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Grifyn McErlean

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

From left to right a lamp, laptop, and a stack of books are next to each other on desk
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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