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Late Nights And Barely Breaking Even? 25 Things We Wish We Knew Before Our First Big Girl Job

by Vivian KELLY ,
Late Nights And Barely Breaking Even? 25 Things We Wish We Knew Before Our First Big Girl Job© Google Images

Lets face it, coming out of uni and prowling for jobs is nothing but easy. It takes persistence and determination (and a little bit of luck). But don't let that get you down! Joining the workforce is actually pretty awesome - we just wish someone had told us about the realities of LIFE first. Ladies, here's 25 things we wish we knew before we bagged our first job...

1. Looking for a 'big girl' job is not the same as looking for a bar job

You're in a whole new ball game here. You're now competing over grades, experience, extra curricular activities and kick ass covering letters. And let's not even get started with the soul destroying burden that is CV's.

2. You’ll probably be poorer than you were at uni

With phone bills, council tax, rent AND spiralling credit card debt, girl, before you can even shout the words 'PAY DAY' your money will be gone.

3. Buying lunch never gets boring

Heck, as soon as we walk through that office door we're ready for lunch - it gives us something to look forward to, hence deep thoughts about what you fancy eating. Italian anyone? It's lunches like these that make our day...

4. Nine to five doesn’t exist

The tables turn after uni. Forget skipping class and sleeping in till four o'clock. You're now a nine to five lady, except, nine to five doesn't actually exist. From now on, a work life balance is your mission (for life).

5. You still have to do tea and coffee rounds

So you've got a degree and full-time job now, huh? Well, that doesn't mean you'll be catered for - the new girl is the office b*itch. Be prepared to make a lot of nice cuppas. It's not fun and it's certainly not ideal, we know, but it's always nice when it's not your turn.

6. You get drunk with your workmates on Thursday nights

Standardly. It's when you get to know your colleagues best - there's are no secrets in the pub.

7. That some places actually require you to raise your hand...

...to go to the loo. Yep, these places really do exist - it's like morphing back to primary school but don't worry you gotta be really unlucky.

8. Lunch breaks are a luxury

Trust us, when you're whizzing through emails and trying to meet deadlines time flies! If you ever do manage to take your lunch hour you're bound to feel fifty shades of guilty when you swing back into the office refreshed while everyone else is scoffing at their screens.

9. Your parents will kick you out

Lets face it, the second you get your big girl job your parents will either want you out or get you paying rent.

​But if you ask us, moving above the sandwich shop will probably be the best move you'll ever make. Go for it.

10. Its good to show enthusiasm but don't expect change

There's no fast-track way to work your way up - these are the early days! Keep showing your eagerness to learn and you'll reap the rewards.

11. You’ll be rejected more times than you know

But that doesn't mean you'll never land a job. We need to fail to succeed, remember? Take it as an incentive to have an even more incredible application next time. With a bit of luck and perseverance you WILL get your dream job.

12. You have to be diplomatic

Being brutally honest and taking sides with people probably won't do you any favours in the work place. At work you need to be diplomatic. And by the way, it's not another word for 'bull crap artist' - just try not to be biased all the time.

13. Being able to walk in high heels will become an everyday struggle

Just live with it. It sucks, but this does mean you have an excuse for a monthly pedi now.

14. Dinner will never be ready when you get home

Ah the harsh realities of graduate life aye. Ready meal it is then!

15. Working late nights is NOT a big deal

Teachers, writers, doctors - you name it. We're all busting our asses. But that doesn't mean you'll never have the time to take a breather or a nice sunny holiday. (We love those.)

16. Commutes aren't always pleasant

If you're a Londoner you'll be packed in the tube like a sardine tin (bet no one cared to mention that to you either, right?). They're boring, smelly, long and just, ick!

17. Your work wardrobe will take over your life

Never mind what you're wearing on Saturday night! Now, you're all about standout fashion. A fashionable functionable, office wardrobe is a must. How's this?

18. That winging it is OK

You've just graduated and now you're ready to take on the world. Well, sorta. OK not really.

​No one feels fully capable when they leave university. 'Me, an executive?'. It's almost laughable. But when you first get started it's all about getting stuck in and learning on the job (that's where you build your skills). Wing it!

19. Make up on the way to work is standard practice

Who actually has time to put their face on in the morning? If you're not the multitasking type, get used to it, because this is the only way you're going to be able to hit that snooze button. Just leave the pampering party at home...

20. Don't be blinded by money...

Otherwise. You. Will. Hate. Your. Life. Although tempting, work isn't all about the cash, it's about satisfaction and passion.

​So if you're young, take risks! This is probably the only time you'll have to actually get away with it.

21. Paying taxes will become the bane of your life

Tax-free days are long gone girl. Say good-bye to one fifth of your salary. Sob*

23. You'll actually have a bed time...

All nighters with friends and late nights watching Game of Thrones? They're over now. When you're up early and working all day your best friend is your bed. Once you start working full-time you'll be forced into sleeping like a normal human being (which is good if anything)!

23. That despite it all, you should consider yourself lucky

Did you know half of UK graduates are stuck in non-graduate jobs? In this day and age navigating the work force ain't easy. Be grateful.

24. Take yourself seriously

Your 20's are more defining than you think.

​By all means have a drink (you'll need it) but don't waste all your time getting trashed and having fun. What you do NOW is going determine where you'll be in ten years. Act accordingly.

25. Never sell your-self short

Most of us come out of uni thinking we can't make it, but that's not the sort of attitude you should have. Give yourself credit for how much you've achieved so far and be proud of it! You're a lot better than you think you are!

What other things do you wish you knew? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!

Vivian KELLY
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