They told me to have fun in college while I could. They encouraged me to enjoy the luxuries of midday naps and numerous student discounts before I graduated and entered the “real world”. I’m not sure what world I was living in during college, but I had grown quite accustomed to it and was hesitant to enter the work force. I had heard rumors from my friends who had graduated before me that had described the 9-5 life as “boring” and their co-workers as being generally “unhelpful”. Given what I had heard, I was only 40% excited to start my first post-graduate job at Kirvin Doak and 60% terrified.
For four and a half months, I watched, listened and learned as an intern as those around me worked diligently to not just tell me what to do but teach me how to do it. After finishing my internship and graduating, I was invited to officially join the team and happily accepted. Upon returning, despite my reservations, I found that I only enjoyed work more because I had more time to spend getting to know my teammates and more time to invest in my work. And that’s when I realized that the Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm life doesn’t have to be awful. “Adulting” can be scary and fun. Since I’ve started full-time at Kirvin Doak, I’ve learned three important lessons in regards to working your first full-time job.
1. You should be passionate…and a little picky.
So often, students take the first job out of college they can find. It’s a bad habit but a necessary one for most because there are bills to be paid. And I’m not ashamed to say that I would’ve done the same exact thing. I was terrified of not being able to find a job upon graduating so when KDC offered me a position, I was thrilled. Not because I had found just any job, but because they offered me a job I was passionate about. Despite any initial uncertainty, I love working in social media. Transitioning to a full-time job would’ve been much more difficult had I hated it. Don’t do yourself or your employer a disservice by accepting a job that you don’t even like. The urge to take anything may be strong, but it offers no long-term benefits.
2. It shouldn’t be too hard but it won’t be too easy.
I think once you’ve found a job you really enjoy, it becomes less difficult to get up every day and go to work. But just because you don’t dread waking up each morning doesn’t mean that the job is easy. I struggle every week to create new, engaging content for clients. I bang my head against the desk at least once a day when I realize that I’ve forgotten to do something on my never-ending to-do list. Work is hard because anything worth doing usually is. But I find the job much easier when I’m open to feedback and criticism. It’s much easier to enjoy my day when I genuinely enjoy the people I work with and they seem to value my feedback.
3. Remember, it’s your first full-time job.
I am the newest (and youngest) kid on the block and I have to remind myself of that every day. More often than not, everyone on the team has better ideas than I do and easier, more efficient ways to do things. It used to frustrate me but now it propels me to work harder and think faster. Since this office is full of sports fans, I feel obligated to use at least one sports metaphor. Don’t feel like you’re falling behind just because you’re not running at the same speed as everyone else. Every pro athlete started out as a beginner. And even if you finish your project or task in last place, you didn’t lose. You only learned.
Though I am sad to say goodbye to University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I am so grateful for the learning opportunities Kirvin Doak has given me thus far and I look forward to many more!
Submitted by Ashley Roberts