I Don’t Relate To My Friends Who Don’t Have Full-Time Jobs

Remember when I used to write a lot about being unemployed? Well, I can’t do that anymore because I have a job now {obviously). If I did, it would be totally be phony. It’d be like season five of The Hills when you had to watch Lauren Conrad steam dresses at People’s Revolution when you knew she already had a clothing line at Kohl’s. Don’t insult me! Much of what I wrote was taken from the dreadful year I spent unemployed when the wounds were still fresh for me. For the past nine months though, I’ve held down a full-time job and boy, does it change your lifestyle. More than adjusting to a new bedtime, it’s like you’re being ushered into a secret society—a society full of WORKERS who have “work friends” and do happy hour and talk constantly about their job and have references and casual business lunches. It all exists far, far away from the land of the unemployed and it feels like a privilege to even be included in it.

So much of the past year has revolved around work for me, and it’s changed my life in many ways. One of the more notable differences is the distance that develops between your friends who are still working part time at a restaurant or a clothing store, or worse not even at all. It’s weird, it’s uncomfortable, and no one likes to talk about it, but it’s real. My friends who have full-time jobs like me often talk about it (at our secret meetings for the employed) and vocalize the gap that now exists between us. At this point, everyone is in different places in their life. We spent the entirety of our lives on the same exact track and now we’ve been spit out and forced to find our way. I’m not complaining. This is what I expected to happen. What I didn’t predict, however, was how drastically my social life was going to change.

It’s competitive out there in the job market. This we know. But it’s also competitive between friends. It’s largely unspoken, of course, but the desire to usurp your peers is very real. Unspoken resentments fester that lead people to drift. Suddenly people are consumed by their job status. The unemployed live their own lives while the 9-to-5ers live theirs. I mean, it’s not SO dramatic. Your close friendships aren’t going to fall apart because of jobs, or lack thereof. It just changes things a bit. And the changes will surprise you. You weren’t prepared for this facet of twentysomething life—the idea that everyone is in different spots with their professional life and that it might cause some distance and tension. WHAT? No one told me that at my college graduation. I thought my friendships would remain in mint condition, no matter what! What is this “distance” you speak of?! Well, here it is. Just another fun surprise brought to you by your mid-twenties. Having a job is amazing obviously but sometimes I wish my friends and I were still in school drinking boxed wine and talking about gender issues. It might not have been much but at least we were all on the same weird page. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – dickuhne

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