Starting From the Bottom

Hey Cats!

It has been quite a while since I’ve had a chance to blog, so I’m happy to be back! Even though I don’t have homework anymore, 9-5 every day is a lot more time consuming than I thought it was going to be, so a lot of evenings after I go to the gym (if I make it there) and cook dinner, it’s 8:30 and time for Bravo and then bed. And since I’m still making friends, I try to do something social on the weekends, like a normal person, so that’s cut out a lot of weekend blogging time as well. But I think we would all agree that real friends are more important than my blog, as fun as it is. I digress.

Speaking of the 9-5, I actually really enjoy the routine of going to work every day. Honestly, I’ve always really liked working. It makes me feel like a productive member of society, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I think it gives me a constant opportunity to learn something new, whether that’s about my industry, or about how to do better at my job.

IMG_0795

My first job ever was a summer nanny when I was in high school. That position taught me how to get to work on time and be a semi-responsible person, and led me to develop incredibly unhealthy spending habits, but that’s a story for another day.

The summer after my sophomore year in college, I interned at a law firm in my hometown. It started as two days of shadowing the attorneys, because at that time I wanted to go to law school, but then they told me to come back on the third day, and I just kept showing up until it was time for me to go back to school. That experience will probably always be my favorite, because I learned so much, everything was so interesting, and I loved the people I worked with. I could always tell that they wanted to help me be my best, so that’s what I always tried to do, and continue to try to do.

First of all, the experience of just being in a professional environment was incredibly valuable. Seeing how everyone interacted with each other, with clients, and with other professionals in the field taught me how to interact with those people as well. I observed that it was important to treat people with respect, but also that sometimes it’s necessary to let people know when you mean business. I believe that professionalism is an incredibly important skill to master, and something that should be exhibited in everything from a cover letter, interview, follow-up email, and every day you show up to work. Even on a Monday. This glimpse of the real world that I got from my internship was something that not only helped me get jobs, but it helped me understand what type of  environment I work best in. That being said, choosing a job is a bit like choosing a college- yes, they have to accept you, but first it’s important to do your research to make sure that it’s the place for you, and that your values line up with the company’s.

One other valuable lesson I learned at this job was never to say, “that’s not my job”. Well, I learned how valuable that kind of an attitude is in the workplace. My dad told me that many times growing up, but I never understood why a team-player attitude was so important until I started working in an office. About the second week, I was told to organize the supply closet. I was less than thrilled about this task, because it was across the hall from everyone else’s office, and at this point I still thought my role was practically a junior attorney (L O L). But I did it anyways. It took me about three days. I didn’t whine about it, I didn’t try to get out of it, and I only cried once when I fell off the stepladder and bruised myself in three places. I also didn’t do a crappy job just to get it over with. I have learned that if you work with excellence in even the smallest of tasks, people notice, and they’re more likely to give you larger, more important responsibilities. Also, one time the toilet overflowed in the bathroom, and I had to clean it up. At first I thought about trying to get out of it…that was definitely not my job. I mean, I had cleaned someone else’s toilet on a mission trip, but that was for Jesus. We had a cleaning crew for this. But then, I thought about how much damage it could do, and how clients would react to a closed women’s restroom. Not pretty. So, I cleaned it up, and then spent the next forty-five minutes with a towel trying to soak up the water that had leaked onto the carpet in the hall. Not exactly my favorite day at work, but definitely a memorable one. Through these and other experiences, I learned how important it is, especially in an entry-level position, to have a positive attitude no matter what is thrown at you, and to go into work with the idea that you’re there to help the company as a whole achieve a common goal. So if that means helping a co-worker when she’s overwhelmed, do it. If that means subbing in for the janitor, do it. Now, I’m not saying to let people take advantage of you. If you have too much on your plate, don’t feel like you have to do extra things. And obviously, don’t ever do anything unethical. But by viewing your position as a member of a team rather than an individual, you will show those around you that you take not only yourself seriously, but that you are a full supporter of the company and it’s purpose, and that will get you pretty far.

So if you’re starting from the bottom, the idea is to make sure your whole team gets here. At least that’s what Drake says.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your first job? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Advertisements

Monday’s Musings- A Few Updates

Hey Cats!

I feel like I haven’t blogged in maybe 20 years. I’ve wanted to, and I’ve had so many good ideas, but what I haven’t had is time. The past few weeks have been out. of. control. So much has been happening that I feel like I’ve been living in an actual tornado. A happy tornado, though. If that’s a thing. My life has changed so much so quickly, and I’m so excited to finally have time to share it with you!

First, on May 1, I accepted a job offer, which was when the happy/busy tornado began. I was beyond excited, because it’s a healthcare administration position in a pediatric office in the Houston area, which is basically everything I wanted out of a career. When I was applying for jobs, I thought I could probably manage to get one of those three things, two if  I was lucky, but definitely not all three. I’ve already started, but I’m still so excited about starting my career!

My start date for my job was May 26, and graduation was May 16, so my last two weeks in College Station consisted of me scrambling to find a place to live in Houston, packing up my house, hanging out with all of my friends for (hopefully not really) the last time, soaking up the last days of college life, and, of course, graduation. It was such a whirlwind with lots of emotions, and I loved every second of it.

Some of my best friends and I right before graduation.

Some of my best friends and I right before graduation.

After graduation, I went home to Tyler for a week before I moved to Houston. It was nice to be with my family, but it was also really busy, since I had to help my dad paint some of my furniture, pack up my room, and (try) to clean up and not leave my parents with a mess! It was a little sad to leave, knowing that I was about to be actually, really, 100% on my own in Houston, but I was excited! My parents helped me move in last weekend, and my first week of work has been great! I also love my apartment, but I’m not sure what to do with all this free time I have now that I don’t have homework or tests!

I'm an educated woman!

I’m an educated woman!

It’s been a lot of change in a small amount of time, but I know that it was time for a change. I absolutely loved college, and my four years in Aggieland will always be some of my favorite years of my life. But, near the end, I could tell that I was “outgrowing” college, and I was ready to have real responsibilities and be more of an adult. I’m excited for this new stage of my life, and I’m excited to share it all with you on the blog!

That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Suit Shopping for the Entry-Level Individual

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone is enjoying the new year! This is my last week at home before I go back to school, and I have so much to do- doctor appointments, visiting my hair lady, hang out with my bestie before we’re flung across Texas again, and squeeze in a practice LSAT. I got anxiety just typing all of that! But my parents are back at work, so I won’t have anything to do during the day! I’m really excited for this semester, and I’m ready to be back with my roommates and in a routine.

Last week, my family and I went to Dallas to do some shopping. We went on January 1st since everything was on sale, and it was a madhouse. It’s all kind of a blur, but I vaguely remember everyone violating my personal space and saying “I hate people” a number of times. However, it was all worth it because we accomplished our goal of purchasing a suit for me, the soon-to-be adult.

This also gives me anxiety. (It seems we’re all learning a lot about my anxiety issues today…you’re welcome.) It’s really weird and unsettling to think that in a little less than a year, I’m going to have to find something productive to do with my life. I have no clue what I want to do with my life…can I just stay in college forever? Some days I want to be an attorney, some days I want to move to New York and work in PR, and some days I just want to lay down and take a nap. However, I know that I just have to deal with it, and I need to get an internship this summer, even if it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I convinced myself that I can’t go to the career fair at the business school if I’m not wearing a suit, because everyone that’s there has their life together and I super do not, so I should at least look like I do. And I’ll (hopefully) have job interviews next year, so I might as well get one.

This was kind of a stressful situation for me- I wanted to get something that said, “Hire me”, but I also wanted it to be flattering, but not too trendy, but not too stuffy, not too severe, but not too soft….you see the dilemma. Luckily, my sister and mom helped me A LOT, and I learned a lot through this process that I’m going to share to hopefully make your experience less painful.

1. A suit is an investment- be prepared to pay a pretty penny. 

I’m not saying run out and buy something Chanel, but if you want something that looks nice, it’s not going to be cheap. The saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is a saying I like to live by, and in this case, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you’re interviewing for”. (unless, of course, you’re interviewing for your dream job, then disregard my advice.) The way you present yourself is very important. Even if you’re still in college and interviewing for an internship, you want to look like someone who is professional and takes life seriously (even if you’re not). That being said, you should definitely make an effort to find a good deal- I got my suit at the Banana Republic Factory, and it was $140 total, each piece at least 40% off. Also, keep in mind alteration costs- those can add up!

2. Shop in the right department for your body type

This sounds very obvious, but somehow it wasn’t for me. At exactly five foot, I belong in the petites section, but I never shop there (I just buy cropped jeans and wear them as regular length-not a joke). Because of this, it really didn’t dawn on me to look in the petites section for suits. After a few stores, I tried on a suit from the petites section, and it was magical. I wasn’t drowning in pant puddles, and my hands actually stuck out of the arm holes. Since suits are supposed to have a tailored fit, it’s important to find one that is made for people like you. So if you’re a bit smaller, try the petites section, or if you’re a bit bigger, try the plus section. This will also cut down on alteration costs!

3. Be picky & don’t settle 

This kind of goes along with #2. Make sure you really like what you’re getting, and it’s the best possible option. I had 3 suits on hold at different stores before I ended up buying one. Since you are spending a lot, make sure you leave with something you will wear, knowing it’s the best thing you’ve found that day.

4. Try things on even if you’re not sure how it will look

I refused to try anything other than black, until I got desperate. I reluctantly tried on a navy pin-striped suit, thinking I would rather die than wear pin-stripes, but I ended up loving it (and buying it). Don’t count something out until you try it on!

5. Don’t forget, alterations are always an option

Unless you are incredibly blessed, no suit will fit you exactly. You will probably have to get the pants hemmed or the sleeves shortened, or the jacket taken in. If something fits almost perfectly, I would suggest buying it and getting it altered.

Hopefully this will help keep you sane on your suit-shopping adventure!

That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest