I had an image of myself, gliding gracefully into Work Life.
I’d start my first day with a cappuccino in hand, sunglasses on my head, and the wind rustling my hair just enough to get that ‘movie moment’ likeness. With a denim jacket slung over my arm, I’d sail across the streets in my four-inch heels (like they were no big deal) and enter the towering building resembling Jessica Pearson from Suits: tall, elegant, and ready for anything.
But that’s not what happened.
I ditched my high heels for sneakers before even stepping a foot out the front door of my house, tugged on the denim jacket two blocks from the building to combat the aggressive wind, and scuttled over to reception with a deer in the headlights expression that must have clearly read: I’m
scared new – please help!
All through childhood, we’re asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I’m not saying first jobs are what childhood dreams are made of, but there was something about taking a seat at my desk for the first time and seeing my email signature that made me realise: This is it. This is growing up. I’m doing it.
It felt, like most new things do, like A Very Big Deal to step into the working world. I was excited to learn, nervous I’d forget how to use the arguably too complicated printer, and worried I wouldn’t know how to tackle something assigned to me. But as far as first days go, I think it went well. I didn’t get lost on my way to the bathroom, remembered the names of the receptionist and security staff, and successfully introduced myself (all day) without forgetting my own name.
So, you know: Small victories.