At the start of last year, I was offered a full-time job that would mix a wide variety of my creative abilities, all in one position. I was very, VERY blessed to get this job.

But I think that, because I wasn't really looking for one at that point, I wasn't mentally prepared for it. After all, it was my first full-time job ever! Looking back, the only thing I really did to prepare for the job was working on a Pinterest board called "Corporate Fashion."

That's all I'd need... right?

The job was to oversee and create "media" (such a vague term, I know... but in my job it encompasses things like photography, graphic design, social media, web-design, story-writing... and a few others) for a whole campus, where we have organisations that provide private education, and a pretty big Christian church.

Now, this is my second year in the same position, and I think now is when I can stop and evaluate what it's been like objectively. The good, the bad, and the ugly. If I could hop into a time machine, go back, and see myself before starting this job, I would have liked to give her some advice, just to make it a bit easier for her.

This is what I would tell 24-year-old Ana (maybe you can learn something from my experience too).

9 to 5 is a guideline when you're starting.
Sucks. But you will need to be flexible and willing to work extra hours to actually get your job done. It will pay off... promise!

Learn to get along with the team.
You're the newbie. Even if painful, always submit to your superiors. You're at a stage where you kinda need to prove your worth and slowly gain trust. Overtime, you will realise that, with trust, comes creative space for you to work more freely in your area and be innovative.

You might grow some grey hairs. Literally.
You will feel very overwhelmed in your first year, and that is ok! There will be nights when you'll barely be able to sleep, and even have dreams (nightmares) about your workload. You will also grow just a few white hairs... and you will cry when you see them. But you know what? They're all from stress. We stopped getting them after a while.

You might have meltdowns / breakdowns.
You'll have a few (private) ones. But I honestly think they were breakthroughs. Through getting to these critical points, you'll realise you need to tackle unresolved situations, or just deal with emotions. You'll come out stronger every time.

It's hard, but find time to enjoy yourself.
This will be tough for us as we're a task-driven person. But with a full-time job, these tasks are (obviously) never going to end. You will realise your days will follow the pattern of coming from work, crashing on the couch and watching movies. You'll be exhausted, but will slowly come to the realisation that there will always be something to do in our job, and that you need to take it easier. And specifically find the time to do what your soul needs!

Find the positives in your job, and share them.
It's so important to always look on the bright side. Even if called naive, be hopeful. Think of what an incredible opportunity you have: to be earning money, creating bonds, and always learning from your team and your tasks. Think that you are getting experience to get a bit closer to where you want to get eventually. And don't go into the muddy waters of talking bad about your job out of your workplace (or in!). It won't get you anywhere good.

Learn. Learn. Learn.
Wherever you find yourself in, absorb knowledge around you.  Stay creative. Stay curious. Talk to new people, be observant, have lunch with a co-worker, research about your area to stay current, ask questions... there's always something new to learn.

And overall, realise how blessed you are.
Honestly... having a full-time job is something many people would kill for.
I promise it will get more manageable, and you'll truly start to love your job. It surely won't be an easy one, but embrace the challenges and the honour of growing in your passion and being recognised for it.

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