The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one. – Oscar Wilde
Yesterday was my one year working birthday! I baked a cake and everything 🙂 You have got to celebrate the small things. Actually, this was not a “small” achievement. 2011 was one of my toughest years and the last thing I want to do is belittle the experience. The exhaustion was all consuming. The boredom on some days even more so. I was lonely. I was overwhelmed. I had entered the “real” world at a time when I was not fully prepared to do so just yet. I was extremely lucky to be offered a job and a good one at that – this I know. It is not that I was ungrateful. With an official unemployment rate of 25% in this country of course I am one of the blessed ones. I have a stable income, a temperature-controlled office (my own!), an incredible opportunity to learn a great deal and an awesome boss (how many people can say that?) and working environment in general.
All my friends were still at University completing their studies towards Honours degrees, enjoying sleep-in mornings, late nights partying, no responsibilities and the best part of being a student: the insanely lenghthy holidays! I was getting up each morning at 5am to get ready for work and only returning home in the evenings after 6 to quickly have dinner and then study. I wrote the Level I CFA exam in December. Towards the end of the year when they all started job hunting with little success and I listened to the challenging interview processes they were going through, I breathed a sigh of relief! I am a step ahead. I already have one year behind me of working experience. I have already processed all the emotions; fear, nervousness and confusion. My journey is not complete though and I am grateful for that – how boring would life be if it was never challenging?
I survived the year and am looking forward to many more of being able to contribute to society. Of having opinions and experience that could actually make a difference!
Good luck to all my friends starting their careers this year. I found it very amusing when today whilst chatting to an old friend of mine (“BFFs” since that word was actually still used!) who only yesterday started working at a law firm in Greenside – she will have the same working birthday as me 😉 – said, and I quote, “I’m dead! Haha, doing the most boring crap ever!” Once you have crossed the three-month hurdle things only get better! And I will always be here to meet for a catch-up, to commiserate and inspire.
As my facebook status reflected on 18th November 2011; “Last year when I turned 21, I had neither a degree, full-time job, home or a car. Tomorrow I turn 22 and have achieved all four! What a year!”