Career Confession: I didn’t learn this in college!

I’m one of the few people in my generation who has a career that directly correlates to what I studied in college. I still keep in touch with several of my professors and thank them all the time for everything they did to help prepare me for my career in Public Relations. At the same time, however, I want to ask them, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME HOW BAD SOME DAYS WOULD SUCK?”

Hence, my bewilderment of why I didn’t take a “Lifestyle Management” course in school. Well, for starters, I’m not sure those classes exist, and secondly, I probably would have laughed and thought it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out how to balance a check book and know that saving money is more important than eating out all the time.

I guess some things you can’t really learn without first-hand experience, but there are a few things in the past two years of my post-grad life that I’ve experienced, or stumbled through after a horrific face palm, that you hopefully learn from me right now:

  1. Always keep an extra dress at the office. This will save you from buying a new one after you spill an entire cup of coffee in your lap the day you’re expected to attend a formal client dinner.  Or when you spill your Tupperware of spaghetti all over your crème dress right before a big meeting.
  2. Try your hardest to eat healthy and workout regularly. If you don’t make the time to pump some iron and eat your Wheaties, sitting in an office chair all day certainly has its consequences. No one’s asking you to become an insane crossfitter, but it’s not the chair’s fault you can see your love handles growing each day.
  3. If you’re sick, stay home. Good for you for wanting to check things off your to-do list even if you don’t feel well, but if you’re running to the bathroom every hour to manage your flu-like symptoms, you’re probably overly dedicated.
  4. You can’t punch people, so bring a stress ball to work. Some days following this rule is pure struggle-city, but grab that stress ball and squeeze it, dammit! Otherwise, you’ll lose your job and you’ll never be able to afford your own, roommate-less apartment. And don’t throw the ball at anyone either.
  5. Have a constant stock of wine in your apartment. When you’ve had a bad day and have to head home to a space that you’re still sharing with someone else because you chose a career path that isn’t close to the rich end of the income spectrum, that wine will work wonders.
  6. You can’t drink like you once could. That’s right, you traded in your alcohol tolerance for that diploma. So if you don’t want to be absolutely miserable at work the next day, take it slow at happy hour and you probably don’t need to drink that whole bottle of wine. Well, maybe if your day sucked that bad.

These are just a few things I’ve learned over the first two years of my career that I thought you could learn from and appreciate the advice. Feel free to share some of your lessons-learned below to help out your fellow Career Girls!


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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