Full-time life. Myths vs. Reality.
We know that when you’re at university you hear STACKS of stories from beyond … and you sometimes get mixed messages from your friends who have made it into the ‘full-time world’.
John landed a position at a consulting firm in Sydney – EVERY Thursday his snapchat story is filled with team drinks.
Kate can’t hang out during the week anymore because she finishes at 5.30pm and wants to be ‘fresh’ for work the next day.
Ben has asked if you wanted to grab a coffee in the city because he’s ‘cafe-hopping’ all day … whatever that means.
When you see Laura she’s constantly talking about how ‘poor’ she is even though you’re pretty sure compared to your part-time wage she’s a lot better off!
We get it. People with full-time jobs can be confusing, contradicting and quite scary – because you know that soon enough you’re going to be one of them!
We’re here to help. Welcome to – Full-time life. Myths vs. Reality.
Myth 1 // You have to have it all together right away.
Busted. Woah woah woah. Blatant lie. Did you know people 5 years into their careers are still figuring it all out? 10 years? 15 years? There’s no blueprint for your career, and there is especially no deadline for when you have to have it ‘together’. It’s a learning process, and one that you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to get ‘right’ in your first year out of university.
Myth 2 // If I don’t love it straight away, I need to quit.
Busted. Hold up with that drastic move friend, because we don’t think you’ve thought this one through. It’s a no-brainer that your future employers WILL look at your job history; and an indefinite red flag is if you’ve been consistently job-hopping.
Don’t get us wrong – if your employer doesn’t treat you fairly and with respect, then 100% you have grounds to leave. But if you’ve decided that a full-time job requires more effort than you’re willing to give … well say goodbye to your $40,000 degree.
Our final piece of advice on this one – you may not LOVE your first job straight away, but that doesn’t mean you throw in the towel. Like uni – you need to work through it to experience the benefits and satisfaction that a career can bring.
Myth 3 // When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
Busted. Ahhh yes. The holy grail of career quotes. One of the finest (and most misleading). Yes, you should definitely choose a job and a career that you WANT. What you shouldn’t do is expect to be walking on sunshine every day or never EVER having to complete a task that you don’t like.
For example, a huge bonus of working in events management is seeing how much your audience enjoys the event and the positive feedback that you receive! However, a BTS of events management (that often isn’t on the job description) is the early morning (6.00am) starts, the running around, on-the-spot problem solving, packing down entire event spaces and late finishes (only after your final guest leaves).
Apply for jobs that make you say ‘YES’ – but make sure you have a positive attitude that is prepared for work.
Myth 4 // Drinks are on me because I’m now rich!
Busted. Um heads up – you will not be rolling in $$$ in your first year of full-time work. In fact, if you do party like it’s 1995 and let your cash flow out more than in … you’ll find it will kick you in the butt a lot quicker than you’d like. What you should do:
> Set up a budget and track your spending!! This is super easy to pop into an excel sheet. Make sure you set time aside at the end of the week to do this – make it a ‘stone’ in your schedule!
> Set specific savings goals. The sooner you start putting aside money for your bigger purchase goals (a car, holiday etc.) the quicker you will reach these goals and the less stressed you will feel!
> Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Look into ‘adult things’ such as insurance, super, shares (you can do this at any age!!!!).
Myth 5 // I can’t be ‘me’ in my workplace.
Busted. Who told you that one, friend? No one wants to work in an office that is filled with the same people, with the same interests and who all have the same personalities. Offices flourish when there is diversity in all aspects: skills, backgrounds and characters!!
A good way to check what the workplace culture in your potential future workplace is like, is well, to ask! Ask when you’re in the interview, reach out to a current or past employee or visit the company website as they will usually have a page describing what it’s like to work at X.
Remember – sometimes your dream company will not always be the right fit for you. So keep an open mind when you’re going through your job search!
Myth 6 // Your career path is as clear as day.
Busted. Nope. Not really at all. In fact, you will probably be questioning your career path for your entire work life.
Your first few years as a full time employee can be the most vague as you are only starting you career, discovering new perspectives on what management you like, what tasks you enjoy and your strengths and weakness. Yes, university/internships and volunteer roles can help you with these things – but it’s a whole new ball game one you’re in the full-time industry.
Don’t be discouraged by not knowing your career path and seek advice from those who you look up to! Find people who are working your dream job (or something close to that) and stalk the hell out of them on LinkedIn. After that, if their journey still stays appealing to you, invite them for a coffee to learn more about how they got where they are now.
Be brave and ask for advice if you are unsure. The best you can do is collect information and make your own journey out of it.
Myth 7 // Your social life will be like Donkey from Shrek.
Busted. (Sort of). Even though you will be able to plan ahead and catch up with the people you haven’t seen is a while, don’t forget you will be working 40 hours per week!!
Some weekends you will be excited to know that the only plans you have involve chores and laundry and we don’t blame you for that!
Use your time wisely and may e even have a diary for all of your plans besides work – this will help you to stay on top of your catch-ups and leave time for rejuvenation from the long work week.
Myth 8 // Networking is awkward because I am only in my entry-level role.
Busted. Actually, you’re a professional regardless of what level you’re at! As long as you are able to hold a conversation in a professional manner – no one will give a dime about your level (it’s not something that you NEED to share either).
Tip: Stay up to date with industry news and read articles relevant to your role or professional interests. This will help to start really interesting conversations and build your professional reputation.
Myth 9 // I will stop learning after I graduate.
Busted. You will not only learn more than you ever did at uni, but the process will also seem more challenging at times since some of your mistakes can cost you more than just a lower GPA.
If you start a journal and take down all new learnings you got from each day – you will quickly realise that you will run out of space!
Remember, you’re not just learning theories and how to ‘put them into practice’ – this time you’re actually living and learning those practices every day (and learning and abundance of new ones).
A good tip is to attend a few industry events throughout the year (usually there are HEAPS of free ones), as these will shine a light on current and future industry learnings and how you can continue to grow stronger as a professional (hello career growth)!
Myth 10 // There are no perks.
Busted. A thousand times BUSTED. There are soooo many perks headed your way once you start your full-time job. Obviously these will differ slightly depending on your employer but things like flexibility of hours/location, travelling for work, an office pet, allocated leave, paid time-off, sick pay, FINALLY starting to pay off your uni debt, collaborating with a bunch of awesome people every day, putting your degree to USE and wow – being able to write down something other than ‘student’ as your occupation!!
The list goes on and on … we’ll let you find out the others for yourself!
Myth 11 // When I start a full-time job I start a new life.
Busted. This is a yes and no. While you are starting a new CHAPTER in your life, you are still the same person!! So if you expect to be the ‘new you’ once you are out of uni – that’s not what happens (sorry to disappoint).
Sometimes we want to delay work and wait for the perfect time, but in reality, the best time to start is NOW!
So if you want to become more punctual, start preparing lunches or simply spend less time on your phone – don’t wait till you start full-time work, do it now.