The honeymoon phase is over, my sign-on bonus is long gone, my eye sight is getting worse, and people keep telling me about pastries in the breakroom. It's now officially been one year since I started my first "big girl" job and I'm already on my second one. Let's just say things didn't go according to plan, but that's because everything is part of a bigger plan. For those of you worried about what your first year in the real (cold) world will be like, or you're just interested in how mine was, I have some things I'd like to reflect upon:

HUSTLES COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES.

Girl, what? I was brainwashed to think that the only truly respectable way to graduate from college is with a job where you receive a badge, a laptop, cell phone, and corporate card on the first day. Boy, was I wrong. I am admitting to growing up in a bubble where our community of parents wanted us to have an easier life, and for them that meant working in an air conditioned office job where you have company picnics and a shitty commute. It's not like that for everyone, and I've come to celebrate every hustle. Whether it's full-time, part-time, day time, night time, side hustle, freelance, small business, or empire, all hustles should be respected. I respect the hustle. 

IT'S OKAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND.

Some people think changing your mind about your first gig means changing your path. What it really means is you're changing the route you're taking to get to where you're going, your dreams. I felt an immense amount of pressure building up to the day I took my new job and resigned from my last one, but it was a step up and a challenge. After that, I felt like I could do anything. If anything, being able to choose is empowering. It's okay to change your mind because ultimately only you know what's best for you.

DO SOMETHING THAT BRINGS YOU JOY.

When I saw the date my 401k would mature was when I realized I'm going to be doing this "work" thing for a long-ass time. So I might as well enjoy it. There are obviously going to be not-so-fun things about going to work each day, but if you don't truly enjoy it, you'll know.

YOU ARE VERY SPECIAL.

Well, of course I am! 💁🏽 You would think this is a no-brainer for some people, but it really isn't. It took me a while to realize there is something about me that makes people, bosses, and friends, want to keep me around. Every person has special skills, qualities, and quirks that makes them unique, and don't you ever forget that. Always let your authentic self shine through and you won't have to worry about anything else. If an employer (or a poopy boyfriend) doesn't get that, know there's somebody else who does. Sheesh. Who knew work reflection would turn into that kind of reflection?

WHAT'S NEXT?

Improving on my security and leadership skills. Studying for certifications. Making cooler, more useful content on here. Learning from the best. Striving for balance (even though balance isn't real LOL). Wish me luck. What's next for you? @ me.

When I look back on this year all I can see is growth. I've expanded my horizons, built my skills, refined my brand, and grown into the woman who I'm meant to be. I don't focus on regrets, mistakes, or misunderstandings. I see everything as a door. One decision opens one door, another decision opens another door. Looking forward to many doors to come, and many years of career success, however that may be defined. 

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