I realize earlier that today marks one month since I started my new job, one month since I had to get up and toil in the salt minds that is retail merchandising. One month since I actually started using my degree.
And it’s been pretty good so far.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, of course. The learning curve can at times been challenging, but I think I’ve started getting a handle on things. But I’ve started to settle in, and while it’s still annoying when people talk about things like I’m expected to know what they’re referencing (I had a similar complaint about grad school; maybe it’s an architect thing), I am starting to get more comfortable doing things on my own.
Sure, it still often feels like I’m just parroting previous people’s work. And sure, I still feel weird asking for help on things that I “should” know about (even, no, especially when I would have no way of finding things out on my own). But the sense of panic I felt during the first week or so is starting to fade. Even if it did flare up yesterday when everyone else was out of the office and I was left to fend for myself.
Don’t worry, nothing burned down.
The biggest changes for me so far have been how much time I’m spending in front of computers each day, and how much brain power I’m having to use throughout the day.
The screen time ting really amuses me, since it’s less of an increase and more of a return to normal. When I worked in the computer lab or as an A/V technician, I spent a lot of time at my computer. It wasn’t uncommon for me to spend all day sitting at my desk, breaking up stretches of work with liberal recreational activities (mostly surfing blogs and playing games; get your mind out of the gutter), and then go home for more of the same. It wasn’t until I started at Costco that I ended up off the computer for extended periods; it’s kind of hard to wrangle carts with one hand and keep your laptop’s Wi-Fi connection with the other. And for as much as this might be a return to “normal,” it still feels weird.
Of course, for as much as time I was spending on the computer back in the day, I wasn’t having to expend much mental effort. Now, though, I spend my days either poring over drawings and redline comments or massaging the aforementioned documents in AutoCAD. While working off a base of half-understood precedents and previous work other people in my office have completed. Needless to say, this tends to take a lot of energy on my part.
I also haven’t had much of a chance to do much physical book reading; I’ve got a lot of interesting-sounding ebooks on my tablet, and I’m trying to work my way through those as well. But something about me misses the physical sensation of turning a page, of having to remember to turn on the light while in bed.
But I digress.
Long story short, I think my first month at the new job has been going well. I’m learning, practicing, and (hopefully) improving every day. Plus, I’m really enjoying having my evenings and weekends free on a regular basis. Like, really enjoying it; having a normal schedule is one of those things you take for granted until it’s too late.