Leaving your first job

There may be no more intimidating time in a person’s life than when they are forced to make the transition from college to the workforce.

And I say “forced” because there are few people who are genuinely excited to leave college and become a working professional. One minute you’re goofing around and not taking things too seriously, the next you  suddenly need to become a contributing member to society.

Those Facebook profile pictures from college you once wore as as a symbol of your fun party side suddenly become damning, and could compromise your future prospects of getting job. The same goes for anything you’ve ever tweeted.

That silly, borderline-inappropriate voicemail recording on your cell phone? Gotta change it if you want interviewers to take you seriously.

In the blink of an eye, life becomes very serious. And that’s difficult for a lot of people to handle.

Leaving workAnd that’s why, when you do land your first job, it’s extra meaningful. It’s your first step in a lifelong quest of molding your career. But it was this company, for whatever reason, that saw something in you. They decided to give you your first shot.

Thus begins your growth as not only a working professional, but a human. With every task, every assignment, you learn something you didn’t know the day before. You’ll likely find a mentor, someone you go to for advice and guidance, and without realizing, you begin to emulate them.

And alongside you are people likely in a similar position. Other neophytes in the workforce looking to keep their feet on the ground. With them you find a kindred spirit. You share a life experience that is unique and something you’ll always remember.

Before you know it, comfort sets in, and time flies. It’s never always easy. There will be hard days, some difficult people, and occasional set backs. Maybe one day you feel like quitting. And some nights you put your head to the pillow with a large grin at a job well done. And that’s work.

But one day, you must move on.

And that’s exactly what happened to me this past Tuesday. After five years at my first full-time job out of college, I left, and will begin my next adventure.

All I could think about is the journey I’ve made from a timid, wide-eyed newcomer, to a — well, somewhat — responsible, confident professional, all because somebody decided to give me a shot.

It’s bittersweet, but at some point, you just have to spread your wings.

But don’t worry, I still will make good use of my old, risque Facebook photos on Tinder.

One thought on “Leaving your first job

  1. Good luck!!!!!! I quit my first job out of college New Year’s Eve, 2010. It had been coming for a very long time. I worked at a pie shop; the owners were dating/became engaged and in the almost 3 years I worked there I never heard a kind word exchanged between them. The owner was deeply insecure and incredibly self-centered/arrogant at the same time. She was immature and conceited. She was controlling to the point where you couldn’t disagree with her about likes/dislikes/the weather “What’s wrong with you!!? Who DOESN’T like skiing!!?” and “It’s NOT raining, it’s DRIZZLING”< true story) The guy was so dumb I cannot express how dumb—it blows my mind to this day. He once asked an intern what 5×2 was; she said "20" just to mess with him, and when he started adding that in….. x.x He asked another person how many zeros were in 50,000…… They were both racist and bigots. It was increasingly stressful and toxic. To the point where at home I was prickly, emotional and exhausted: I'd burst into tears if we were out of something. I'd just gotten engaged that summer so it was supposed to be a happy time in my life. I really cannot describe the way it was because you'd never believe this stuff went down. But I'd had enough. I couldn't deal with it anymore and I was too old for that crap.

    But I tell you all this to tell you how joyful, nerve wrecking and freeing it was to quit on New Year's Eve. To pull her outside before I left for the New Year to say "I'm NOT coming back after vacation." It was the best and hardest thing I'd ever had to do in my life. I quit my job without any prospects, only with enough money to last me until that April.

    I tell you this as a cautionary tale. As a man though, you're far less likely to put up with that crap for as long as I did. But just keep it in mind for anything in life. Don't let yourself become miserable like that. Know when enough is enough and when to walk away.
    I hope your new job is awesome!! Sorry for the length

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