Adjusting to the working life is by no means ever EASY. A year ago I got my first job and now 395 days later I left that job.
Getting my first job had its perks and responsibilities such as I started paying my own bills, struggling with a 3-4 hour commute every day, stressing over my work, hating my work, and having a great relationship with my workmates. (at least the majority of them anyway)
I got a job as a content development specialist for a fashion brand in the Philippines, I wanted to focus on writing rather than to go full-force on having a career in marketing (little did I know that a couple of months later I would be back to my marketing roots). I lived 3 hours away and the commute was stupidly hard and I had numerous days wherein I chastised myself for picking a job so far away. However, I stuck with my choice and sucked it in.
Adjusting from a student’s life to the working life was hectic. It’s a whole new ballgame that’s overwhelming in the first few months, everything is brand new- tasks, people, environment, expectations, and many more. You’ll more or less work with people that you’d think were the king or queen of mood swings but hey, you’ll realize that being in a high-stress environment can turn even a calm mind into a bit of a woo-woo. (Or that’s just them personally and you learn how to be mature).
It’s different for everyone to adjust to a new environment but for me, I just stayed true to my strengths and vowed to be honest in everything that I did. I asked for help and wasn’t ashamed of it. I defended my opinion even when it ticked off my boss- I regret nothing.
Being a person who was a bit of a workaholic made me more hungry for work to do, I would get stress out over the amount of work and the deadlines that came with it- many times I said to myself and my mates that “The boss must think we’re miracle workers or something”. They agreed.
Wanting what I didn’t need
Before I started working, I thought to myself that I didn’t want a dull and boring job that had people coming in and out of the office like robots. I wanted creative and spontaneous yet meaningful work, a true millennial’s dream job. I would trade in the structure for unconventional fun.
I thought that’s what I wanted but as the months went by I realized how mistaken I was. I was juggling being a writer, marketer, and a project head that I didn’t know what the heck I was. I soon realized that in many companies what’s written in the contract wasn’t always what was followed there were times I considered a quick call to my lawyer friend (mostly due to certain conditions in the contract) but I opted not too and just do my work and be good at it.
Slowly but gradually I started longing for structure…what I thought I didn’t need I was craving to have each day. I got what I thought I wanted but it turns out it really wasn’t what I needed.
I changed. I wasn’t the 21-year-old kid who graduated college looking for an exciting and unconventional job anymore. I’m more mature and intentional now, thank god for that. I wanted to make things happen and to do that I need structure and I had to grow in a different environment.
Leaving a comfy environment where you know the ropes and it feels secure isn’t something people would casually give up on, however, the breaking point for me in submitting my resignation was because I was unhappy with my job.
I wasn’t growing at all like I used to in the past year. That alone was a big factor in my decision but also because I couldn’t take the stress of the commute to and from work anymore- I’ve had enough with the 6-7 hours in a day I spent commuting. Mentally I was exhausted and I took no pride in facing such a horrid commute for a job that I no longer cared for.
So after months of pondering with my decision, I typed up my resignation letter and sent it with a heavy sigh.
The best thing I gained from my first job besides skills and experience is a family, together we grew in hardships and shared tons of laughs. It’s important to grow not just for yourself but for the people you work with because there is no “I” in a team and I make it a point to live every day with a smile because I’m doing what I love.
Even though when I first started my job I wasn’t that gung-ho about my work but you deal with the hand you’re dealt with a positive mindset and it will lead to good results in the end.
Mindset is key to daily happiness
There are many things that will ask you to go beyond your means and sacrifice your personal time for work such as working on weekends or missing out on family affairs because of a project that’s been dumped on you. You will get mad and you will break down. That’s normal, I keep reminding myself that when I feel down “God breaks us down because he wants to build us up”.
When you feel like crying then, by all means, do it. If you want to throw plates or play darts with a target in mind, why not. Don’t bottle your emotions in because the dam will break and it will not be a pretty sight. I’ve been there.
Everything that you do the first time will always be difficult but it gets easier with time.
My advice for those who feel insecure and pressured in finding their first job is to calm down and remember that life isn’t a race. Don’t compare yourself to others because that’s an injustice to yourself and to them, everyone succeeds at their own pace- don’t force it because you’re putting your mental health at risk. For those who feel unhappy about their current job then just evaluate what you don’t like and see if it can be resolved, talk to your trusted officemates or a superior and gain more insight to your problem. And if you really feel unhappy and that keeping your job isn’t healthy for you anymore then it’s time to open a new door of opportunity.