6 Things That Will Help You Survive Your First Full-Time Job

Congratulations!! You have a full time job! Or shall I say, good luck kiddo…you have a full time job.

Transitioning into your first full time job hits you like a brick. Before this, you may have wondered how people do it. How do people work full time jobs, make time for the things they want to do, raise families, take care of a home, and whatever else it is people are doing in their lives outside of work.

When starting your first full time job, it’s best to take things one step at a time. How will you get through this 8 hour day, EVERYDAY? Previously, you were working shorter shifts at a part time job where you were itching to be let off and there’s a chance you weren’t even working those shifts 5 days in a row every week. Or maybe you weren’t working at all. Or maybe you landed a full time job right out of college and you thought it might be an easy-breezy transition because you were in school full time – you thought wrong.

Dead wrong

Will every moment drag slowly as you work on projects you couldn’t care less about? Hopefully not. Hopefully you accept a job offer from a great company that interests you with the intention of liking the work that you’re being hired to do.

But how will the atmosphere be in the office? Is the dress code business casual and will you make friends or stare at your computer screen in your corner cubical for 8 hours every day!? With so many questions, here are some (hopefully good) answers.

1. Sunday Night Preparation.

Pick out your outfits ahead of time. If you’re the kind of girl who can sit in front of her closet for 20 minutes and conclude that you have nothing to wear (I am guilty of this), planning your outfits is going to be essential to you ever making it to work on time.

Literally food prep like those fitness people on Instagram. Having all your food ready to go each day is one less thing to stress about in the morning. All you have to do in the morning is grab what you already packed.

2. Ask Questions and Be Cautious.

In the beginning, never assume its okay to do something as simple as taking a K-cup without asking. Observe and learn the boundaries in the office and know what’s socially acceptable and what’s not.

In regards to your tasks, ask allllll the questions. You’ll thank yourself for it and your supervisor will also thank you for it. You don’t need to prove yourself in the first few weeks by trying to show you know how to do everything. In reality, you shouldn’t know how to do everything so asking questions is expected.

3. Befriend Coworkers.

After spending time being cautious and observing the atmosphere of the office you should absolutely be friends with your coworkers! Whether you find a real life BFF or an office BFF (think Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port) or you are on general friendly terms with everyone, it’s imperative to surviving. You don’t have to spit out your life story or current friendship/relationship drama to these people, but being able to chat beyond small talk about the weather and having a good laugh will make work more enjoyable.

4. Snacks on snacks on snacks.

Never underestimate the power of snacks so bring plenty with you. Don’t even think you’ll just eat lunch at work and not eat again until dinner time at home – that’s not happening. You will get hungry at times other than lunchtime and you will need a snack. Pack yourself a few different snacks because you might crave chocolate or something salty…who knows and fulfilling that craving will be super satisfying. Between 2:30 and 3:00pm you may start to feel like your crashing, what do you do? SNACK. Snacking is a beautiful thing. ***Warning: Bring healthy snacks. Or at least moderately healthy. Just don’t bring candy bars and chips every day.

5. Ready, Set, Break.

You may take 30 minutes to eat your lunch and catch up on social media on your phone. But that’s 30 minutes out of 480 minutes in your work day and that’s if you actually take a break when you eat (oh yes, there’s a popular thing called working through your lunch break). Get up, walk around for a few minutes and stretch. Go to the bathroom every hour even if you don’t really have to go, do it just to move around. Walk by a window to absorb some Vitamin D and see precious daylight.

6. Get Your “Me Time” Every Single Day.

By the time you get home, it will probably feel like a long day or even a veryyy long day. You might feel like plopping on the couch and not moving until it’s time to go to bed. One of the best things you can do for yourself every work day is make time for yourself. It could be 30 minutes of reading a book before bed, watching your favorite show, meditating or working out. Keeping up with the things that you still want to do on a daily basis and that are important to you will make you a happier worker. You won’t have bitterness and resentment towards your job for basically taking over your life Monday through Friday if you still find time to fulfill some of your own needs.

Kristen Malm

Kristen Malm is a twenty-something year old Monmouth University graduate with a B.A. in English. After living on the Jersey Shore for 4 years, she is back home in CT looking for what to do next. She is obsessed with coffee, Gossip Girl, and brunch. She is also a seasonal (spring & summer) sushi and fro-yo addict. Kristen has joined in on the crossfit trend and may or may not become addicted…we will see (she probably will). Kristen enjoys history (it was her minor in college), traveling (she went to Ireland with high school classmates and England with college classmates), and watching MMA (there is just something about the anticipation of a person possibly getting knocked out…). She cares for her cat like its her child and loves listening to Spanish music even though 99% of the time she doesn't know what they are saying. Follow her on Instagram @kristenamalm !

3 Comments
  1. If there was a number seven, it should definitely be to start a work-out regime. Sitting for 9 hours a day is a recipe for weight gain. Preventive measures should be taken.

  2. I’m 18 and just started my first job today. It’s temporary before I go to university. This article is so great. Thanks a ton. x

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