When you graduate from college, you feel on top of the world. Having just completed a significant milestone in your life, you are ready to leap into the real world to see all of the many splendorous wonders that it holds for you. While we do promise that this new chapter of your life will contain tons of amazingness, we also wanted to take a minute to get real with you about the stuff no one tells you about your first job.
Every company is different. Sometimes you get walked to your desk and told to “Have at it!” without any real instructions. Then other times, you spend your first five days watching onboarding videos, being taught every detail of how the company came to be, where you fit in, and how to correctly load toner into the copy machine. There is really no way of telling what situations lie ahead of you. The important thing is to remain confident in your ability and not be afraid to ask for more guidance or help if you need it. When you are feeling overwhelmed, remember that starting something new is always a little intimidating at first. Before you know it, this new job will come second nature to you and you will fit right in.
You’ve Still Got Busy Work
No matter how glamorous your new job may be, every job has the ever-unglamorous grunt work that goes with it. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and bust out the busy work you are given. This does not mean your new company does not value you. Everyone has to work their way up, show their dedication, and earn respect when starting a new job. Don’t sweat the mundane stuff! Keep your head down, work hard and complete the clerical tasks that will likely be asked of you. Being a team player speaks volumes to your commitment and enthusiasm to your new company.
Mean Girls Graduate Too
Unfortunately, this particular brand of bullying does not end in high school or college. No matter where you go in life, you are almost sure to come across a less-than-stellar individual who gets under your skin. Luckily, you are a classy broad (or beau) who is not going to allow a snarky comment or two to bring you down. Find your tribe at your new company, just as you did in high school and college. These are the people who will stand by you and help you pay no attention to outside negativity.
Taxes are the Realist
First things first, taxes are the realist. Wait until you receive your first check to determine how much money you actually receive versus how much goes into Uncle Sam’s pocket. Having your first salary job is thrilling. The promise of a consistent big chunk of monthly change being deposited into your bank account makes your mind wander to all the new items you can now afford. Do not be fooled into this trap. Now that you are playing in the big leagues, your paycheck goes towards more than just rent and fun nights out. You are now contributing a decent amount to your local roads, schools as well as your 401k!
So before you go out and make a huge purchase, sit down with your itemized paycheck to familiarize yourself with how much money you are actually receiving and where the rest of it is going. This does not have to be bummer! Knowing where your money goes is an empowering part of growing up. It is necessary for you to plan ahead for the important stuff, like your retirement. As well as the fun stuff, like how much money you can put into your Thailand fund each month.
This Is Just The Beginning
Growing up often means coming to terms with the fact that you are going to have to do some things you don’t like. Your first few jobs help you to determine what you don’t want to do for a career, just as much as what you do want to do. The important thing is to follow through on your commitments and give every opportunity a shot. Do not be discouraged if you realize a certain field or profession is not for you. This is the very beginning of the Boss Babe chapter of your life. There will be exciting revelations and challenging setbacks ahead of you. As long as you trust yourself, listen to your brilliant heart and give every new company your all. We promise you’ll be able to navigate this new post-college world with the best of ‘em.
featured image credit: Stock That Rocks