I’ve officially hit the 2 month mark of working full-time, and it has definitely been a period of growth & change. As a recent grad (1 month fresh!), I’ve been hit with things I was expecting (like not feeling as broke as I did in college), but also with a few surprises. Here’s what I’ve experienced so far:
Where did the time go?
In between going to school full-time, working on Girl Meets Party, and working just shy of full-time hours outside of school, I still managed to have energy with such a sporadic schedule. I thought a 9-5 would be super easy to manage, and to some degree it’s been nice to not be in class till 9pm, but my brain is dead after 8pm. The main thing I learned is that although I may seemingly appear to have more time, if I’m not on top of it, it quickly tumbles into being behind. I’ve also tried to be realistic about what I can deliver. For example, if I have a project at work, I’ll respond with a reasonable time frame to execute it. If I feel too stretched and tired from my responsibilities to stay out late with friends, I’m honest about it. Trying to figure out balance has been a challenge, but I’d like to think I get better everyday.
I’ve got to get up and move!
Sometimes, I’m running in an out of meetings, but other days, I’m chained to my desk. My first couple of weeks, I found myself feeling sluggish for no reason, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I wasn’t moving! Most days, I’m able to take a step out for lunch, so I’ve been taking 20 minutes to just walk around, be outside, and clear my mind.
Waking up early is key to working productively.
My boyfriend makes a point to wake up at 4:45 am during the weekday – insane, right? But there is something to it! No, I’m not waking up before sunrise every morning, but I’ve found that if I give myself enough time to feel relaxed, do things I want to do (like enjoy my coffee or take a short stroll), I’m more productive, I don’t feel as alarmed about things that pop up throughout the day, and I get better sleep overall. Since you’re essentially working for something/someone else for most of the day, it’s really important to give time to yourself!
It’s so easy to go out to lunch everyday, but you really have to keep that in check.
I’ve been blessed to work around where I went to school, but that means I pretty much know ALL the food places to check out. Protein Bar across the street, Starbucks next door, etc. However, I cannot spend that much every week! I’ve really had to make an effort to be more mindful of my spending. What has really helped with this is doing a sort of give-and-take with myself. For example, if I know I need to get lunch one day, I won’t buy coffee that morning. That $8 meal adds up, so you have to be firm with your budget!
Even though I’ve been at it for 2 months, I feel like I’ve been there forever, hah (in a good way of course!). Any other new grads or job seekers out there (Check out my story on How I landed my First Full-time Job)!? Share your experience in the comments below!
Feature photo by Erika Brechtel