What no one tells you about getting a “real job”

Look, it’s fun to be young and dumb sometimes. But, when reality sets in, it can be way harsh sometimes. There are a lot of those reality checks that happen when you settle into a big kid job. You’re excited to start this new journey but there’ll be a lot to learn. It’s completely normal, but that doesn’t always make it easier. Here are a few things you may experience when you get you start your career:

You Create Your Own Milestones

When you start working in a career position, especially when you’re young, you see your life flash before your eyes. The days and weeks and months blend together when you’re not switching things up every semester.

So, you have to make your own milestones and things to look forward to. This can be vacations, money goals, and so forth. You need a way to break up the year or the light at the end of the tunnel fades quickly.

Communicating is Easier Said than Done

People don’t know how to communicate with each other – they really don’t. While you think email is everything (and it is when it comes to big business), other messaging platforms can make things tricky. You’ll need to learn how each different co-worker works best, and use that to your advantage. And, if there’s ever a hint of doubt, cover your bases, whether that means a text and email or CC-ing a higher-up for accountability.

Where can I get a job with a college degree?
Photo by Alexis Paige

Your Opinion Doesn’t Always Matter

When you’re hired to be an expert at your job, your opinions and input feel valid. But, that doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way. It is hard to bite your tongue. You’ll learn to do it, and you’ll find new outlets – make them healthy – to release any frustration that may come with that.

However, you’ll also need to learn when enough’s enough. If you feel that your opinion should be heard rather than kept to yourself, you need to speak up. It can be hard to find your place within a company, but it will come with time.

Establishing a Personal Life Takes Work

More work? Yeah… It’s all too easy to come home and plop down on the couch every night. This includes on the weekends. Working a 9-to-5 can become really lonely because your days are no longer your own. But, in the hours that you’re not accountable to anyone else, you need to take care of yourself. It takes work to establish hobbies and routines that make you happy, but they’re so, so important.

How can I get a job out of college?
Photo by Mohammed F Emran

Making and Keeping Friends is Hard

When you get out of school, you’ll find out who your real friends are. This is because a lot of people in your circle might’ve just been there out of convenience. It doesn’t mean you didn’t have fun with them. But, you’ll start spending most of your time with your coworkers, and you’ll probably get pretty close to a few of them.

This means you may lose interest in your other friends because they’re not there every second of your day. There’s no shame in that. Everyone goes down their own path. And the best of friends understand the ebbs and flows of growing up, so they’ll stick around through the awkward phases.

You Have to Be Loyal to Yourself

Your boss can be a great person. But, your personal well-being is not their every thought. If something is weighing on you, you have to speak up no matter how awkward it may feel. This could be an HR issue, wanting to further define your responsibilities, or even asking for a raise. Your coworkers are loyal to themselves and your boss is loyal to the company, so who is loyal to you? Only you.

Featured image by Emily Creighton