The first full-time job jitters

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The best part of being a kid is the sheer quality of unapologetic curiosity – it is simply the optimism and sense of adventure we held as children that makes us who we are today.

The reason we can test our limits and push ourselves to take challenges stems from this curiosity. For most of us, the journey to success and happiness is a constant pursuit of knowledge and opportunity.

For me, this September marks the next stage of my life wherein instead of going to school, I must prepare for a career.

I have been working at CIBC Mellon for about four months, yet, every day is new a challenge and I sometimes find myself reflecting back to when I first started university.

Although the responsibilities expected of me have changed, the core feelings remain the same. When I first started work, I was faced with the unknown. The same sense of anxiety and confusion was rolling deep into a pit in my stomach, just like when I started school.  However, unlike school, I slowly got used to it.

The transition – one of many to come in our lives – has the power to shape and refine our personality and thought-process.  That is, our coping mechanisms become stronger and going from final exams to fiscal years become an easier progression.

Upon starting my first full-time job, I had only one overarching goal: observe and absorb. I wanted to observe my surroundings, the professional etiquette, the daily routine, the corporate lifestyle and even the clothes.

Then, I wanted to conform using my own creativity and by staying true to who I am.  This quick change of mindset does take some time to materialize. However, this is one sure-fire way to go about professional self-development.

In the end, I realize that I have been a student for much longer than I have been a working professional – if in fact, I am a professional (:P) – and that these past four years of university have truly helped me come out of my shell.

That is, the breakdown of emotions, challenges and barriers I faced each year (i.e. getting into my program, maintaining my GPA, choosing courses, travelling, interning, etc.) have shaped my personality and abilities to what they are today.

Continuous growth post-university is only possible if we take advantage of the opportunities we have today.  On that note, never lose your curiosity and always be ready to face a challenge. More often than not, this is where you will thrive.

Aditi Shah,
B.Com. 2017 
*** Aditi will be writing and updating “the First 365” series for 2017-18. These posts will focus on her experiences in the workplace after graduation. 

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