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Career Confessions from Gen Z: Welcome to the Workforce!

Apr 24

Within the next month, several college students will be graduating and entering the workforce. This post is targeted towards you.

First of all, if you’re about to graduate and haven’t found a job yet, don’t freak out. It’s hard to land a full-time position before you graduate. Many businesses are looking to get employees in right away and may be turned off by the fact that you can’t start until after graduation. If you find a good company and they really want you, they will hold the job for you.

Landing your first full-time position after graduation is also difficult because you don’t have much experience yet. However, you are graduating at a great time. The economy is good, and companies are short on employees.

Secondly, working a full-time job is so much different than college. You’ve been in school for at least the last 15 years, but sitting at a desk for eight plus hours a day is very different.

While you were in school you sat in class most of the day and then came home to do homework at night. When you start out in an entry-level job, you will probably not have to bring work home every night or on the weekends. Sure, this may happen occasionally, but it won’t be as constant as homework was in school.

With this being said, you will probably have more free time in the evenings, but being at work all day is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting so you may not be up for doing much with your additional free time.

I consider myself an extrovert, but by the end of the day I don’t want to interact with people anymore because that is what I spent the last eight hours doing.  When you are at work you have to constantly be “on” because the phone will ring, or someone could walk into your office at any point and you need to be prepared.

While in school you were also always surrounded by people your age.  This is not the case when you first enter the workforce. Since our generation is just entering the workforce, finding coworkers our age is few and far between.

All of my coworkers are married and have kids, but I’ve gotten used to hearing stories about their kids and enjoy it. Having friends at work is great, but it’s also important to have friends outside of work too in order to separate yourself from work sometimes.

For those of you about to graduate from college, congratulations!  Welcome to the real world. It is time to start “adulting!”


Mallory Armbrustmacher graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a BA in Human Resource Management. She is an HR Generalist with the State of Michigan, Talent and Economic Development Department Human Resource Office, where she coordinates ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Ergonomic Assessments. In addition, she takes the lead on various special projects, conducts new employee orientations, processes payroll, and assists in labor relations, classifications, and selection. She is currently studying for the SHRM-CP exam, but also loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, and cooking.

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