Look at you. You’ve ditched those sweatpants with the hole in the crotch, and swapped 'em out for a pair of pants with an actual button. You’ve written a resume, and you're even waking up before noon as you search for this, your very first job out of college.
Before you start polishing that sign for your private parking spot, though, here are some expectations to let go of before you even spill coffee on your brand new shirt that first day.
Myth: People will care that you made the dean's list
This might sting a little bit, but that "A" in Philosophy means about as much to employers as life itself did to Nietzsche. Whether you were a star student or a total burnout, you’re just a recent grad now. Your GPA may not matter all that much, especially if you have no relevant experience.
The good news is, those skills you picked up by studying so hard in school will likely help you prove yourself to your employers as more than just another fresh-faced kid -- you’re also an excellent multi-tasker and total brown-noser.
Myth: Your new job will fulfill you creatively and intellectually, just like college did
In school, you were having intense theoretical discussions and pulling all-nighters that felt triumphant in the end. Now, if you’re lucky, you’ll be getting a headache rolling calls and sorting mail. Eventually, if you play your cards right, you’ll be in a job that’s actually interesting, but it’s likely going to take years of paying dues first.
Myth: Your job will definitely be in the exact field you studied
The Class of 2015 is poised to be hired at a rate nearly 10% higher than people who graduated the year before. If you don’t already have a gig lined up, though, it may take a minute to find something.
Most employers report that they do their hiring in the fall, and jobs in most industries are still insanely competitive to get. This could very well mean settling for a job that’s only kind of related to your major. Delivering pizzas is technically a form of food science, right?
Myth: Your financial woes will be over
You survived on the strict budget that is college life (and, in the process, learned how to make a killer sandwich using only condiments stolen from the cafeteria). Finally, you'll have a real paycheck now, and can look forward to rolling in it ... as long as you realize "it" is your student loan bill, rent, health insurance and any other expenses your parents had been helping out with. All on an entry-level salary. At least your new office has free condiments in the break room.
Myth: This is the job hunt to end all job hunts
Sending cold emails and resumes is exhausting and thankless, but you keep telling yourself that if you can just get over this hump, you’ll finally be at a place where you can chill for a few years. In reality, choosing a career path is like choosing a major. You might not know you really hate something until you give it the old college try.
Studies indicate that 80% of all workers in their twenties want to switch careers, so be prepared to spend this decade switching jobs as frequently as you switch sexual partners. At least your job won’t run off with your favorite sweatshirt.
Myth: Your parents will get off your back now
You cut your hair. You took out your nose ring. You even stopped dating that guy who changed his name to “Tree.” Now you have a job, so your parents can finally lay off the criticism ... as soon as you explain to them how much money you’re making, whom you'll turn to if this doesn’t pan out, and what exactly a “social media strategist” does. (That means you’re doing something with the Twitter, right?)