December 2013 changed my life. After a year and a half of agonizing over job postings, sending out my resume that had been edited and perfected and rearranged hundreds of times to hundreds of businesses and companies, preparing and nervously awaiting two handfuls of interviews, sweating and preparing for one handful of second (and sometimes third) interviews-a company I had interned for the summer asked me to come in for a chat. My former supervisor was leaving, and they wanted to know if I would be interested in filling the very large void she would be leaving behind.
Finally, the long awaited “big kid” job I had been wishing for, hoping for, and praying for since before graduation in 2012 had arrived.
I couldn’t believe it.
I didn’t react like how I thought I would. I didn’t jump up and down, scream words of joy, or run circles around my house with my job offer letter like I often had daydreamed I would.
Instead, I was very…serious about the whole thing. And very in shock. And very, very scared.
Two months later, I still can’t believe it. It still doesn’t feel real. But I’m not scared. Well, not as scared as I was.
It’s been a marathon since I started full-time. I only had one day with my former supervisor, meaning I took a mountain of notes and per her recommendation, sent her several emails over the first month whenever I had questions. So far though, I am surviving.
Not just surviving, but actually succeeding.
And learning so, so much. So many things, I just had to share them with all of you.
1) Sitting for 8 hours a day is hard. Especially when you are used to standing on your feet for 8 hours at your old retail job.
2) Errands like grocery shopping, clothes shopping, bank runs, and getting gas need to be now conducted on your hour lunch break, after 5 p.m., or on the weekend.
3) There is coffee in the break room. My Starbucks trips have been cut down significantly.
4) I can wear jeans to work. Major score for this comfy jeans kind of girl.
5) Working on salary is…nice. I like it. Yeah, I can never make more financially due to overtime, but it’s nice for figuring out bills when you know how much is going into your checking account every two weeks.
6) Getting up early is hard at first, and then, like magic, waking up before seven just makes sense…even on a Saturday. And going to bed before ten is not weird. It is sensible…and wonderful. The saucy electric blanket entices you every time.
7) I work for a company that supports and works with mainly theatres and performing arts venues. How awesome is that?
8) I kind of have to be my own manager and work independently….which can be nerve-wrecking and fantastic all at once.
9) I get to work on a desktop MAC at work. It is so pretty. His name is Mercutio.
10) All the computers are named after characters in Shakespeare’s plays. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
11) My fellow office mates love popcorn and chocolate. More importantly, they love sharing.
12) My boss has a leg lamp a la Christmas Story in his office, duck decoys behind his desk and Star Trek memorabilia on his book shelf. Yup, I’m working for the right kind of people.
13-15) Repeat. STAR TREK. THEATRE. CHRISTMAS STORY. CHOCOLATE. SHAKESPEARE. Moving on.
16) You never truly leave work behind. More so than retail, work will creep into your mind at home, on a date, during church more so than it used to. It’s a sign that you care. Just remember to try and turn it off when you should, relax, and enjoy what is in front of you.
17) Which, as odd as it sounds, I do have more time to relax. Less time perusing job sites, more time reading good books.
18) Less time for creative endeavors, meaning twice the effort to make them happen.
19) Messing up happens. You are human. EVERYONE DOES IT.
20) Try your hardest to not mess up if possible, because when you mess up and it affects other people’s money, it can waste the company’s time, money, and resources. Use it as a learning experience.
21) Working for a small company? I LOVE IT. When I worked for a corporation, if I had any ideas or thoughts they just never were heard. You can send emails to your district manager. You can bring them up to your store manager. You can share them with co-workers. But…nothing will happen. There are so many levels to go through and hoops to jump through that only in rare cases would your voice be heard, and even then still nothing. With a small company, I work directly under the PRESIDENT of the entire COMPANY…and he ASKS to hear MY ideas! Are they always great ideas? Does he always like them? No, but they are at least heard. We can at least discuss them. And I love that.
22) My co-workers are really great. One co-worker is the same denomination as I am, and we talk about church sometimes like anything else-like the weather or dogs. I work in an office with only two other people in it, and I am so glad to work with those two individuals. We spend over 40 hours a week together, meaning we see each other more than our friends or families. I’m so glad my co-workers are fun, encouraging, and supportive. Sometimes we don’t always agree and might not get along the greatest-but we are definitely a team. I am so grateful for that.
23) With great power (job), comes great responsibility (bills and holding one’s self accountable even more so).
24) You really start to embrace the value of a dollar. I’ve always been pretty good with money, but since the full time job, I’m being even better with it. You question frivolous purchases, asking yourself if you really need more clothes or need to pay full price for that particular item. I shop at Goodwill more than I ever did, and have been taking advantage of my larger checks to make deeper cuts into my debts. I try to pack a lunch when I can and utilize leftovers, mentally map out car trips for the most efficient use of the miles and gas, limit the Starbucks runs, and consider doing dates to the budget cinema or $5 Tuesdays at the full price theater. (The fact I can still do that means I am very blessed, slightly spoiled, and a reminder to share the wealth. Which I plan on in a few months. Stay tuned for that 😉 Still enjoying life, but also being a responsible adult.
25) I want to work hard. Not that I didn’t want to work hard at my other jobs, but it’s different. Just because I have the job, doesn’t mean it’s a for sure thing. I need to make sure I’m pulling my weight and then some. We are a very small but successful company, but bills and salaries still need to be paid. I need to show and prove that they need me as much as I need them. It’s a challenge, but a great challenge. It keeps me from getting too comfortable and not caring. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps me smiling when I’m working on five different projects all at once. And for that…I am so happy and grateful for.