A Look Back at My First Year in the Corporate World – Rewards & Challenges

I just got my annual letter of renewal from the MSU Alumni Association. Has it really been a year already? If you're nearing graduation, as I was one year ago, you're probably both excited and a bit freaked out about leaving college and transitioning into the corporate world. There are certainly a number of challenges and rewards during this period (I have often referred to myself as a "transitional adult"). I thought I'd have a little fun by borrowing a "pain assessment chart" from the health care profession to illustrate the rewards and challenges from my own experiences in my first year out of school. So here you have it, my year in review—from the most rewarding to the most challenging experiences. You may not see all of these factors in your own transition, but from conversations I've had throughout the year with friends in the same life-stage as myself, it sounds like a number of these factors and feelings are fairly common in the first "transitional" year.
Pain Chart
  • meeting new people
  • sense of accomplishment
  • seeing my work make a difference
  • actually putting my education into practice
  • having supportive friends in the same life stage that I'm in
  • finding an apartment in a new city
  • choosing health insurance
  • learning about 401(k)s
  • learning corporate culture
  • money
  • balancing vacation days in a year
  • work/life balance
  • proving myself
  • looking for stability
  • stressful days at work
  • having friends who are still in college and just don't understand
  • keeping track of how I spend every minute of my time at work for my timesheet
  • not having all the answers
  • long-distance relationship
  • losing touch with friends because we're all so busy tranistioning

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