Although I’ve been working since I was 16 (my first job was in Penneys), I didn’t start working full-time until I finished college in May 2016. Because I started working so young (by my own choice – I wanted my own money so I could buy clothes and books #priorities), I’ve always had a really strong work ethic.
It’s only when I was thinking a few days ago about finishing college a year and a half ago that I realised I’ve been working full-time ever since. Does that make me an official adult now? Also, where did all of my money go? Surely I couldn’t have spent it all on food and clothes… (Spoiler: I did)
Working full-time is very different to working part-time, as you might already know, but I thought I’d share with you a few things I’ve learnt over the last 17/18ish months.
Planning is key
I’m still struggling with this one, but in order to successfully do things outside of work, planning is essential. I sit down at the start of every week and plan what evenings I’m going to see my friends/boyfriend/family, what days I’ll (try to) go to the gym, when I want blog posts to go live. Sometimes life gets in the way and my plan doesn’t work, but it’s handy to have an idea of how I’m going to spend my week, instead of coming home and binging on Netlix – although I still do that too.
Meal prep is amazing… but not always possible
Oh I wish I could be one of those amazing people who plans and prepares their meals for the week at the weekend. 99 per cent of the time, this isn’t me. Yet when I do get the time to meal prep, I absolutely love it. Sometimes it’s just writing down what we’ll have for dinner Monday-Friday, other times it’s making a batch of soup and granola bars to snack on at the start of the week, and some days it’s managing to throw two slices of bread into my handbag so I’ve something to eat for lunch. Having something ready to eat makes life so much easier (and healthier), so I’m really going to try to up my meal prep game and make it part of my routine. Who’s with me?
Make the most of your commute
Whether your commute is 20 minutes or an hour long, doing something worthwhile during that time makes all the difference. Some days I use that time to send emails I never got a chance to reply to, texting a friend I haven’t spoken to in ages, making appointments I’ve been dreading or listening to a podcast (these are my favourites). I find that it really helps to actually use my time before work so that I feel like I’ve achieved something before I even sit at my desk.
Doing a job you love is so important
Considering full-time employment generally means you’ll be in the office 40+ hours a week, it’s hugely important that you love what you do. I’m so grateful that I love working in the industry that I do, and it makes it so much easier to get up in the morning when I know I’ll be spending the day doing something I really enjoy. I know it’s not always possible to be in a job you love, so if you’re in that position keep looking and training for a job in the field you want to work in and you’ll get there eventually.
I feel very adult-like writing this, but I really do love working full-time. I was so excited to finish college and get into the industry, and it really hasn’t let me down. The last year and a half has absolutely flown by – I’m so excited to see where the next few months are going to take me! [PS: Having a full-time salary is v dangerous for my online shopping habit, but I don’t plan on cutting back any time soon.]
Meal prep is amazing when you are short on time. I set out a meal plan at the start of the week and I cook and freeze what I can so that all I have to do is warm it up!