The Career Girl’s Survival Guide

This week, I hit the six month mark at my new job. Which also happens to be my first career job. Which also happens to be the first time I have ever worked an 8 to 5 schedule for longer than a summer break.

These past six months have been a whirlwind, and I’m astonished at how quickly they flew by. It seems like just yesterday I was preparing to take the big plunge. The week leading up to my start date was filled with excitement and I was absolutely, completely, terrified.

Then after what seemed like forever, it was upon me: the beginning of this new and very important chapter in my story. The mornings were rough. Really rough. The days were long. The adjustment from running around a restaurant six days a week to sitting in front of a computer all day was by no means painless. I was hurled out of my comfort zone and into the new world of office life.

I struggled. I work among some brilliant minds with intimidating business sense and creative vision. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know if I fit in. And, I cried. A lot. Mostly at home or on the train ride to home, but a few times I hid in the bathroom at work. Not my proudest moments, but they were authentic and necessary. I had no idea what I was doing and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get it.

But, slowly, I started to. I became more comfortable. The days got a little easier as I settled into my role, and I started to become more sure of myself. Around month three, waking up in the morning became just a little less miserable- I’m still not a morning person, and I don’t think I ever will be. Around month four I felt less like a baby giraffe walking for the first time and more like a duck swimming above water. By month five I felt I was finally starting to show my worth.

Now here we are, six months down and an unknown path before me. The only thing I know for sure is that whatever I’m doing, and however I’m feeling, it’s exactly where I am supposed to be. Here is a list of six essentials that have kept me afloat during the process of settling in and finding my place. I hope that in some way they can help you as much as they have helped me. Enjoy!

1. Coffee. Self explanatory and so so necessary. I’m partial to vanilla lattes, but any form of caffeine makes me a nicer person in the mornings.

2. The Word Yes. Say yes. Don’t complain. You’re not too busy, you’re not too inexperienced, and you’re not too anything except willing and able. No task is too big or too small for you when you are just starting out, or even when you have years of experience. Repeat after me: Yes, I am happy to help with that. Yes, I would love to learn more. Yes, yes, yes. 

3. A Motivational Mug. Since you must have a mug at your desk to hold all the caffeine that keeps you going, you might as well make it motivational- reminding you to Get. Shit. Done.

4. A Confidant. When things get rough and you need advice, or you just want to tell someone you love about your day, you need a confidant. This is a source of solid advice- someone who you trust, admire, and who you can bring anything to. I am one lucky girl because I have a whole team of confidants, a veritable posse. And you know who the champion of the the team is? My mother. You are probably familiar with that saying that it takes a village to raise a child…well it has taken a posse to help me persevere. Go team, go.

5. Appropriate Work Attire. When I first got hired, I had grandiose dreams of wearing pencil skirts and kitten heels every day. Reality check: everyone at my office wears jeans (mostly), including the CEO, and company-wide the dress attire is always casual. And who am I kidding? I hate heels! Currently, my favorite go-to is a pair of Banana Republic black ankle pants, a flowy, feminine blouse and cute flats. No skirts, no heels, no fuss.  Sleep is more important than looking all done up anyway.

6. Something to Aspire To. Every  successful career girl has to have goals, both long and short term. I read recently that finding a mentor can be incredibly beneficial to your professional development, and I agree wholeheartedly. #GIRLBOSS, Daring Greatly, You are a Badass, and Lean In are wonderful books that have given me lots of motivation and insight. Read them and be awesome too.

Work hard. Find your path. And dream big, ladies. 🙂

xoxo

Sarah

*Top photo via Etsy. You can purchase the mug here

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Dreamer. Adventurer. Proponent of well-being.

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