Skip to main content

Grifyn McErlean

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

empty
From left to right a lamp, laptop, and a stack of books are next to each other on desk
Credit
Freddie Marriage on Unsplash
The fact that you are out there and trying to get a job or are already working, shows you are a freaking all-star in your own right and are already adulting every day that passes.

As someone who has had countless jobs in the past, the opportunity to work as a Marketing Sales Coordinator in a classic 9-5 office job was exciting for me. Not only would this give me a consistent schedule, which I’ve always envied, but I could actually say all those things you hear on TV and in movies from happy or disgruntled office employees. I was now the “TGIF!” and “Mondays, am I right?” kind of guy.

Aside from the little things like that, I learned a few things along this 12-week journey that I found helpful in adjusting to adulthood that I’m sure others would appreciate.

Don’t Write Off Your Weekday Evenings

Early on in my Co-op, once the clock struck 5:00 PM, I perceived that to be the end of my day. Why I thought that I couldn’t tell you, because there is still so much quality time left in the day. I wouldn’t make plans on weekdays because I always viewed them as “workdays”, so I wasted many days in the first two weeks. Once I realized that the earth is still spinning after 5:00 PM and that you CAN still do things after you punch out, I was much happier and valued my days more.

Two hands holding an old-fashioned analog clock in the air
Credit
Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash
Pack Your Lunch

Having a Starbucks in the same building as my office proved to be extremely dangerous, and I’m not even a coffee guy! From the multiple ham and cheddar sandwiches, Vanilla Cold Brews, and buttered croissants, my bank account was taking a HIT. Once I started to grocery shop more, meal prep, and make my coffee at home and put it in a travel mug, my bank account and I started to be friends again. It’s a little bit of extra work the night before to meal prep, but it will save you fortunes down the road (and it’s much healthier).

Row of four different food bowls containing (from left to right), pasta, salad, and two fruit salads
Credit
S'well on Unsplash
Get Your 8 Hours

Go to bed… oh my goodness, go to bed. I know that it’s tempting not to value sleep because you’re a student who is used to all-nighters and surviving your 8:30 AM lecture on Red Bulls and shots of espresso, but an 8-hour sleep just hits different. It made a world of difference when I began to cut my nights short to get myself a nice, long sleep. Get those zzz’s.

A woman sleeping
Credit
Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash
Enjoy Your Mornings

Something that made me enjoy my work, and my day in general, more, was not rushing out the door in the morning. This meant that I had to cut my nights even more so that I could get up nice and early, enjoy a big breakfast, and not worry about catching my bus. So just relax, read a book, or in my case, watch those sports highlights you missed yesterday. That being said, that’s just what I enjoyed, you might be someone who likes to enjoy their nights.

An open book and mug side by side
Credit
Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Keep a Work Journal

This was something that I recommend to everyone. I kept a nice little running word document where I kept track of the tasks assigned to me with little thoughts I had along the way so that I could remember: a) what I did during my co-op so that I can put in my resume, and b) my opinions on different types of work that I did, so that I know in the future if it’s something I like. 10/10 would journal again.

Closed journal with the words, "write ideas" on the front, beside a number 2 pencil
Credit
Aaron Burden on Unspalsh

Regardless of whether this is your first work term or your final work term, the fact that you are out there and trying to get a job or are already working, shows you are a freaking all-star in your own right and are already adulting every day that passes. Congrats, and keep hustling!

About the Author

Grifyn McErlean

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Connect with Grifyn via LinkedIn.
Jien Hilario photo
What’s in a Name? Coming to Terms With Labelling Myself as a Person With a Disability

If you were to see Jien on campus, you wouldn’t know that she had a disability. She does not use a wheelchair nor does she have a seeing eye dog. She has an invisible disability. In this article, Jien shares her journey on how she came to terms with labeling herself as a person with a disability. 

Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere
Why Doesn’t Canada Have a Disabilities Act?

It is 2018 and Canada has not yet implemented adequate protection and legislation for people with disabilities. When it comes to equality for all, Canada is falling far behind. In this article, Jien discusses the research and reality of why Canada needs a Disabilities Act.

We Can Do It!
How to Satisfy Your Inner Activist

When people think about social justice, they think of things like protests or hunger strikes, but the options don’t end there. These volunteer organizations can help you satisfy your inner activist.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Seeking

Banner of Canucks Game
Scoring the Job

If you have a passion for hockey and can afford to work without a weekly pay cheque (a $1000 honorarium is provided at the end of the term), then applying for a Co-op job with the Vancouver Canucks could prove to be an unforgettable experience. Landing a coveted internship isn't easy, but if you're up for the challenge, read on and you could soon be calling yourself a Canuck.

Portrait of Elizabeth
Getting Familiar with Adobe Creative Suite

Within the first week of my second work term, it became apparent just how much I would be working with Adobe Illustrator. I felt I should be an expert when I was, in fact, still a beginner. How would I rise to the challenge, and become more familiar with the Adobe Suite while on the job?

Silvia, Lindsay, Christine and Martyna smiling at the camera with their co-worker, Diya
SFU Health Sciences Takes India!: Introductions

Meet the girls! Martyna, Silvia, Lindsay and Christine introduce themselves here by telling us about their hobbies, their likes and dislikes and what they love about India so far. Get to know them and follow them on an arm chair journey around India!