My first day in the ‘real world’

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It’s that time of year, and your social media outlets are blowing up about first days. For many it’s the “first day of school,” whether it’s kindergarten or college. For me, today is my first day at my first professional job. The first real step into the real world.

You’ve been training for this your entire life, or so you’re told.

Get good grades >> go to college >> get a job (live happily ever after?)

But even after years of curriculum, hundreds of assignments, tests, internships and all the advice your brain can seem to handle…today was still a little intimidating.

Having realistic expectations

Like most people, I have a “dream job,” although it’s definitely changed throughout the years. When I was growing up I wanted nothing more than to be a killer whale trainer at SeaWorld, then I wanted to work in a big cat rehabilitation center, and there were many others in between (artist, the person who gets to name nail polish colors, florist, etc.).

As I learned about my strengths, weaknesses and passions, my dream job became something more obtainable – at least more than “the person who gets to name nail polish colors.” It became something through which I could make a difference, or as I like to say, move for things that matter.

However, as I creeped closer and closer to the end of my college career, it was important for me to accept that I might not get my dream job right away. And I mean fully accept it – because not getting my dream job doesn’t mean that I won’t “move for things that matter.”

A job that wasn’t originally thought of as a dream job can still turn out to be just as wonderful; it might even surprise you!

Learning to appreciate every opportunity

In my *ideal* mind, I wanted to move far away. I have loved growing up in the South, but similar to many, I have a case of wanderlust. More than that, I have a desire to experience new cultures, learn from people different than myself and continuously grow. So for me, one way I could accomplish these things was by moving far away. I idealized certain areas of the country/world and began to dream of my life in these places.

Well, life doesn’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t make it any less of a blessing. I’ve started a new home in Birmingham, Alabama – so although I didn’t travel very far, I still have an opportunity to experience, learn and grow.

I am a convenient distance from my family and friends, which could prove comforting in my new stage of adulthood (and even gives me an excuse to go to Auburn football games this fall – War Eagle). I will still have the chance to branch out of my comfort zone, both professionally and socially. I will still have opportunities to learn from others and share my values.

It’s all about perspective.

Anticipating personal growth

So here I find myself in the real world making big girl decisions.

I accepted a job that would provide professional experience, enhance my skills, progress my education and expand my marketability. Although I’m new to the business world, I have found comfort in a company that provides a family-like culture and an opportunity to develop my professional career.

I moved into an apartment in a city I know little to nothing about. It might not be what I had originally planned, but even so, I am excited about the opportunities I can create right here in Birmingham.

A few of the possibilities:

  • reconnect with friends who also live in the area
  • make new friends
  • provide local support of Camp Smile-A-Mile, Alabama’s program for children with cancer
  • join a local climbing gym and further my newly found love for bouldering
  • attend some of the many concerts held in the area

My time in this city is what I make of it. So far I’ve done a lot of unpacking, read two books and cuddled with my cat, but I anticipate many adventures to come.

It’s OK to be intimidated

So yeah, today was my first day. I didn’t really know what to expect, and was a bit nervous about my new responsibilities. But turns out, one of things my new boss wanted me to do on my first day…blog about it! So, here I am! I realize I have a lot to learn, but I also know I have a lot to offer. Today I feel excited, anxious and nervous all at the same time, and that’s OK.

I’m in the real world now – and I feel both heavy and light.

I am thankful for the many friends who have wished me luck and sent me positive messages; it is a reassuring feeling to have an encouraging support system, and WOW, do I have some great friends! I am thankful for my parents who have continuously instilled values of hard work and dedication – I hope I can make you proud. I am thankful for the wonderful education I received at Auburn University; thank you to my professors and colleagues for the preparation and patience.

I am thankful for my new job and cooperative colleagues, and the opportunity to grow.

I’m looking forward to my second day in the real world.


10 Responses to “My first day in the ‘real world’

  • Janey Allen
    7 years ago

    I’m really proud of you Tori!! We moved here from B’ham and really liked it. The first question you will hear is who do you root for AU or AL. It is a very important part of the culture. We loved the mountains and the people. My niece lives there now with her husband and baby in Homewood/Mountainbrook area. Any friend of mine, they would love to help. Kelly is really sweet. Good luck and lots of love.

    • Tori Rivers
      7 years ago

      Thank you so much Mrs. Janey! Everyone seems to have nothing but good things to say about the Birmingham area, so I am looking forward to finding things I love about the city. Thanks for the well wishes.

  • Tiffany Sheri
    7 years ago

    Proud of you 🙂

  • Tori, I so appreciate knowing all those little things about your past expectations. And even though you have put some distance between yourself and Sharpsburg, know that if you need anything, or just have a question. we are here for you. Best of luck on your new endeavors!

    • Tori Rivers
      7 years ago

      Thank you so much Mr. Nigrelli. I appreciate your support and feedback!

  • Cindy Harden
    7 years ago

    You are awesome!!! Live life to the fullest. I know you will! Love you, Cindy

  • You make me so proud. So excited to see you blossom.

    • Tori Rivers
      7 years ago

      You make me proud too, friend. Love and miss you dearly.

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