Saturday, May 4, 2013

Greatest Hits: My First Job

Read the introduction to this series HERE and 1/2/3 if you wish. :)

"If you want to achieve some really big and interesting goals, you have to learn to fall in love with hard work." - Steve Pavlina

No, this isn't the story of my very first job. My very first job was at Maggie Moo's Ice Cream when I was 16 years old. This is a reflection on my first full-time job, which I started less than a year ago.

I've always felt it was important to have a successful career. I put work in front of almost everything else, to a fault. I enjoy working and being rewarded for my hard work. In television shows and movies I continually see women hit a glass ceiling in the corporate world. Rarely do I come across story lines of women who 'break through' to become successful executives. When I do see these stories, they're so cheesy that I can't stand it. All I'm here to do is work hard, learn new things, take pride in my accomplishments, and be a leader in a company that I love. I don't want any of the side story.

Before I started working full-time, I had a skewed picture in my head of what it would be like to find my first job. Have you seen the movie Post Grad featuring Alexis Bledel? She graduates from college, doesn't get her dream job, moves back in with her parents, and searches for jobs for months. Based on the experiences of some of my friends, I thought I might meet the same fate. I was told often in undergrad that the job market was terrible and that I'd need an impressive resumé to land a full-time position. I'd finish graduate school, apply for dozens of jobs, go to several interviews, and hopefully have enough money to support myself while I was on the hunt.

I am very lucky that things did not go that way for me. Last summer, in between my two years of graduate school, I applied for an internship with Market America. After working hard for 11 weeks or so, the social media director of the company pulled me into his office and offered me a full-time job as a social media writer. I wasn't planning on working full-time during my last year of graduate school, but how could I turn down a full-time job with benefits that was offered to me on the proverbial silver platter? I couldn't.

The day I signed my offer letter was one of the best days of my life. I chose carefully what dress I would wear, got up extra early to straighten my hair, and even wore lipstick (which I rarely do). I requested that my best friend at work, Kerri, take a picture of me. It's probably one of the most genuine smiles you'll ever see in a picture of me.

I realize that career success is not as important to some people as it is to me. In fact, it's not important to some people at all. I admire those people, while realizing that we are very different. It was refreshing to me to learn that I wasn't predestined to start my career like I see on tv. I won't finish it that way, either.

Leave a comment and tell me about the story of your first "big" job!


  1. I was so proud of you when you told me about this!! I am one of those people who don't really focus on career success as long as I can pay the bills but I definitely understand working hard and being rewarded for your work, I just wish that that situation was true for all jobs. When I was job hunting after college, my only requirement was that I had a desk and office supplies...sad, but true.

    1. I think it's difficult to tie the job hunt to any sort of a norm because all jobs are different! Sometimes the jobs that are the most rewarding (nurses/teachers/etc.) don't get nearly enough recognition or credit. Interestingly enough, I bought almost all of my own office supplies! ;)