Today was the last Monday at my first full-time job, and I could not be happier. That’s not to say I’m not grateful for my time with this company, but I’ve had enough. As happy as I am to be leaving, I have learned a few valuable lessons from this position.
- Life is expensive. Very expensive. As my first full-time job, I was prepared to make more money than I ever have before. I knew my position in a fashion website’s warehouse wouldn’t earn me top dollar, but I thought I’d be able to afford more than I ever could before. Then I got a huge slap in the face when my student loans kicked in. With just over $1,000 due each month for my student loans, I started earning very little spending money. My dreams of weekend getaways and activities with friends diminished quicker than my paychecks.
- It’s okay to start at the bottom; it’s also okay to know you’re worth more. I applied to entry-level positions with this company throughout the summer after I graduated. When it got to be September and I was still tending bar, I knew I needed anything. So I decided to apply for a position in the company’s warehouse. I would work my way up. I would show them how much more valuable I’d be on the corporate side of things. Although I was promised at the interview that there would be many opportunities for advancement, I didn’t get anywhere. I knew it was time to move on. I knew I had to put my time in, but I also knew this was not the best use of my time. I took a leap of faith and interviewed for another entry-level position at an agency so far out of my comfort zone. I got the job and look forward to a fresh start.
- You really won’t like everyone you work with. I know this is something everyone tells you before you enter the working world, but I never had that experience until now. If you’re anything like me, pretending to like someone you actually don’t is not only difficult, but also exhausting. Fortunately, it’s something you get used to, and it gets easier to work around. As frustrating as it can be, it’s a good feeling to know you’ve taken the high road. It shows a sign of maturity when you finally figure out how to work around a not-so-likable coworker.
- When you stop feeling challenged, you need to walk away. If you start to feel like you’re just going through the motions of your work day instead of challenging yourself day to day, it’s not a good fit anymore. Whether you start to climb your way up the ladder or start searching for another job, you need to feel challenged in your position. The moment you get bored is the moment you risk starting to hate your job.
Despite the fact that it didn’t work out the way I planned, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with and the lessons I’ve learned. This job was my very first full-time position and has impacted me in more ways than one.
Thank you, First Job, you’ve certainly made your mark.