I’m starting over. Again.
Not even one year since I’ve graduated from college where I majored in Communication Studies and minored in napping, I’ve been offered my second “big girl” job.
And I’m pretty, ridiculously excited.
I had a lot of mentors telling me not to look for a new job before I even completed a year seated at my first big girl desk in my first big girl position. And I have to admit that I was extremely hesitant to even apply. But when this new opportunity came along, I had to take the chance.
Three hundred applicants, two months of interviews, referrals, tests, and portfolios, and in the end, I got the job. Me. So, even though I’m leaving my first job a little earlier than I may have anticipated, and I may be a twenty-something recent college grad, I’m pretty pleased with my decision and eager to move forward with my career.
And I’m also insanely scared, because once again, I’m going to be the new girl in the office. And after the extensive interview process, I’ve met just about everyone I’ll be working with. Let me tell you, I’m undoubtedly going to be the youngest in the office, too.
I’m starting over. Again.
So, how does one college grad handle so much change in under a year? Bubble wrap, for starters; both for packing purposes and as an inexpensive stress reliever. Secondly, this list of reminders that you should constantly keep in mind as a young professional:
1. Age is just a number.
As the old saying goes, a baby shark is still a shark. Age doesn’t define you. You may be thirty years younger than the person you share a cubicle with, so what? What defines you is your attitude and your ability to go get what you want. Don’t ever let anyone respect you or your work less just because they don’t understand you or your generation.
2. Remember your value.
CAREEREALISM says it best: “Every job is temporary.” You should constantly be on the lookout for something better. Whether it’s a higher position within the company you currently work for, or because you know you’re worth more somewhere else. It doesn’t mean you have to start looking for jobs the second you sit down at your new desk, but just remember how much you’re capable of at any time. It’s important to take the early stages in any new job as a learning experience. Gather as much information as possible, and be the best you can. But if you ever feel like you’re not being appreciated for all you do after time, and all other options have been exhausted (such as voicing your feelings to your boss), then by all means, never forget how significant you are.
3. Network. Network. Network.
Everywhere you go, connect with professionals. Gain knowledge, experience, and skills from everyone you meet – good and bad. Every single person you meet can and might just benefit you sooner or later. Build your professional relationships and never burn bridges. Everyone you meet in your career, even in the early stages, is valuable.
4. Be who you are.
Sounds corny, right? The best way to succeed in your new job, career, or just life in general is to be unapologetically you. You could be someone else, or pretend like you know what you’re doing when you don’t, but you’re only going to hurt yourself in the long run. Don’t lie in an interview; don’t spoil your profession by being a phony. Don’t act like someone you’re not when communicating with those you work with. You want your peers to trust you, to know YOU.
5. Never be afraid to start over.
Starting over means you’re growing. It means you’re developing as a professional and as a human being. It means you’re showing, each day, more and more of whom you are. And each time it’ll be only a sliver of the person you’re going to someday be. When you look back, you’re going to want to remember starting over and how exciting, terrifying, and absolutely exhilarating it was. You never want to be in the same spot. Keep moving forward.
If you’re starting over, again, that’s OK. It means you had the guts to start.
And if you’re just starting, don’t forget how far you’re about to go.
Cara Jo was born and raised in South Jersey. After graduating from Kutztown University in May 2014 with a degree in Communication Studies, she officially moved to PA for a full-time Marketing position with a non-profit. Cara loves writing, her puppy dog, coffee, the fabulous friends & family she’s surrounded by, and all of life’s possibilities. You can read more from Cara by visiting www.thecollegegradblog.wordpress.com or tweet your thoughts to @CaraSwetsky_PR
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