14 Struggles Of Adjusting To Corporate Life Straight Out Of College

Unsplash Nick Karvounis
Unsplash Nick Karvounis

I’ve been in the corporate world for what feels like decades but is actually like 8 months. Now, I was fresh out of school when I got in the game and like you, I thought corporate life just meant you get to steal printer paper and sticky notes from the supply closet. I was definitely wrong. I mean I still do that but I wasn’t prepared for what else came with the job.

Below is a list of 14 terms or situations you’ll definitely find yourself in, should you embark on the suit wearing, politically correct journey of corporate America:

1. “Entry Level Salary”

I admit this is more of a pre-corporate life illusion. Going from being a part time worker to hearing the word ‘salary’ I basically took the first thing that was offered to me. Expect $32K. (Fun fact: do you know during a 7 hour work day that equates to around $15…lol). Don’t expect to be able to pay rent and eat – you must choose one.

2. “I’ll flip you that email”

The only thing flipping is Susan because someone stole her favourite coffee mug out of the kitchen. Flip actually means send.

3. “Blah blah blah do this, cool?

Cool means ‘do you understand what I’m saying?’

4. “Yes”

Means ‘no, I do not understand what you’re saying’

5. “I’ll send him a note

Like, a pigeon note? A handwritten letter? No. A note is an email. My boss asked me to send my coworker a note on my first day and I shit you not, I wrote an extensive message on a sticky note *embarrassed emoji.

6. lol, IDGAF, IMO are not the acronyms you’ll be using probably

MPA, CTA, EOD, NDA, IO, CPC, CPM, PB&J, BLT etc. Okay the last two are just a result of my current hunger. But during my first week at my company, people thought I had bladder issues since I would hide out in the washroom Googling all these weirdo grownup terms.

7. “Are you aligned?”

Surprisingly, this is not a discrete way for people to ask if you’re straight. Aligned means ‘do you agree with this/are we all on the same page?’

8. Lunch n learn

ALWAYS check your calendar for your next day meetings. Lunch n learns means you get to save a portion of that $32K and mow down on free food. Lunch n learns are when companies come in, provide your team with lunch and explain their new products to you, or some bullshit. What actually happens? You get anxiety from eating in front of all your coworkers and bosses, only eat half of whatever bougie thing they brought, pay attention to a quarter of the presentation, resent the presenter and leave hungrier than you arrived.

9. Get used to emailing everyone…about everything

You can sit 4 feet away from your coworker Darren but he will still email you asking to help him with something. At first it will be weird and antisocial but in 3 weeks you’ll find yourself emailing Taylor about organizing some lunch n learn together.

10. Company IM

Every corporate office has an instant messaging system. When you finally make friends, this will be the source of juicy and apparently HR monitored gossip. Whether it’s how Jen’s shoes don’t match her skirt or deciding between a lunch spot for your break you’re kinda loving how you’re back in high school. There’s not a whole lot of emojis to choose from but it gets you through the day and keeps you off your phone and looking productive.

11. Never admit you’re not busy

Never EVER tell your coworkers you’ve got free time. they will ask you to help and you will regret it. If you happen to be an efficient worker, bask in that, discreetly online shop, steal those sticky notes!

12. LinkedIn Love

Step ya damn LinkedIn game up! Everyone on your floor will most likely connect with you and you’ll want to put a face to the name. Take a decent profile pic – not the selfie you dropped on your Instagram in an American Apparel crop top though.

13. Say goodbye to windows

I didn’t think I’d miss looking outside and seeing the brutal Canadian winter a few times a day but I was dead wrong. The term ‘open concept’ sounds nice, until it turns out your desk will probably be facing a window and that window is facing a brick wall.

14. Drink Cart

Most large corporations will have a drink cart every Friday. Mine has $2 beers and wine. There’s not really a limit on how many you can buy but trust me when I say it’s frowned upon to order more than 3. Drink responsibly – said my boss, probably.TC mark

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