Things I’ve learned from my first “big girl” job

Usually, over the summer I work retail part-time or have an internship because I know I am going to be a temporary employee and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. This summer I decided to get a 40 consistent hour a week job with benefits, PTO, you know, the whole nine. I picked an industry that has high turnover anyway so I won’t be missed when I leave but the actual company shall remain nameless. (Yall know the Feds be watching)

I hear a lot of people my age say that they’re not willing to work a job they hate for a paycheck but I always thought that was the point of your 20s (or at least some of them). While I get what my peers are saying financial independence and stability are more important to me than not feeling tied down by “the man”. So I went to work every day and found time to do the other things I love. That job was eye-opening for me in some ways and a huge adjustment in others, here are a couple things I’ve learned since starting this job, some profound and others things about my personality that show up a lot more in a work environment.

1. I might have problems with authority I was in training for an extended period of time on things I saw as simple to learn. I got really frustrated when my trainer talked to us like we were 8-year-olds and lack critical thinking skills. This made me slightly combative and unwilling to participate. I finally got it together after accepting that this was just her style and training wasn’t forever.

2. Not all high turnover fields see their employees as replaceable, it’s possible to do something you’re not passionate about and still feel valued. When I decided to work for this company I thought I was going to be miserable every day and feel unsupported by staff. This field is something I hope I never have to work in again but I can say the time I spent at this company had very few negative experiences.

The company I worked for lets its employees know how important they are to the brand. *Most* of the leadership they hire are passionate and considerate and want to see everyone succeed. They offer things like free counseling and a network that helps people find things like babysitters and dog walkers.

3. Second shift is the worst thing ever created. I get off work at 1:30 am. Need I say more?

4. I am not very good at small talk I called myself Marshawn Lynch at work. Get it? “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”?

5. If you don’t have higher expectations for yourself you could wake up 10 years from now and feel like you wasted your time. I met a lot of people at work who started working with the company after high school to take a break before college and never went back or tried to find something they actually loved. If you get complacent in a routine it might be hard to take that leap of faith into something fulfilling.

6. With that being said. there is nothing wrong with choosing to work for a company and being happy there. I also met a lot of people who LOVED working for this company. I thought it was insane that a person could be so satisfied working with rude people all day but they seemed very happy. This showed me that contrary to what twitter says, you do not have to own your own to be content. Not everyone wants the stress that comes with being their own boss and that is okay.

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