Itching to drop out of school and start your career? Sophia—who’s been there, done that—weighs in. Plus, what to do when you’re co-workers are burning the midnight oil but you really *need* to take a bath and do a face mask.
Another month, another installment of “Ask Sophia,” and this round, she tells readers what’s what when it comes to delicate work-life balances, whether it’s working long hours, entering the workforce as a young mom, or making a huge decision to quit school.
Have a burning question that only Sophia can answer, with all her Sophia-esque knowledge and experiences? Drop us a line RIGHT HERE and keep it tuned to this website to see if she answers your life quandaries.
I’ve been in college for two semesters now, but I feel like this is not where I’m supposed to be. What advice would you give to someone who plans to leave college to pursue their dreams and start their career now?
I’ve been there, and can totally relate. College isn’t for everyone. If your gut is telling you to get the hell out, it’s time to listen. But just one question before you do: Are you headed for the exit doors because it’s hard? Get used to it, because everything is hard. Finishing things is a skill you should learn early in life. It’s something that all the textbooks and academics in the world won’t teach you, but sticking it out will.
But if that’s really not it, then my advice is this: Follow your dreams! But start small. Find people on Linkedin who have the jobs you eventually want, and look at what they were doing just out of college. Reach out and politely ask if you can interview them. Find out everything you can about what your dream career trajectory might look like. Once you’ve done that and you have a real understanding of how they took their first steps, get out there and apply.
I work with a team of workaholics who won’t budge until it’s 7 p.m. The most disturbing part is that if I want to leave at 5 p.m., two things happen: 1.) I feel weird, since I’m the first person leaving (seriously—every day I feel apologetic about prioritizing my self-care over working super late), and 2.) I feel like my teammates talk behind my back about how I leave early while they stay late.
However, this is only my hunch and I’ve never heard them saying anything. This is all new to me, and I am freaking out. I’m missing too many sunset views and just generally missing out on life. Please help!
Oh man, sunset views. You and me both, sister! I think there are a few ways to look at this. Is this a small company that’s asking everyone to put in more hours than if you worked at a well-oiled mega-corporation? In that case, there may be an unspoken expectation regarding the hours you put in. Sit down with your manager and talk about it.
If you’ve truly put in a full day and all of your work is done, there is nothing to feel bad about. Go home! In smaller, growing companies, sometimes it can cause resentment to see people clock in and clock out, since there is usually more than exactly eight hours of work to do every day. However, working excessive hours is a slippery slope, and one you should monitor and keep on your manager’s radar. You don’t want to find yourself in over your head, or for the company to expect 12-hour workdays from you indefinitely. Unless you’re shooting a TV show, that is not normal.
I had my daughter at 21 and son at 23—young, in other words. I am now 25 and in my third year of college studying PR and advertising. I’m actively looking for an internship or entry-level job to get my foot in the door, but now I’m wondering whether companies are willing to hire a young mother.
I am not made to be a housewife for life, and I’m anxious to start kicking ass in the ad industry. Plus, I have the perspective of millennials and mothers, which can be a major win for companies. Also, I am done having kids and won’t have to take maternity leave, ever! But will companies feel the same?
—Mama On The Move
They’d betterbe open to hiring a young mother! You bring such a rich diversity of experience to any role at your young age, and with two little ones, you’ve had more responsibility than even I have. Congratulations—I don’t know how you do it!
And bravo for following your heart, as the stay-at-home-mom life isn’t for everyone. I would wear your motherhood like a badge of honor, and if anyone takes issue with it, it’s not where you want to be working anyway. Most 25-year-olds haven’t experienced half of what you have at your age, so be proud and don’t forget to send a thank-you note after those interviews!