If I could give myself a pep talk before my first job, it would go something like this:
You’re going to fail. A lot. You’re going to send an email to the wrong person, forget your badge while everyone is out at lunch and walk into a meeting fully confident then leave incredibly humbled.
But that is going to make you learn and grow more than any classroom ever could.
You’re going to learn the harsh truth of gender bias in the work world, but that you can prove all the naysayers wrong. Show them that a female intern has the potential to lead meetings and work alongside full-time employees.
Unfortunately, you’re going to realize that classrooms are just that, classrooms. And although you got many A’s, that doesn’t always translate into real-world application. But, you’ll be happy you stuck it out through all those classes. You’ll also see how many envy that you’re on the way to graduation.
You’ll learn what you like and what you don’t like very quickly. Question whether you should’ve changed your major once again or back to what it was before.
Make friends with everyone, whether they’re in your department or not because to survive in this world you’re going to need unexpected connections and friends. And make sure to actually stay in touch with ones you made – you’ll never know when you might need them.
Enjoy the free coffee and occasional treats while they last because your wallet is going to miss them the most.
That learning curve that saved your grades in the past is now a real thing and will only take time to make it through – just keep trying. Some people will understand that, while others will think you should’ve crossed it a while ago.
Don’t compare yourself to others. But do notice what you like and don’t like about your superiors. Did they treat you with respect? Do they come to meetings prepared? Do they take or give credit where it is due? See if you would want to be like them in the future. Is it because of them, what they do or what they have accomplished?
Always take the extra step. Never be underdressed. And ask as many questions as possible.
So, put on your big girl heels, grab your planner and werk.
Featured image by Alexis Paige