A Challenging Learning Curve, Be It From the Work or the People

Getting good grades in school and at your job are two completely different things. Teachers give you a grade based on how well you do compared to everyone else, but employers care about what you can do for them. You need to focus on your career and remember that your boss is not there to teach you. At your first job, you will not only have to learn how to do completely new tasks (“I only used Excel for one semester!”), but also the ins and outs of interoffice communication.

Prepare for a journey of hard work and continuous learning. When starting a new job, having realistic expectations is crucial. Understanding what to expect on the first day of work and in the initial months helps in setting appropriate job expectations. You will be able to identify those who can help you advance and ways to make more money with either your current company or another one.

Knowing what you should expect from this job will make the transition smoother, as it usually takes at least three months to feel comfortable and a year to grasp all the ins and outs. Being aware of these aspects not only helps in accepting the change but also in identifying mentors and opportunities for career advancement, both within your current company and elsewhere.

Exhaustion – You’re Not Used to the Hours and Demands of a Job

Depending on the type of job you have, your workday could be anywhere from 8 to 20 hours. If you have a desk job or work on a film set, chances are you’ll get fewer breaks than normal and end up feeling more tired. As I’m sure you’re aware, during your schooling you may have stayed up all night to finish assignments and felt exhausted the next day. Although, when you have a job you can’t simply sleep until noon the following day to catch up on missed rest.

Most colleges design a schedule that allocates specific hours of the day to classes, studying, and extracurricular activities. Most jobs will have you working from early morning to late at night, making it tough to take a nap, run errands, go to the gym, or attend to other personal matters. Now that you have a full-time job, you will only have a couple of hours in the evenings and on weekends to sleep, run errands, and do everything else your life requires. Planning a healthy routine including food, sleep, exercise, and managing stress will prevent you from being overwhelmed after working long hours for weeks on end.
What should be my first job? What do you expect from this job? Expectations of a new job often vary based on individual preferences and career aspirations.

Hurt Feelings – Try Not to Feel As Much

Be prepared for your new colleagues to not be as friendly or eager to help you grow in your career as previous people in your life. While it’s not their responsibility, your boss and co-workers do care about you. And just as you shouldn’t have to worry about them, they don’t need to stress over you either. The purpose of work is to make money by creating, selling, or running a product. People usually hurt our feelings because they’re more focused on making or selling a product than caring about us. Your co-workers and boss are not trying to be mean to you intentionally – rather, caring about you is not a priority or requirement. Apart from abusive or harassing situations, try not to distance yourself emotionally from your colleagues; reactions that are positive or negative should be kept in check. This only takes away from your productivity and ability to make money, as well as prevents your company from making profits.

Uneven Playing Field – Someone Will Be Treated Better Than You

It’s important to remember that your workplace is very different from school or home environments. Your boss and colleagues are not required to be kind or forgiving, so you should always expect the possibility of being treated unfairly. In your work environment, this may manifest as a peer being treated with more respect or given additional responsibility. If an employee shares the same alma mater, hometown, or socioeconomic background as her boss, they might receive preferential treatment. Stop wallowing and get to work. Show off the skills and attributes you have that are valuable, such as your ability to make people laugh or kill it in spreadsheets. The sooner you come to terms with the fact that life is not always fair, and learn how to make your life work for you, the better off you will be.

Higher Expenses at First – Work Clothes, Shoes, Travel, Supplies, Takeout Meals, and Don’t Forget the Gym

There is no meal plan or monthly allowance in the real world, unlike school where you might have had a room and board plan. Work-related costs can add up quickly – from new clothes (work attire for 20 days a month x 4 seasons a year) to work shoes (perhaps one pair for walking and one pair for the office) to meals every day (unless you’re packing your lunch every night, eating out can be as much as $15 per lunch or about $3,900 a year). And that’s not even including other necessary expenses like Rent, travel, recreation, after-work drinks, etc.

Even though you are probably thrilled to finally get a paycheck, your expenses will likely be just as much or more than the amount of your check. (And don’t forget the monthly costs for things like the gym). The first step to manifesting wealth is understanding that your job exists to provide you with money, and then formulating a plan to make more of it.

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