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.
And 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.