Today I started my new job and I haven’t stopped smiling since I got home. I graduated from the Art Institute with a bachelors degree in Graphic Design. It was the best four years of my life. I learned a tremendous amount about myself, life, friendships. I learned who I was and who I wanted to grow up to be. Since graduating I worked at two companies that I thought were dream jobs, but really, they were positions that taught me to never forget who I am because of a job. 

Don’t change who you are to impress a boss. Of course, I was freshly out of college and would have gone above and beyond to impress that boss. Well, because I did that, I got taken advantage of. I changed who I was to get that good review. I totally changed the way I was thinking, acting, everything. Everyday when I would leave, I would just sit in my car for a few minutes and think, what am I doing? It wasn’t until I left that role that I realized, never ever change who you are. It’s okay to impress that boss, go above and beyond to show how capable you are, but don’t let anyone take advantage of you. You’re happiness is way more important.

Find a role that helps you grow professionally and personally. You want to surround yourself with coworkers that have a drive to succeed but still know how to have fun, support you to achieve, and teach you things you might have not known. An environment where your coworkers will make you feel like a better person, an environment where you consistently have drive to do more!

Change your vision of a perfect role. It’s funny how this has changed for me over the years. I thought those roles where perfect. But the longer I worked there, the more I realized what I wanted my future to look like. It taught me to be more picky with job searching and not just applying for anything and everything.

My new graphic design role is exactly what I’ve come to realize I want. It’s design work that is fun, creative, and challenging. There’s a healthy work-home life balance. And the coworkers I’m surrounded with genuinely love their roles.

For those of you in your final year of college. This is the opportunity to be picky with the jobs you look for. Don’t stray away from what you want your future to look like, and never change who you are. Find that role that will make you into an amazing person, friend, wife, sister.

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