6 Lessons I’ve Learned From My First Office Job

6 Lessons I’ve Learned From My First Office Job

Hello New Graduates

Welcome to the Real World of taxes, graduate programmes, conferences, long client phone calls, and insurance. It’s not a pretty one. In fact, it often gets really, really ugly. Gone are the days where having four classes in a day was a justifiable complaint, when you could skip a lecture every now and then, where you spent all day and all night labouring over an essay like you were giving birth. Now you’re into what they have been complaining about for decades – the dreaded 9-5.

There are many things you won’t miss. The exams, the study, the essays, the meetings with lecturers or speaking out at seminars but the stress and emotions associated with them, they now come in different forms. You will still stress about writing papers, submitting reviews, passing interview questions or questions from your superiors. Deadlines still exist, as do hangovers, correct email etiquette matters now more than ever but it’s not all bad – in fact, you begin to relish evenings, weekends and bank holidays where you don’t have to come home to more work.

Sure, work life can be stressful but at least you’re spared of the constant fear of how your performance will impact your grade nine months down the road.

I’m out of college 18 months now and I’m in my first office job just over four months – I’ve had stints in shops and internships in the meantime – and I think I’ve learned more from being a so-called “professional” than a student. It’s as if college life prepared you for the basics but nothing can prepare you for everything that it contains.

I’ve prepared six lessons I’ve learned from the last few months of full time office work – including my internship – that I would have loved to have known when I graduated. Remember that starting a full time job is the first step on a very long ladder. You can’t see where it ends but you know that taking that step will bring you closer to whatever it is.

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Who We Are

Who We Are

I base a lot of my self worth on the opinions of others. And then some.

I base a lot of my self worth on the opinions of others and in long drawn-out comparisons that leave me feeling stale. And every time, it ends with “why not me”.

It’s something that’s been there for a lot of my life. My school was competitive, elitist – and whilst it taught me some incredibly important moral values, it didn’t see us all as equal. Some were just more equal than others. Ten year old me wanted to be good at sports but I couldn’t because I didn’t take extra classes outside of school, I wanted to wear the bulky Tiffany necklaces and own a Mini Cooper, things that divided the social standing, gave you a sense of “identity”, and initiated you in the unspoken secret society of kids who I believed to be undeniably happy, the only problems in their lives being whether or not they wanted to curl their hair in the morning.

It wasn’t jealousy so much as it was thinking, I wasn’t good enough or happy until I had these things.

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