Today you woke up at 6:30 a.m. for the first time since your torturous high school years, but still managed to make it out of the house on time wearing dress pants and a silky blouse. And after fighting with your chair to adjust it to the correct height, you’re now seated comfortably at your desk. Your desk! How did this happen? Are the powers that be giving jobs to small children these days?
As it turns out, while you may be a perpetual 10-year-old in your mind, your degree states that you’re now qualified to do an adult job. Which is absurd, of course. But you’ve got to fake it until you make it, right? Here are a few tips on how to navigate your first time working in an office.
Some bosses are better at alerting new employees to this than others, but rest assured, even though you’re being paid for your time, bathroom breaks are still a thing. As are lunch breaks. Such breaks are important for one’s survival and all that good stuff. This isn’t The Devil Wears Prada.
Food for Thought
If a food item is laid out in a large quantity on the office kitchen table, it is meant for sharing. Don’t worry; you’re not stealing anyone’s breakfast by snagging some early morning deliciousness. Unless there is just one bagel left out on the kitchen counter, mid-cream cheesed. Then, you may be stealing someone’s breakfast. Oops.
Phone Faux Pas
You’re not in college anymore; no one is sitting a few feet away screeching, “Put that phone away!” at you. My suggestion? Pretend those grumpy ol’ professors are still watching. They’ve gotten you this far, haven’t they? The phone can probably wait. At least, that’s what the profs always said. And alas, nobody’s phone has ever exploded from being untouched for a few hours.
Can’t think with all the chit-chat echoing from down the hall? Drowning out the distractions with your own personally crafted playlist may just do the trick, especially when it comes to discouraging chatty desk-neighbors from getting you off track. Of course there is always that happy medium between focusing yourself and straight-up ignoring people, but we’re all pretending to be grown-ups here, right? I trust you can find that sweet spot if you try.
Adjusting to office life can be strange at first — particularly when you come to realize it is really just school for adults and there is no teacher around instruct everyone on how to conduct themselves. Once you settle into your environment and start getting your groove on, though? You’re unstoppable. A little sleepy, but unstoppable nonetheless.