Another Day, Another Dollar: What I Learned From My First Full-Time Job

Photo: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock
businesswoman on the phone

By Brittany Christopoulos

This past week marks my one full year of working full-time.

To most, this doesn’t seem like anything special, but for me, it caused me to reflect on who I was a year ago and how much I’ve grown from the opportunity.

Working teaches you a lot of life lessons you didn’t even get the opportunity to learn in school.

RELATED: A Personality Test That Reveals What Career Path You Should Take

So, here’s what I’ve taken from my first full-time experience thus far:

Responsibility

Going to post-secondary school was a breeze because you could pick and choose which classes you attended and how much effort you put into your homework.

With work, you gain a new sense of responsibility and realize others are relying on you to get things done. You can’t just choose to skip a day of work because you didn’t feel like going like you could in college.

Office hierarchy

You know the stereotypes you see on sitcoms on TV all the time? Yeah, they’re real. Just like the pecking order.

As the newbie, you realize where you fit into the office hierarchy pretty quickly and learn how to conform to your role. And if you don’t, someone will tell you how to get there.

What adults truly talk about

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m the age of most of my coworkers' kids, or the fact this is my first big office job, but working with older adults has really opened my eyes.

In particular, I’ve learned what moms look for in terms of relationships with their kids, or the discomfort of getting a mammogram. Let alone the hilarious jokes they tell! Adult secrets are a whole new world full of never-ending surprises.

RELATED: How To Choose The Right Career For You

The importance of a routine

I’ve always been used to having a routine, but when you have one throughout your work week it is a lifesaver!

Having an order of tasks to complete throughout your day helps you remember them more and helps the day pass by with ease. Plus, your work schedule doesn’t really change so you can easily make plans for once in your life!

How to let things go

I’ve always been someone who stresses about everything, and at some random point within the last year everything clicked and suddenly I stopped caring so much.

I care about my job, I genuinely do, but I’ve learned not to let the stresses I experience in a day come home with me too. It only ruins your freedom and drags you down.

Being an adult is hard

If you thought you were stressed in school, wait until you get a full-time job and have to adult by yourself.

It’s hard working all day long and coming home to a messy house, having to clean, cook dinner and buy groceries, all while trying to do other things for yourself. Let alone if you had kids!

By the end of the day you are genuinely exhausted, and you look forward to going to bed at 9 to get a good sleep to have a good day the next. It gave me a new appreciation for what my parents do, that’s for sure.

I’ve been so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given over the past year and I’ve noticed a real change in my “out of work” life because of the things I’ve learned while working full-time.

Yes, having a steady income and hours that don’t randomly change is amazing after working part-time for so long. But what’s better is finally realizing you’re growing up and being a responsible adult who feels ready to take on the world.

RELATED: 7 Biggest Job Search Mistakes Even The Smartest People Make

Brittany Christopoulos is a writer, journalist and fill-in TV co-host. She's a Senior Writer and Head of Trending News for Unwritten. Follow her on Twitter.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.