the highest level employees!)
So what do I do when I’m not feeling 100% that day?: If you feel comfortable with someone in the office, let them know! Everyone gets overwhelmed and it’s important to recognize and address when you are feeling that. It’s not going to get better unless you do something about it. That may be telling your senior you are overworked, taking personal time to relax, or maybe it’s just having a damn good cry. Whatever it is for you, let yourself breathe and work through why you aren’t feeling 100%.
- Know the personalities and types of people you are going to be working with
Outside of the actual work, I think this might be the biggest learning curve you are going to have to figure out. Especially if you do work for more than one person, chances are they have different styles of how to ask them your questions, how they want the work presented, or just their personalities. Getting to know how your superior likes things done is crucial for a better work relationship and more efficient work flow.
How do I get to know my seniors?: Trying to get to know your superiors can seem daunting…but is necessary. Try starting with just chit chat in the halls or when you work with them, from there you could move on to grabbing coffee in the morning to even asking them to lunch. If you’re nervous, think of topics of conversation ahead of time! (it sounds dumb but can make an awkward situation so much easier)
- Ask the stupid the question
I guarantee you that I have already asked that “stupid” question. And yes, I do believe that there are in fact stupid questions, but chances are, if you are thinking of questions to ask (whether it be someone at your level or higher) and you think it may come off as dumb, it’s not. You got this job because of your level of competency, so legit “stupid” questions aren’t even going to cross your mind. If you have a question, ask.
Tips for asking questions you think may be stupid: run it by someone who is at your same level first or someone you feel comfortable with in your office. If they don’t have the answer or don’t tell you that it’s a dumb question, you will feel reassured of the legitimacy of your question (they most likely had the same question!). Write out exactly what it is you are wanting to ask; it will help you not get tripped up on your wording when it comes time to actually ask the question. And if for any reason someone makes you feel inferior for asking a question….shame on them!
- You are eventually going to do something embarrassing in front of your coworkers
This is one of those lessons that you’re just going to have to deal with and get over. I honestly feel embarrassed about something about once a day! I’ve gotten the elevator door slammed on me multiple times in front of people I know, tripped on my heels walking down the hallway, messed up my words, misspelled words in emails, accidentally sent emails to myself instead of my senior, and the list goes on and on…
When something embarrassing happens: shake it off girl, it’s happened to the best of us. There are very few things you could possibly do that no one else hasn’t already done before. I find it easier to laugh at myself and point out what I did that was embarrassing before someone else can point it out; for me that’s what works, but you’ve got to find what works for you!
- FIND SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
This. is. crucial. If you love your job and being at work 9 hours out of the day, that is fantastic for you! But for those of us who just like our job (and for those who don’t even like it), finding something outside of work that makes you happy and something you can look forward to is such a motivator for getting through the work day. Like my dad always says, “We don’t live to work, we work to live”. You work hard so that you can provide for yourself and the life you want to have. Find something that is your motivator.
Motivators and things that could make you happy: Hobbies are a fantastic place to start; and yes I consider binge watching Netflix to be a hobby! Other things that could bring happiness and/or be a motivator are saving for a new car or house. Maybe planning an amazing vacation is your motivator or just spending time with your family! Personally, my blog and lifestyle Insta bring me joy and something other than work to think about. Going out with friends and watching Netflix also make me happy!
I know this was a super long post, and if you’ve made it this far props to you!! I really hope y’all enjoyed this post and found it helpful. Starting a full time job can be scary, thrilling, and boring all at the same time. Remember, even some “adults” are not good at adulting!