5 Lessons Learned From My First Big Girl Job

I have officially been a grown up for two weeks now. Meaning that I’ve been employed full time by someone who provides me with medical and dental insurance. I have had more thoughts in the past two weeks than I have had in the past two years of my life. I have learned a lot about myself and I have confused myself quite a bit. So, as always, I am going to write down my thoughts, fears, doubts and quandaries in the hope that maybe I will not drown in them. And of course, maybe I can help someone else who may have some of the same thoughts.

1. I still don’t know what I want to do. I became a Legal Assistant in hopes to get more exposure to the legal field so that I can decide whether or not I want to invest time and money in attending law school. So far, I am not inspired. I have yet to find a woman attorney who has a family as well as a successful career. One of the female attorneys I work with gave this advice to a colleague who is going to law school in the fall.

” Don’t go to law school. I thought I would have this fabulous, glamorous lifestyle where I got to do whatever I wanted and I have the exact opposite. My dating life is almost non-existent and every day is worse than the day before. The first five years of practicing law are the worst and from then on out, you just accept your fate and you realize that this is your life.”

Not exactly the best endorsement for law school, but I was surprised at her honesty. And I really appreciated it. It’s refreshing for someone to tell you the ugly truth in order to try and help you make such a big decision in your life.

2. I really do love school. For the most part, I’ve always loved school. I enjoy learning and sharpening my mind. Knowledge is power and there is no limit to what you can learn if you truly put your mind to it.

3. I don’t think my perfect job exists. I want to make my own hours, work maybe part-time and do some kind of combination of baking, writing, and learning.  I’ve thought about being a teacher because then I can help others learn (and I get holidays and summers off). I’ve thought about going back to school, but the thought of more student loan debt makes my chest tighten. I’ve thought about applying to be a baker, but I have no experience and need to make decent money in order to pay off those loans. I’ve considered writing for a living, but… well… Any writers reading this know, that’s easier said than done. And yes, I’ve thought about law school still. And I continue to think about all of these things. But I can’t help but think that the thing I want most of all, more than a successful career, is a successful marriage and family. Eventually.

4. I also do not know if I could handle relying on someone else for money. I have been working steadily since I was 16 years old. I have absolutely had help from my family, but for the most part, I have to pay for the things I want. Putting the burden of supporting a family on one individual just doesn’t seem fair to me. That seems like a huge weight on my future husband’s shoulders that I don’t want to be responsible for. However, it’s a catch-22 because I want to stay home and raise my children. And then I wonder, “Wouldn’t that be a waste of a degree?” “Is any degree really a waste?”

5. Finally, I have decided that life is far too short to do something that you don’t absolutely love; and to surround yourself with people who you don’t absolutely love. We are given a limited amount of time on this earth. Our days with our loved ones are numbered. If I am going to spend the majority of time away from my family, I better feel invigorated by what I do. I better love what I do so much that everyday I don’t wish that I was somewhere else. There is so much I want to do with the small amount of time I have here on earth and I don’t want to trap myself in one position in the name of success or salary.

I know that I am still young and I still have plenty of time to figure everything out. I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to have a plan all the time. And that I can still completely switch gears and do something else. Every time I think about why I can’t do something that I want to do I remember this quote:

“She turned her ‘can’ts’ into ‘cans’ and her dreams into plans.”


3 thoughts on “5 Lessons Learned From My First Big Girl Job

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