10 Things to Expect in Your First 9-5 Job

When I started my first full-time job, I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted a job. That was my goal after graduating from college. I didn’t think about what would happen to me or how drastic my life would change once I did get a job. There were many things that I realized or changed within my first few months of working. So, here are 10 things to expect in your first 9-5 job.

1. You have body aches from just sitting

I didn’t think sitting at my desk for 8 hours straight would cause me to be sore everyday. I felt like I went hammed at the gym. It’s because our bodies are meant for movement and sitting in the same position for an extended period of time can cause your body to be weaker.

Thankfully, my body just need some time to adjust to the new situation. It took about a week, but I also get up about every hour to stretch or walk around.

2. You’re the youngest at the company

I don’t know how more naive I could of been with this. Because of school and college, you’re constantly surrounded with people of the same age for years, so I thought I would run into people in their early 20s as well.

I thought my co-worker who sat next to me was at least 24. Nope! He’s in his 30s, already married, and about to become a father in a few weeks. My mind was blown by how much older everyone was and how they were in a completely different phase of their life. These people were either married or about to be married, looking to buy houses, and wanting kids, where as I, who just got her first job and started making money.

Reality kicked in. The world is a much more diverse place with people of ages of a vast spectrum and I was the baby of the company.

3. There’s a huge learning curve

School did not prepare me for this at all. Everything I learned was at work and boy was it stressful. I have never been more stressed in my life. It felt like final weeks everyday. It was so rough that I almost gave up on myself.

Luckily, I stuck with it and pulled through. Everything suddenly made sense and things got better. I made such a huge turn over that within about 6 months, I got a raise. So with that, know that when things get hard, the worse will pass over and everything will be okay.

4. You didn’t need college to get the job

Mentioned previously, school did not prepare me for any of this. The only thing relevant was during my interview when the CEO asked if I got my bachelors. A simple yes, and that was it.

I won’t knock on college though because without it, I wouldn’t have my amazing memories, the friends I made, and all the life experiences I gained.

5. When you’re done with work, you’re done with work

After your 8 hours have been served, you can go home and do whatever you want. There’s no worry about assignments, class readings, or an upcoming test to study for. All the work you do is at work, for the most part.

6. More money

One of the best things is getting your paycheck after two weeks of your hard work. It’s nice to not be broke like you were in college.

7. Start paying bills

Adulting means more money, but it also means having more responsibilities, which includes bills to pay rent, insurance, credit card, etc. Remember to pay your bills first!

8. Your life becomes routine

Work, eat, sleep, and repeat, at least on the weekdays. Things are a bit mundane compared to your days in college and you’re limited to the things you want to do outside of working hours. It’s not like you can skip out on work like you could with your classes.

The bright side of having a routine is that it adds structure to our lives and improves our ability to develop good habits. I mean if I decided to stay up until 3 am when I have work the next day, I wouldn’t be able to function. So, it forces me to sleep early enough because I really need my brain to do my work.

9. Socializing is limited

When you come home after a long day at work, all you want to do is watch TV, play video games, or absolutely nothing. It’s because you’re so mentally exhausted that even your physical body feels exhausted as well. This happens almost every weekday, so most of the socializing or hobbies you do are on the weekends.

This is where socializing becomes difficult. You’re limited to two days a week to meet all your friends and scheduling meets up where the whole group can make it become nearly impossible. Not to mention the challenge of planning hangouts with old college friends who moved away to other cities for their jobs. If they’re important, you’ll make time for them, whether it’s in person or a simple phone call to catch up.

What about making new friends post college? It’s not as easy as it was in college, where everyone is on the same boat, making things much more relatable. After college, it requires much more effort to go out and build that relationship, with both parties needing to put effort to make it work.

10. The challenge of balancing it all

With work taking a big chunk out of your week and so many things to do outside of that, it seems like two day a week isn’t enough to everything you want. There’s errands, spending time with family, hanging out with your different group of friends, dates with your significant other, and doing your own thing. Sometimes you just want to relax with bingeing hours of Netflix and time has flown by.

Balancing it all is a tricky thing to do and sometimes you have to make some sacrifices in order to prioritize things that are more important.

Thanks for reading! I wrote this because I understand how difficult change can be and I wanted to let you know that you’re not in this alone. I was surprised by how many people in their 20s are going through this right now. Have you realized any of these changes after working your first job? Comment below 🙂

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