4 Things I’ve Learned After Starting a Full-Time Job … Before Graduating College

News conference

I recently graduated from college. It still doesn’t seem all that real, but one thing that has helped me face this reality is working at Esker. I’ve been working part-time over the last month, coming in a few hours before class in the morning. Esker has been so great in helping me navigate the transition from being a college student to entering the workforce and I feel really lucky to be starting my career here!

Here are a few things I’ve learned in my first couple weeks.

  1. Hours aren’t as rigid as they seem. I’ve always heard of the traditional 9-5 schedule, but it seems like there’s more flexibility with hours than I thought. Most people start around 8:30 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m., but there are some that start a couple hours earlier so they can leave earlier in the day. Summer hours start in a couple weeks, too, where you can choose to work an extra half-hour Monday-Thursday so that you can have a half day every other Friday. Your schedule can change as needed, as long as it’s reasonable and you let the other people on your team know when you’ll be in.
  2. Company culture is important. After one of my first days here, I went to a class right after where my professor took a whole segment out of lecture to talk about the importance of working at a place where you like the people you work with. One of the things I learned about Esker from the interview process is that they have a really high employee retention rate, which says a lot about the strength of their company culture. I can already tell from my first couple weeks in the office that Esker is a place people enjoy working at, and I know that will play a huge role in my own job satisfaction down the line.
  3. The transition is still tough. It doesn’t really matter how cool a workplace is or how much I may like what I get to do; it’s still a very different lifestyle from the last 16 years of my life. For me, college was such a great experience. I loved being able to have slow mornings before an 11 a.m. class, take a break in the middle of the day to go hang out in the UW Arboretum, or watch Netflix with a friend while doing homework. I’ve gotten used to doing work at odd hours of the day depending on what fits my schedule. I’ll have to adjust to working within a certain time frame so that other people can get their work done, too. That being said, everyone at Esker has been really helpful and patient with me while I adjust and making that change doesn’t seem too hard at all.
  4. Learning doesn’t stop. It’s different than college but it somehow feels weightier, like what I do here affects more than just me. But the things I’m learning seem to be more practical and intuitive than things I’ve learned in a classroom, and it’s exciting to know that my evenings will be my own — free from studying!

Do you remember what your transition from school to a full-time job looked like? Do you have any tips for a recent college grad entering the workforce? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Amanda Samuel

Whether it’s creating content for social media, keeping customers engaged and enthusiastic, or planning solution-specific educational webinars, Amanda does a little bit of everything as a Marketing Coordinator for Esker. Outside the office, you can find her running around downtown Madison, hanging out with friends on her front porch, or cheering on the Badgers with naïve optimism.

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