Hi Guys!! Now that I’ve been working full time for over a year, I’ve been wanting to share my tips and tricks on how to adjust from being a student to working full time.
It was a brutal wakeup call for me, I was used to having a full schedule on Tuesday and Thursday and only having two or three hours of school on Monday and Wednesday and not having to do anything on Friday. Granted, I always had a part time job in college, but my schedule was nothing like it is now. To give you a little background information, my first job out of college was a receptionist/sales & marketing coordinator at a magazine in Boston. 9 months later, I was promoted to an account executive which is what I currently do. My days go from 6:30am-8pm five days a week. When I first started, I lived in Boston but most recently moved back to my parents house north of the city for a few months which is why my workday seems so long. Adapting to a new lifestyle is pure craziness but I’ve found a few tricks on how to navigate this change.
1). Clear your schedule for the first few weeks while adjusting.
Some people don’t necessarily agree with this, but it was crucial for me. I needed to put my full focus and attention into navigating the new 9-5 (aka 8:30am-5:30pm) lifestyle without losing my marbles. I’m the kind of person who needs to know that they have down time in the near future. I have friends who go full force 24/7, and by that I mean they give themselves a few hours to sleep and have plans every other hour of the day but eventually end up crashing. Trust me, your boyfriend or girlfriend and friends will understand. They don’t want you to be a crabby Cathy because you’re overwhelmed! Clear that schedule and dedicate yourself fully to your new change.
2). Find a way to leave work at the door when you head home.
I had the hardest time with this in the beginning. It was NO joke for me; I would wake up in the middle of the night (disclaimer: I have always slept like a bear in hibernation throughout my childhood, high school and college) thinking of what I could have forgotten to do and making sure I knew what to do the next day. I wanted to make sure I was excelling at my job to my highest potential and drove myself crazy about it. After the first few weeks of working, I eventually got confident enough that I knew what to do each day and knew I fully completed my tasks before I left the office. This is one of the hardest parts so make sure to be patient with yourself. It’s completely normal to take work home with you, just try your best to leave it at the door.
3). Make a to-do list.
This took me a little while to figure out but once I did, it saved my sanity. Instead of thinking about “what the heck did I forget” I wrote EVERYTHING down. I honestly wrote down the most obvious things, like “eat lunch” “drink water and tea, not bloody mary’s even though it’s incredibly tempting” “go outside and get some fresh air” Writing my daily tasks down helped me with leaving work at the door. Whenever I left work and thought of something I had to do the next day, I would know it’s on my list and let it go. Go to Paper Source and treat yourself to a cute to-do list and some pens then get writing!
4). Start working social plans back into your schedule after a few weeks to give yourself something to look forward to after work.
After the first few weeks, it’s time for you to stop being a hermit and slowly start incorporating a social schedule back into your life. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy but now you’ve gotten a taste of your new lifestyle and can start making plans that aren’t overwhelming. Some non-overwhelming plans could be cooking with your roommates, going out on a date with your significant other, going on a friend/roomie date, watching a show, etc. Having something to look forward to makes it seem like you do more than just work which helps imensely!
5). Gradually start incorporating working out back into your schedule.
This was also very hard for me in the beginning. I seriously didn’t work out for months and hated it. I was just so exhausted from being up early and working all day that the only thing I wanted to do after work was to go home and shower and sit on the couch. First, I started working out after work once a week but I wouldn’t beat myself up if I was too tired to go. Eventually, I got into the routine of doing a class two or three times during the work week. It helped on so many different levels. I was sleeping better, felt better mentally and felt better about myself physically and knew I was taking time to do something for myself which was also a bonus. Moral of the story, try to incorporate it but don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t up for it. You have enough weight on your shoulders!!
I hope you all found these tips helpful! Adjusting to a new lifestyle is stressful and tiring but it’s also incredibly rewarding. It’s so nice being able to take everything you’ve learned over the course of your education and apply it to your new position and make a steady income on top of it. I wish you the best of luck!!