Don't Fret, It's Only Reality
This is a guest post by Sammantha Johnson for InternMatch’s Student Stories. If you’re interested in getting involved with Student Stories, learn more here.
The day of commencement is embarking on a new beginning. After the excitement, it’s time to land that dream job, or let alone “a job.” I’m currently riding the luxury retail wave at Neiman Marcus. Chanel this, Celine that, and oh, let’s not forget the Manolos.
The transition from a free-spirited college student in a campus with a river carved in the middle to a working woman stuck in a traffic-mania highway with a multi-million-dollar department could send anyone into a whirlpool of reality. In a span of six months, company principles and that 8 a.m. alarm feels like a blissful Saturday morning! However, that’s if you’re able to manage your work and personal life properly, key word: properly.
Last August, I started at Neiman’s not knowing the magnitude of the newly created position. The roles include Chanel and Celine merchandising, jaw-dropping stock inventory, and organizing (lots and lots of organizing). After a day’s work, the brain desires a cheap happy hour, hot yoga, or Netflixing. The first month, I was too tired to have a social life. My daily routine: Work. Sleep. Work. By the fourth month though, I had a handle on my position, met the power players, and could blaze through stock inventory with ease.
I felt like the queen of the world, scheduling all appointments in my iPhone.
Monday: Yoga, Tuesday: Cleaning day, Wednesday: Yoga, Thursday: Weights, Friday: Run then dinner with friends. My personal life was falling into place, which included sleep, friends, and fitness. It’s important to have a planner, Siri, or caveman style: your hand.
Ideas and tasks race through our minds at astronomical speeds. Don’t lose your boss’ request during the hectic morning. Later, they’ll promptly ask, “Did we finish creating next week’s schedule??” And then you’re stuck nodding like “Crap, I forgot”, but answering, “Yes, almost finished!” Lies! So don’t let the frivolous things amount to avoidable problems.
From my own personal experience, I advise to rely on your schedule but don’t forget to leave some quality time to recharge. Give your mind, soul and body time to rest. My restorative replenishment is yoga and spending time with close friends. Once you’re on a daily schedule, stick to your appointments and only deviate when it’s necessary. Don’t deviate too often; you’ll be back at square one trying to rebuild your fortress. Be good to yourself.
A yogi once said, “The highest point of yesterday should be the lowest point of today.”
Okay, now you’re on the path to organizing your life’s schedule, so the next step is prioritizing your career development. Networking is the most valued skill to possess right now. Especially working at Neiman Marcus, so many professionals could arrange a game-changing conversation. Currently, I’m fostering relationships on LinkedIn, but don’t forget your local university chapters. Just because you’ve graduated doesn’t mean you’re venturing this path alone. Texas State hosts monthly mixers for graduates to mingle with Bobcat professionals in any given city. It’s awesome because you’re chanting your school’s Alma mater while planning how to propel your future. Frankly, that’s the best!
More ways I prioritize is accepting additional tasks outside my job description and not being closed-minded. I’ve realized that I want to specialize in fashion and communication rather than solely integrate myself into the retail industry. I plan to work closely with my boss and gain as much information as possible. Continually, I’m molding myself into a valued candidate. It’s important for employers to evaluate how your actions are implemented. My boss knows I love to be challenged, so I’m constantly presented with stimulating tasks. It’ll be recognized in your annual review. That review leads to a solid recommendation letter or even better, a phone call!
The road after college is definitely rough and hilly, and not every adventure will spawn a reward. If you stay humbled, organized, and focused, you will one day achieve your goals. Never be discouraged. Yes, your friend may look fabulous flaunting her dream job on Instagram, while you’re deciphering if you can afford your monthly ten-dollar Netflix account! That’s when life gets real.
But just know your time will come. Do not simply be patient, be pro-active. There is a huge difference between the two. Now, run with this knowledge and blow out the competition. Stay intrigued and keep believing!
Sammantha Johnson is a fresh college graduate from Texas State University, with a B.A. Mass Communication & Electronic Media. She is currently discovering this jungle called life. She takes pride in fusing the fashion and digital marketing industries. Shocker, she majored in Mass Communication & Electronic Media!! Her passion lies within social media, individuality, and fabulous handbags! Ultimately, her goal is to establish a media agency and a non-profit organization supporting aspiring videographers and photographers. Follow Sammanthajohnson.com covering fashion, technology, and culture. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.