… for starting the young professional life

It’s official – I am a twenty-something professional.

This past week, I started working as an administrative coordinator for a nonprofit organization. Tons of family members and friends have me the inevitable question: “How is work?” That little question is always followed by a moment where I rack my brain for the right words because there is so much to say about work.

For starters, like anything that is new, the job is challenging. As an administrative coordinator, a lot of people may immediately think the job entails a ton of pushing papers. Though that is definitely one aspect of it, administrative coordinators are also very much the glue of the organization. So while I am learning how to manage certain forms and contracts and correspond in a way that reflects the organization accurately, I am also meeting many people throughout the organization and trying to figure out how to work with their contrasting personalities. The job is also very demanding, requires an extreme amount of attention to detail, and never ends. It is a lot tougher than I expected, but the fact that it is difficult is not to say that it is negative. I think it is actually quite flattering that I was hired to fill this position!

As an organization dedicated to research and policies, Ph.D. and Master’s degrees are commonplace. Working with high profile people is a normal part of the day. This means that the workplace has been very intimidating! To make matters worse, I have already made my fair share of blunders on the job. (Trust me, I am taking those mistakes and doing my best to learn from them so I’ll never make them again!) With the help of fantastic coworkers, I learned so much over the course of the week. My coworkers have taught me the office policies and procedures, of course, but they have also taught me how to maneuver through the stress and the oftentimes overwhelming nature of the job. I could not be happier to have such a hard-working, driven, and positive group around me.

So how is work? It is as rigorous and exhausting as it is incredible and astounding. At the heart of the matter, though, I know that I have a job in a fulfilling organization right after graduating college and in an economy, though slowly recovering, where 9% of the population struggles to find employment. I am so blessed.

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