What I’ve Learned Working 8 to5

What I've Learned Working 8 to 5

This summer I have my first taste of a “big girl job.” To me, that means dipping my toes in what it’s like to work in an office setting from 8 to 5 (usually 4:40). I just past the one month mark at my summer job and, because of our wildly, fast-paced environment, I have learned quite a lot (you know me… always trying to learn something). It hasn’t always been perfect and bad days have happened, but the eternal optimistic in me has me looking at the bigger picture. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about working a full-time, office job.


Coffee is your friend, but should not be drunk on an empty stomach. I don’t know how many times I think I can get away with drinking my morning coffee before I eat something (I think the tally is now up to 5). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve become like a zombie if I don’t have coffee in the morning, but the jitters I feel when I have some before I eat anything are uncomfortable and make it impossible to get any work done, even hours later. I make sure to have at least a few bites of Cheerios before I take a sip of coffee and bring the coffee I don’t finish during breakfast with me to work. Which leads me to my next point…

Breakfast is really important, y’all. I’m one of those people that constantly thinks about food. Even if I just ate, I think about what I just ate and when and what I’m going to eat next – it’s a problem. Growing up, I was never a breakfast eater. I’m not a big fan of typical breakfast food (i.e. pancakes, waffles, eggs) and, because I’ve always needed to get up early for school/work, I wouldn’t be hungry before I left for wherever I was off to. Not eating breakfast before I leave for work at 7:45 is not only dumb, it’s counterproductive. If I skip breakfast before I leave in the morning, I’m hungry by the time I get to work (about a 10 minute walk). Then one of two things can happen: I can (a) suffer through the grumbling noises and pain of a hungry tummy or (b) eat my entire lunch before lunchtime and feel hungry again around 1 pm. See what I mean by counterproductive?

(More on the blog: Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins )

This is something my parents have told me for years now, but I’ve only now realized how true it is: You won’t like everyone, but everyone has something to offer. I have a very hard time hiding my feelings about anything. This last year, I’ve really made strides to rid negativity from my life in every aspect possible because I feel like life is too short to live any of it unhappy. As you know, I don’t mean that life will always be rainbows and butterflies, but I don’t think that you need to be creating hard, uncomfortable or unfortunate situations for yourself. While, you don’t get to pick who you work with (usually), you can choose how you view their quirks and personalities. Maybe the person who is always late does very thorough work, maybe the one who talks too much offers comedic relief during stressful moments – majority of people have some upside. I think that its energy better spent if you focus on their upside than on how their personality or quirks rub you the wrong way.

Finally, there will be times when you want to put your head down on your desk and cry. Today, I was watching this video from Vivianna Does Makeup and she couldn’t have said it any better, “Sometimes you just have to push through.” I have had several of those days last week and what I realized was that if I stopped what I was doing to make time to cry, when I was done feeling sorry for myself and upset, the work I was avoiding would still be there – I would essentially gain nothing from crying. That’s not to say that I didn’t call my mom on the way home to vent about my long day, but sometimes, you just need to push through what you’re doing. I think one of my favorite quotes can fit nicely here: Discomfort is only temporary.

(More on the blog: Review: Performing Under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry )

If you’re currently working your first 8 to 5 or would like to share what you learned while working your first “big kid job,” I’d love to hear it! Leave your story down below in a comment for me and other readers to read!

What did your first big kid job teach you?

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41 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned Working 8 to5

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Totally understand this! Just started my first 8-5 job, and I learned the “You won’t like everyone, but everyone has something to offer” lesson very early. I’ve actually been working a part-time job with it and finally put my two weeks in, because the mental strain was just too much!

    Everyone needs their alone time here and again :)

    Great post! xx, Elizabeth

  2. Meagan | Love by Meagan says:

    Congrats on being at your job a month! I completely agree with the breakfast point. I skipped breakfast in high school and my first year of college every single day because I simply didn’t leave time for me to eat in the morning. Then I was *starving* for the rest of the day. Totally not worth it!

    -Meagan | lovebymeagan.blogspot.com

  3. courtneydrew says:

    Great post! I learned alot of things at my first desk job, I agree with the eating, I find myself sometimes bored so I just snack (horrible habit), I find the urge to take a nap because you are so tired is so real. I dont understand why we dont have nap time in the real world.

    xo CourtneyDrew
    http://www.courtneydrew.com

  4. Mistle Petrey says:

    Yes to all of these! I have drank coffee numerous times on an empty stomach. Not a good idea. Which led me to start eating breakfast every morning. Of course I also know that liking everybody is impossible. I do like how you put everyone has something to offer. There have been several days that I have wanted to lay my head down and cry at my desk. I just keep moving on.

    • My Little Box of Tricks says:

      I totally know how that feels when you want to give up and just lay under your desk and take a nap. My favorite part I have to say about working in an office is being able to leave it at the end of the day haha!

    • My Little Box of Tricks says:

      Even if you don’t have time to sit down in the morning, you should look into some overnight breakfast recipes like overnight oats or even like make your own grab-and-go breakfasts. Seriously, you’ll notice the difference!

  5. Tiffany Khyla says:

    I work 8:30 to 5, and I’m so sad to say that caffeine has no affect on me! I guess that’s a good and bad thing. I’ve really been trying to get in the habit of eating breakfast. It makes a difference!

  6. jessicasbookhive says:

    You don’t realise what a big thing it is to work full time until you start. I started last October and struggled so much to begin with, the bags under my eyes had never been bigger (from lack of sleep and crying!!) It’s an adjustment but you’re right, sometimes you have to push through!

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