Moving On Professionally

It can be really really hard to decide when your time is up at a job.

I have only worked at two different companies after graduating college, so my experience is limited. But at my first job, I was there 6 months and knew there was no real growth potential there because I was their only marketer on staff and I was making peanuts. There were some other red flags and even fresh out of college I knew it was time to move on.

It’s easy to start applying to jobs, go on a few casual interviews. It’s hard to say goodbye to the people you work with every day, who you eat lunch with every day, people you’ve grown so close with. And it’s hard to turn your back on a place that gave you a job, a great opportunity, and the skills to move forward.

Now I can easily tell when I need to move on when I feel like I’m not being challenged or I am just generally unhappy from day to day. So I give myself two options: 1. Ask for a change or 2. Find a new job. Once you make the decision to move on, you’re faced with the time consuming work of applications and interviews. It can seem daunting, it can even convince you to stay where you are just a little bit longer because of all the time it takes.

But we all do it, we all move on. And your employer really should be happy for you, their goal should have always been to help you grow and if there is no place for you to go with that growth then it should be clear to them you will move on. If your employer isn’t like that, then it should also be clear to them that you won’t be sticking around.

It’s hard to move on professionally, but the risk is so necessary. For your happiness, your health, and your development.

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7 Unexpected Ways College Prepared Me For The Real World

  1. Class skips are kind of like PTO
    Remember when they told you that you could only skip class three times before you failed out? Well you only get a certain amount of paid time off until you get fired!
  2. Lack of sleep
    In college, you lacked sleep because of all night partying an the occasional paper due at 8 AM. In the real world, you lack sleep because you’re so stressed out and have to wake up at 5:30 AM every day.
  3. Hangovers
    After 10 drinks in college, you would nurse a gnarly hang over in the morning. After 1 glass of wine in the real world, you nurse the same hang over. So at least you’re used to being hungover.
  4. Getting sick all the time
    You’d think you’d outgrow this, but going from the college atmosphere to the office atmosphere still exposes you to a lot of sick people.
  5. Never cooking
    In college you’d either order fast food or head to the dining hall on campus. In the real world, you don’t have time to grocery shop or cook or just don’t feel like it – so you eat out a lot still.
  6. Being poor
    You might get a job after college, but you’ll probably still be poor
  7. Being on your own
    It might not feel like it, but college actually does do a good job preparing you to be on your own. It’s not all fun and games anymore, but you were handed the tools to survive. You can do it!!
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Travel Realistically In Your 20’s

I honestly can’t stand all of the articles I read that are like “You’re in your 20’s! Quit your job and open up an ice cream shack in the Bahamas!” or “Don’t worry about getting a job – backpack through Europe and find yourself!”

Come on, I live with my parents and barely saved any money in college. I need a job and can’t just up and go anywhere without money therefore I need that job. Also, I really like where I live – why do I need to go live somewhere completely foreign to me just because I’m in my 20’s?

Most of the things I read are so unrealistic. They make me feel bad because I’m not a free spirit obsessed with wanderlust.

But there are some realistic things you can do and should do in your 20’s and travel is one of them! Just not to that extreme.

You’re working your first real job and living at home. You’re saving more money than you’ve ever saved and spend a majority of your time at work. You don’t live with your friends anymore and only see them on occasion. The time after graduating college is your first real and true taste of monotony.

So you need to break it up. Chances are, you don’t have a party planned every weekend. Chances are, you spend a lot of weekends alone doing nothing. It’s just the circumstances. I don’t think you need to fill every weekend to the brim with fun and friends – but you should take advantage of this open time.

You can travel locally. Go to a different state you’ve never been to before, you don’t even have to stay overnight if you don’t have the cash! Or go to a different country – Canada and Mexico border the United States and you’re probably not too far from either. Go for a weekend, do some research, and make it cheap!

Go on a road trip, you’ve probably never even seen your own country! You get paid vacation time now, you need to take advantage of it. Yea, you could take off a week around the holidays to hang out with your family. Or you could go on a kick ass vacation. And if you plan it right, you can totally afford it!

Even if you can’t travel – you need to do something new. Jump in the ocean in the winter. Run a marathon. Learn a new hobby – bake or knit or paint! Don’t let your life become the 9-5 bore that you dreaded all four years of college.

Everyone always says “do it while you’re young.” Well, now’s that time! Sure – a lot of things seem impossible. Up and moving to Hawaii or traveling through Australia for months. They’re fun ideas, but way out of reach. Find the things that are within your reach and grasp them. Instead of blowing $50 or more at the bar you always go to, put it towards a new experience. You’re in your 20’s, you’re resourceful and able, take advantage of it.

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You Could Have Met Your Future Spouse Before You Even Turned 16

I once read that 82% of people meet their future spouse before they even turn 16.

I tried doing my research on this one to find out where it came from and everything was unconfirmed.  This is basically a made up statistic. Yet, it resonated with me and sticks with me to this day – you may have met the person you’re supposed to marry already, but you have no idea.

I think a majority of people meet their future spouse in college. It seems that in the four years there, everyone is in the same state of mind to settle down before or right after they graduate. So that debunks the statistic right there.

Then there are the people who stay with their high school sweethearts and end up marrying them. It’s not uncommon at all to see people who started holding hands in 8th grade end up kissing each other at the alter 10 years later.

But what about the people who moved back home after college. The ones who dumped their high school sweetheart (or got dumped, like me lol) and the ones who didn’t want to make the commitment while they were living it up in college.

There’s always the chance to meet new people at the gym, or at work, or when you’re out with your friends at the bar. But a lot of people from your high school also moved home after college. They’re all back in the same place and all the single ones are in the same situation as you.

I’ve heard of a lot of relationships blooming after college between two people who knew each other in high school, but were not necessarily friends. I can’t imagine myself ever dating someone I knew before I was 16. First of all, I was a completely different person back then. Like I was pretty weird and friendless. Secondly, I feel like it must be pretty awkward to just pick up where you left off 8 years ago.

But who knows, maybe I’m part of that imaginary 82%. Maybe most of us do meet who we are going to marry before we’re 16, we just have to keep an open mind.

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First Day Of Work Thoughts

  1. I haven’t spoken to these people in like a week…I hope I still work for them.
  2. They said be in at 9 right? I think so, let me check my email 100 times before I leave.
  3. Shoot I’m an hour early…
  4. I have no idea what I’m doing.
  5. Okay, I kind of know what I’m doing.
  6. What did he say his name was? I already forgot!!
  7. Should I eat lunch now? Is everyone else eating lunch now?
  8. Only four more hours I can do this.
  9. I kind of need a nap though.
  10. No, I can do this!!
  11. So. Much. Small talk.
  12. So. Much. New information.
  13. It’s time to go!
  14. That wasn’t so bad 🙂
  15. But I do have to come in tomorrow, and the day after that, and the rest of my life…

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I Don’t Know What I’m Doing And It’s Okay

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If you eliminated all the people in your life asking you questions, pressuring you, and telling you what to do – where would you be?

At one point in your life, you’re going to have to fake it until you make it. That point in your life might just be now, in your 20’s, when you literally have no idea what’s going on.

You don’t want to be living at home. You don’t know where you want to work, let alone get anyone to hire you. You thought you got everything together in your four years of college, but now you’re faced with a whole new challenge that no one prepared you for. Yeah, you knew you had to get a job and you knew you had to move home and you knew life wouldn’t be as fun – but you really didn’t expect you to hit you this hard.

People you graduated with are getting jobs and you see them announce it on Facebook. They’re posting pictures of their new apartments and awesome lives while you’re sitting on your couch binge watching another TV show and hoping your mom comes home with food.

Not even the people who look like they have it figured out actually have it figured out. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in my life who 100% has their life together. No one does, we all just keep going along with whatever is thrown at us. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing because literally no one else does either. We fake it until we make it until we kind of realize what we’re supposed to do with our life and how to get there.

So calm down, take your time, because you can do it. Just like everyone else.

How Postgrads Feel When Everyone Goes Back To School

For a very small part of this summer, I thought graduating was the best thing that happened to me. I was very wrong.

College, without a doubt, was the best four years of my life.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the school I chose. I left with a degree that I felt I could excel in, friends that I know will stick with me forever, and experiences that sucked enough to make me a better person.

I didn’t think I would miss it. I thought I lived it up and wouldn’t have any regrets. I was getting tired of excessive drinking and expendable people by the time I put on my cap and gown. I was ready to settle down, have my people by my side, and grow up to be something amazing.

But now I’m watching all of my younger friends go back to school and I even miss the things I hated. I miss trying to move all of my stuff up flights of stairs. I miss living with my best friends and going out our first night back together. I miss being able to walk down the street to the bar with all of my friends to run into people I don’t even necessarily like. I miss my on campus job even though I despised waking up early. I’m never going to wake up, grab my books, and walk 15 minutes to the building all of my classes had been located for at least two years.

I did the same routine summer after summer. Get a job, hang out with friends, quit job, and go back to school for the time of my life. I didn’t really realize that that routine had ended.  There is no going back to school, no mini break from reality where everything is on your shoulders but somehow you can handle it.

I never wanted to be one of those people that graduated and then constantly yearned to go back to college. But if you really enjoyed your four years, I don’t think that’s a feeling you can shake right away. Especially if your younger friends are doing all the things you wish you could do all over again. We all grow up eventually – but I’m going to hold onto my college past as I enter my grown up future.

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