After I graduated from college, I took the first job I was offered. I had heard horror stories of friends searching for employment for months, and with the impending $100,000+ of student loans I would have to start paying back, the heat was on and your girl took the job. This week, I “celebrated” (by crying in the bathroom) my 6-month anniversary at my job. After wiping my tears with toilet paper, I wrote this article in the hopes that I could help other post-grads survive their shitty first jobs with some helpful tips that I have learned along the way.
1. Get Through the Commute
If you’re like me, you decided that traveling an hour to work every morning wouldn’t kill you. If you are also like me, your beautiful little brain didn’t realize that when searching how long it would take you to get to your new place of employment, Google Maps did not include what it would be like to drive there with traffic…during rush hour. I spend four hours in the car every day and have the attention span of a squirrel. To keep myself from daydreaming and crashing into the Target tractor trailer in front of me, I listen to a shit ton of podcasts. Some of my favorites are “My Dad Wrote a Porno,” “This American Life,” “Shane and Friends,” “Radiolab,” and Lena Dunham’s “Women of the Hour.” Whether you are driving for what feels like an eternity or even using mass transit, podcasts distract you from the fact that you are not an heiress and will have to work for a living. (Something I am still struggling to come to terms with.)
2. Naps on Naps on Naps
Unless you are working at a sweat shop (which, let’s be honest, I basically am), you will most likely get a lunch break. A fun hack I learned is to pull a George Costanza and sleep under my desk during my lunch break and then just eat while I work! If you work in a cubicle, (somehow I was given my own office; I seriously still don’t know how that happened) I’m sorry your life sucks. You’ll just have to put your head on your desk and think about why you work in a cubicle.
3. Find Your People
Although the place where you work sucks, the people there might not! Usually you will find a few people who you can connect with. Whether you can bond over a show you both watch or even your mutual hatred for the establishment in which you work, your days will go by way faster if you have someone to goof around with. In the six months that I have worked at the 10th layer of hell, I have met some people who I know will be life-long friends and I’m going to be sad when I peace the fuck out.
4. Remind Yourself Nothing is Permanent!
This is something that I need to remind myself on a daily basis. Nothing in life is permanent. You will NOT be at this shitty post-grad job for the rest of your life. You probably won’t even be at your shitty job this time next year! It is a hard adjustment to transition from college life to adulthood. I would love a month-long holiday break but this year, but I only have Christmas weekend off. I try not to think about the fact that I will be driving to work today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day and so on because I will have a mental breakdown. If you take this shitty first job one day at a time and remind yourself that this is not forever, you will be okay!
Image Source: wisebread