Dear Harlan: I’ve been in a new job for two months following graduation from college. It’s an entry-level position at a large marketing firm. I don’t know many people here. Most of my co-workers are older and in different phases of life. I find the work I’m doing mundane and boring. I’m getting paid well, which is nice, but I’m starting to question this path. Is this normal?
I know it’s only been a short period of time, but there is something telling me this is the wrong direction. How long should I give this? I don’t want to be someone who has a resume that shows three months for my first job. — Career Crisis
Dear Career Crisis: Welcome to the “Hate My First Job Club.” Most college grads don’t love the first year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of recent graduates ages 18 to 24 with a bachelor’s degree or higher left their jobs within a year. Want to change this? Rename the first year “The Getting Comfortable Year.”
Instead of leaving, shift your expectations and extend your timeline. Instead of running from discomfort, dive into these feelings. Give yourself permission to not love the job. Then decide something positive you want to get out of this experience over the next eight months. Find a mentor who can teach you something. Identify a client who has changed the marketplace and soak up some of the lessons. Learn about the business. Explore creating a new position or responsibilities for yourself where there’s a need. Align yourself with interesting people doing interesting work. Give yourself a few months to feel what it’s like to work at a job that doesn’t feel perfect. Once you hit the 10-month mark, start looking for something else. Use the lessons you’ve learned to guide you.
Dear Harlan: I’ve been with my girlfriend for two months. We met at a youth group. She told me that she’s a virgin and is waiting until marriage. I lied to her about my sexual history. I said I was a virgin. This was after she told me that she couldn’t date anyone who was not also a virgin. Her faith is a big part of her life. She asked me if I had ever been with someone and I told her no. She was surprised and happy. I wanted to stop and tell her the truth, but I got scared. I feel like she should know the truth. I’m just worried she will end the relationship. How can I share this in a way that will make her have an open mind? — Liar
Dear Liar: Repent. That’s how you do it. It’s right there for you. Religion is incredibly forgiving when people who want to right their wrongs seek forgiveness. God doesn’t judge. Maybe this entire situation is a gift. It’s teaching you to face your truths.
Before you talk to your girlfriend about the choices you made, talk to a spiritual leader. Discuss the problem you’re facing. Use this conversation to guide you when you talk to your girlfriend. You can even have the conversation with her and your spiritual leader if you need help sharing this.
Explain why you made the choices you made and how it has led you to this moment. Discuss how you let your faith guide you. Let truth and humility guide you. She’ll either forgive you or she won’t. Trust that whatever happens next will be exactly what is supposed to happen.