After accepting my job offer during my final semester of college, I was hopeful and excited to know I would be working in tech marketing. Little did I know that this experience would be more about figuring out the corporate world and discovering what matters most to me at this stage of my life. I have been focusing on soaking up as much as possible and making small strides in progress.
Initially, I expected to know what I was doing and lead, make a significant impact and get more responsibility. The advice I received in my first month was to focus on doing the work the company hired me to do and making sure the work I produced was good. I've been dedicating the past six months to understanding the role and team I'm on and how it contributes to my organization's work and delivering well with my projects. I had an experience where my manager provided feedback on a project I worked on, and I felt disappointed that I could've performed better. This experience taught me that there is always an opportunity to learn and improve, and I will always be in that space throughout my career, which I'm grateful for.
Something else I've had to learn was adapting to workplace culture and how to interact with others. My college internship experiences briefly introduced me to what office culture and interacting with peers would look like. I wanted to know how I would operate during team lunches, happy hours and any other social work setting, being Gen Z and having a diverse background. With the intentionality of being myself, I've found ways to talk about my interests and passions in the workplace. Through casual conversations with team members, I talk about things I'm currently exploring being in a new city, books I'm reading and whatever I'm learning. This has helped me navigate learning more about others and being my authentic self (which is always encouraged).
The most valuable thing I've discovered in my first full-time job post-grad is realizing that I am more than what I do. So much of our identity before adulthood is wrapped up in our achievements and working toward a great job. However, I'm in a place now where after a workday, I am proud of my work and the impact I've made and desire to do more than work and sleep. I've been exploring my interests and dedicating time to learning about the beauty industry and creating social media content around that while developing a new hobby learning about geography and geopolitics.
Navigating my first full-time job following college was different from what I expected. The past six months have shown me that figuring out your first full-time job is all about doing good work, contributing to social workspaces that feel authentic to myself and finding myself outside of my job.