The 50 Things You Must Realize Once You're Employed And Entering The Real World

by Paul Hudson

Ah, remember your very first paycheck? Your very first job, first time being employed? It feels like it was just yesterday, getting my first paycheck sometime around my 12th birthday. Some of us look back to that first job with a feeling of nostalgia — others, on the other hand, can’t remember those days because their minds have locked up those horrible memories deep, deep down.

Your first real job is one that changes you for better or for worse. It can show how much you are really capable of or how much more you have to learn, and how hard it can be to make a decent living — even in a country like ours.

Your first job tells you just as much about yourself as the first time you fell in love. Both relationships expose you to a new side of reality, both require you to put forward a true effort for the first time, and both almost always leave you a little bruised and a bit wiser. Here are the 50 things that we come to realize after our first time holding down a real, grown-up job:

1. Being financially independent isn’t as fun as you thought it would be.

2. Other than work, there’s little time for anything else.

3. Your jobless friends are somehow too busy to free up their schedules to match yours.

4. Tired is the new black.

5. It seems like there’s no time to exercise — and if there were, you’d be too tired anyway.

6. Eating healthy becomes super important since you no longer exercise as much.

7. Eating healthy requires too much planning, so you don’t eat healthy.

8. You don’t get paid extra for rush hour.

9. Coffee is your new lover — the only friend you really need.

10. You spend more in taxes than you do in rent.

11. Doubles aren’t so bad once you work yourself numb.

12. Jobs have dress codes… who knew?

13. You can’t afford new clothing because this is your first job.

14. All pockets have an invisible hole that money falls out of as you walk down the street.

15. You can go to the bathroom 10 times during the workday without ever actually using the bathroom.

16. You’re not the smartest person in the room.

17. A human can survive off microwaveable Ramen.

18. You can spend half your day dicking around, get all your work done on time and still get paid your full salary.

19. Most managers are clueless.

20. You never, ever eat someone else’s lunch. And if you do, make sure that person never finds out it was you.

21. Sharing is caring… but get your damn hands off my Cup of Noodles.

22. It’s awesome having a hot coworker.

23. After you sleep with said coworker, awesome turns to awkward.

24. It’s very hard to avoid someone in the workplace.

25. Social circles apparently aren’t only for high school.

26. Some people don’t grow out of bullying.

27. That popular girl in high school doesn’t grow out of being that popular girl once she puts on a pant suit and starts working in an office.

28. You should have enjoyed college more when you had the chance.

29. Partying like a rock star doesn’t go down well with a 9 to 5.

30. Being late to work is a lot worse than being late to class.

31. The only happy people in the office are those who actually want to be there.

32. If you don’t love your job then you either hate it or will hate it in the future.

33. Working a dead end job will drive you crazy over time.

34. The people you work with are just as important as where you work.

35. You can’t force yourself to enjoy things you aren’t naturally inclined to enjoy.

36. Your family respects you more now that you are financially independent.

37. Your broke friends won’t be shy to ask you to borrow money.

38. The more you work, the more you want to let off steam.

39. Letting off steam is easier after a few pints.

40. The more you drink, the more difficult it is to work and the more you’ll need another drink.

41. Silence is the sweetest form of music.

42. One can actually work oneself into the ground.

43. When you work full time, it’s difficult to find time to date.

44. A person can only go so long without sex.

45. Dating is expensive and often unrewarding.

46. It’s nice to have someone, anyone, to come home to.

47. That anyone may be a cat.

48. It’s not always easy to separate your personal life from your professional one.

49. Getting your thoughts to stop running takes practice and patience.

50. You still have a while to go before you can retire.

Photo credit: USA Networks/Suits