On The Edge of Normality

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.

What was your very first job? Do you remember what your first day was like?

P.S. How to increase your productivity at work and childhood dreams.
(Art by Patya Pindo.)


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  3. You did great on your first day! And you’ve grown so much over this year. From ‘just an intern’, you’ve proved yourself to be a valued member of the team over and over again. I’d like to see a follow-up post on how far you have come from that first day to your last day. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Michelle!
      It means so much to me that you took a chance on me back in February.
      Even I recognise how far along I’ve come, and so much of that is thanks to you and the abundant support, teaching and guidence you’ve provided me (the cat pictures, trips to Chippies, car rides and many conversations definitely added to this incredible experience).

      (That post you’re looking for on ‘how far I’ve come’ will be out in December – and I’m SO excited about it!)

  4. My first job was being a swan in the Navy….I’m sure someone close to you will relate. I climbed on a bus and “landed” in Gordon’s Bay. Luckily I was very sensible and wore sneakers. There were some who actually did wear their high heals and I felt oh so sorry for them as we climbed off the bus and were chased down the jetty towards the “red lighthouse” – I can’t remember what we had done wrong or even if we did do something wrong. We were chased to that light many times in the next 3 months as well as being made to jump off the jetty into stinky dirty harbor water, doing push-ups in the showers (not sure that’s what showers were invented for), lugging heavy things around, learning to shoot, disassemble and clean pistols and rifles and generally just doing a lot of weird stuff that most first time employees don’t do!! 7 years later I said goodbye to my “boss” – a changed person I was!
    Alison Deary recently posted…Mom Diary new diary for 2018 reviewed by ‘Hello, I’m Alet’

    1. Wow, Alison – what an adventure!
      From what you’re describing and everything I’ve heard in the past, I don’t think I’d survive being a Navy swan (or anything similar). AT ALL.

      At least we both had a good thing going wearing sneakers on our first day, right?
      I hope I get the chance to hear more about your first job and what I imagine would have been an intense, adventure filled seven years of hard work.
      Reading these lovely comments and speaking to people about their first steps in the working world has really shown me how significant first jobs are – it’s incredible how much there is to learn after leaving school.
      (Thankfully, my first job didn’t involve stinky water or push-ups but I think it’s incredible that yours did (and that you willingly signed up for it!))

  5. My first day was so long ago.. That I don’t remember.. Lol
    I do remember that first job..
    At a travel agency where the owner ripped off alot of clients and within 3 months I was jobless…!
    This taught me so much, that helped me through out my career

    I too would have luvd to be all smart dressed with sexy heels… Although I have achieved that later in life

    1. Oh wow, what a way to enter the working world! Thanks for sharing, Janine.
      It’s incredible how much one learns during their first ‘proper’ job.

      (I’m thrilled to hear that the killer heels and clothing can make an appearance later on. Here I was, thinking I was doomed to wear sneakers to work for the rest of forever!)

  6. Loving it Storm.

  7. Hahaha – I so know what you mean and truth be told it is mostly like that all your working life, you just get better at it 🙂

    1. No one tells you it’ll be filled with dear-in-the-headlights and jittery-stomach moments when you start out.
      Thanks for the insight, Karen – here’s to hoping I learn to navigate the working world relatively quickly.

  8. I too want to be a Jessica, those outfits, those quirky comebacks – that confidence, and that femininity . love it!

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels that way – Jessica’s brilliant!
      Here’s to being our very own uniquely spectacular versions of Jessica.

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