Last week was my first as a full-time employee. Even though I’ve been working at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau for a year and a half as a part-timer, it’s still kind of a career move. Sort of. But either way, this week really opened my eyes to working life, and the reservations that I did have, now seem irrelevant. Lizzi Hart, a now full-time Marketing Assistant, explains more...
The term “young professional” still doesn’t sit quite right with me. In comparison with the term “working graduate,” it seems overly pretentious and the sort of label you’d use to mask the student habits that you still haven’t shaken. I still eat pot noodles, I would still wake up at 12pm if I could, and I have no qualms about eating cereal from a saucepan. But then I’ve only been an ‘adult’ for 7 days. Maybe my youthful nonchalance will trickle away sooner than I’d thought.
So if you’re soon to join me in the world of graduate work, but not sure what it’s like, read on for some of my insights.
Sure, you may still have your own group of friends to see after you clock off, like myself, but you should still put the effort in with your work colleagues. Of course, don’t go overboard and spend hours nattering by the water cooler, but spending lunchtime with work-mates will definitely help in the long-term.
People annoy other people; said people vent to their friends in the office. Just don’t get involved.
For example: COP, PCB, RYC, FAO, OOO, PFA… and many more. Learn what they mean ASAP (see what I did there?).
Meanings: Close Of Play (aka end of day), Please Call Back, Returned Your Call, For Attention Of, Out Of Office, Please Find Attached.
Moral of the story? Bring in your own cutlery.
At all costs, do not go for a mug that looks like it belongs to someone in the office. Key clues include: mugs with names, initials or slogans on them. Instead, go for the plainest and least exciting mug you can find, then bring in your own – and guard it with your life.
Before working five days a week (in a row!), I didn't often sit down and drink coffee. Now that's all I do. Well, not quite, but I've had to start pacing my intake to once/twice before lunch and an optional 4pm cup. It still seems like a lot, but this is just a warning before you end up binge-caffeinating like I did.
I consider myself extremely lucky, especially during the summer months, to work in an office that has a casual dress policy. But of course, there are restrictions. Sadly my 'normal' summer clothes are a bit too fabric-lacking, so my week has consisted of wearing jeans through a heatwave (first world problems, ey?). Also, working in casual wear isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (though it sure beats a suit in 29 degree heat) because coming up with novel outfits for each day of the week is exhausting.
Ugh. Luckily my evenings this week have consisted of packing, so I didn’t run the risk of too many late nights. But I also know that I will not become one of those people who just go home and watch TV, then sleep and repeat. I'd better get used to not sleeping.
I forgot to set my alarm on my second day. Luckily I woke up at 7.10. Thank you body, thank you.
Everything you might have spread across the week as a student - going to the post office, the bank, the dentist, the doctors and arranging house viewings - are a lot more difficult to do during the week. Obviously a 40 hour week will eat up a lot of your time, but popping to the bank on your lunch break is not an ideal way to spend your ‘down-time’. Also, one minute it'll be Tuesday morning, and the next it will be Thursday afternoon. Unless you're in a job with very little to do (unlikely) your weeks will fly by.
But despite all of this, I'm still pretty happy and excited for how things are going. Plus, I can retire in a mere 50 years (woo!).
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