This is me in my natural habitat. Rushing through the streets of New York wearing all-black with a slight twist, of course. The brief time I spend walking outside before and after work is often my most introspective. Often times I leave work in a blur, wondering how the day has passed so quickly, or how a year has gone since I started working. It's all a part of adulting, right?
The past year of transitioning from college student to corporate girl has been one of significant change to say the least. In college your professors say they're preparing you for "the real world", but I'm not sure that anything really can. It all sort of rushes in without warning, challenging you, but also growing you every day. In hope of showing my support for anyone making the transition as well, I'm sharing five things I've learned from my first year in the corporate world.
1. Your boss won't be your best friend, but they'll be an integral part of your experience. The corporate hierarchy is a funny thing. It's a ladder that seems to never end. But maintaining a good relationship with your boss is everything, and the best thing to do is not only collaborate with them, but leverage them. Chances are your boss has done something right to get them to that level. And though you may not agree with them 100% of the time, use the opportunity to learn from them. No matter the strength of your relationship, you'll still have to spend 80% of your week with this person -- make it worthwhile.
2. Don't give up your hobbies. Time management is one of the quickest challenges you face when a full-time job comes around. It's easy to let the hours and days pass you when work gets hectic. Though I've had my fair share of long days at the office, I'm not one to let it take over my life. It is so important to maintain the passions that make you unique. Whether it's boxing or blogging, those side hobbies will fuel your energy and personality.
3. Build a community. Chances are if you're working corporate, you have a solid amount of coworkers. I work at a particularly large company, and the amount of people there are to meet is almost overwhelming. Regardless of your feelings about your work, it's only healthy to make friends at a place that occupies the majority of your time. I personally volunteer for events whenever possible and grab lunch with coworkers I don't often see to make sure I'm maintaining connections. Why not enjoy these 40-50 hours of each week?
4. Be your own cheerleader. The harsh reality of adulting is that no one is holding your hand anymore. There will always be people in your life for support, but ultimately you drive your development and career. We don't get prizes for doing something right, and we can't expect them. Take note of the things you've accomplished. Don't let people forget them. In the corporate world you only get what you ask for, and even that needs backup. The main challenge I've experienced comes from comparing myself to others, which I've learned is unreasonable in the workplace. We all have our own paths, and it's our job to carve them.
5. Protect your health. A corporate career might be healthy for your wallet, but it certainly is no friend to personal health. Hello, regular massages and trips to the eye doctor. Whatever it is that you do to maintain your health, keep it up. I am personally guilty of slacking on my once regular workout routine, and I've definitely felt the repercussions. Eat your greens, avoid snacking too frequently, and get some fresh air during the day. Any small thing you do to put your body first helps in both the short and long term. After all, your life lasts much longer than one job.
Photo Credit: Van Le