Going through college, very few people think, “When I graduate, I hope I work in a building where I go back to being a number and get saddled to that email ding on my phone.”
I get it. I never wanted to work for the man, sit in a cubicle or wear dress pants on a daily basis, but now that I have, I’ve come to terms with it.
l have unlimited access to printing and pens, a company credit limit higher than my salary and no real definition of a budget.
Some of the fanciest places I’ve stayed and most decadent meals I’ve eaten have been because of the 17-million-dollar backbone of the company to which I commit 60 hours a week.
Hell, I’ve been on a private jet as a result of corporate America.
Aside from that, I've begun to understand how the world works outside of going to the DMV to replace the ID I lost the previous weekend and moving money from one account to another to pay my parents for my cell phone bill.
You learn the more cutthroat, don't-give-a-sh*t mentality that runs the business world. You learn that you won’t get recognized for everything you do.
Rather, the person who told you to do it will get the praise. But, people will notice if you can’t recognize the senior vice president of finance.
You can do a world of good, but one misplaced comma will soil all of what you’ve done well, squandering a close-to-flawlessly-run event into a skid mark on the undies of your department.
You will be a glorified intern until you prove yourself, and even once you do prove yourself as a functioning member of the team, you will be plagued with tasks of data entry because you are under 25.
You come to realize you have to roll with the punches, even if the punch happens to be spending two days creating shadow boxes for statues of the state bird of Colorado.
You learn what it means to work for the weekend.
Most importantly, you learn that you'll get out of a job what you put into it. I spent my first four months in this position treating it as a stop-gap measure, spending any free time I had applying for other “cooler” jobs and writing blog posts.
After some shifts in my department, I was somewhat forced into a much more important role with more responsibility, which I was in no way prepared or qualified to do.
I learned a multitude of skills, found a potential career path and the importance of accountability. You learn the ins-and-outs of how to fake it until you make it because that is all a corporation is — a group of people faking it.
I was that person who asked for a promotion after five months at a job, and I’m not ashamed of it. Corporate businesses are large, and advancement is right at your fingertips if you just go for it.
Even though there are days when I sit in the parking lot giving myself pep talks before I muster up the gusto to walk into my building, and even though there are nights when I can’t sleep because of the severe anxiety my job causes, and even though this office has caused me to gain a good 10 pounds, the experience this position has given me is and will continue to be a wonderful stepping stone.
And, one day, I will have one of those “cool” jobs for which I spent my first months at my desk applying, but for now, I’ll take my sell-out corporate salary, pay off some loans and live to see another Friday.