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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Year Update

Year Update

Note: this may be a tad bit boring but it keeps my goals for this site in check!

It’s been a full year since I started writing here and here are a few things I’ve learned:

  1. I enjoy it more than I thought. Even just getting words out onto a page has done wonders for my thinking process and decision-making abilities.
  2. The response has been second to none. I’ve had many people come forward and thank me for something I wrote. Many others have stuck their head around the door to see if I was alright. It’s brought me closer to my friends and has opened up discussion on topics we are still too afraid to talk about, like feeling lost/lonely, financial problems, and extreme anxiety.
  3. I’ve met/spoken to some incredible people. I’ve had total strangers reach out to me who have since become friends. I’ve reached out to people whom I have looked up to for their writing for years. I’ve been inspired by the incredible and diverse community that’s out there and they have been there through the writers’ block, the frustration, and the tears.
  4. I want to keep doing this. I haven’t fallen out of love with it like I have with other blogs and I think that’s purely because I’m writing about what I know and what I feel. And I want to be more open about what I write about. After all, I am writing for myself, not for money, sponsorship, or affiliates.

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8 Simple Lessons for 8 Difficult Months

8 Simple Lessons for 8 Difficult Months

I’m keeping this very short and sweet – probably the ninth lesson I’ve learned this year if I were to count it. Life is short, time is short, talk less, convey more.

Eight Simple Lessons for Eight Difficult Months:

1. The only thing that matters in life are the people

We can plug all our money into material things, into things that give us temporary happiness, into our social identity and social media following but when the novelty wears off, what is left? We just crave the feeling more and more.

I don’t know about anyone else but I feel most happy and grateful when I am surrounded by people. And this is something I’m going to invest my time in more. Less online chat, online shopping, virtual reality, and more real life.

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Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

These two words can mean different things to different people. I mean, there are days when I’m sending a text or an email and blame ‘writer’s block’ on my inability to voice my thoughts and then there are days, weeks, months even, that I have such pent up energy inside me that turns to frustration because I simply cannot get the words onto the page. The latter is where I am right now.

I think writer’s block is one of the most infuriating things that can happen to a writer. To me, it’s like having a knee injury and not being able to play sports, no matter how much you want to, knowing that if you force it, it could damage you.

Because writing is considered a hobby more than a way of life, it’s easy for people to put down writer’s block as a silly thing that you’ll eventually get over. And to be fair, some people do, but when an absence of inspiration or blank creative mind is hanging over you for months, you begin to think, will I ever feel inspired again?

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7 Reasons Why You’re Not Happy

7 Reasons Why You’re Not Happy

We all fall victim to this. We think we can only be happy if X happens or if Y comes through, that there’s a special formula for happiness to suddenly fall from the sky when the stars align.

Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

In actual fact, happiness is a state of being, not a condition or a result of anything. It’s a choice we make every single moment. We often let other things override our decision to be happy, or we over-complicated it so much that it’s impossible to bring it back to basics and understand what happiness really is.

So, in acknowledgement of the fact that I’ve been stuck in a little rut lately with my happiness, here are seven reasons why you may just feel a little less-happy than usual.

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a note on the culture of depression

a note on the culture of depression

It can prove difficult to stay positive in the world today. Between gig economies, dating scenes, and social media, it’s easy for your mood to see-saw from different extremes. Add that to the horrors going on in the world right now like London, Manchester, Syria, and the U.S. (I’m talking about you, Trump) and Turkey, it’s no wonder that more and more young people are being treated for mental health issues.

This isn’t a post aimed to cure mental illness. I will not go down the route of others who advocate along the lines of “depression? shur have a cuppa tea, be grand” – they are just frustrating. However, if I’ve learned anything from my eight years of CBT and therapy, it’s that the small things can be the catalyst in creating better states of mind.

But before I go into that, let’s have a look at depression and suicide rates.

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