My internship with Airbus is the first full time position that I’ve ever held, and I am quite frankly LOVING it. The work is fun, the people are lovely and the canteen lunches are lovelier, however there are a few things that I love about working full time in general. Trivial though they might sound, when the last 15 years have been a mix of classes, exams and supermarket checkouts, it’s the little things make you feel ‘all grown up’. Here are some of mine.
Disclaimer – major nerdgasm ahead.
1. Checking my emails
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but checking my emails is GENUINELY the most satisfying part of my day. It might just be the fact that I have an email address with MY name in it, or that the signature at the bottom of my emails make me sound so damn professional; all I know is that I’ve had a few day-long trainings recently, and by the end I am DESPERATE to be back at my computer working through my inbox. Sorry not sorry.
2. Going to meetings
Armed with a pen and paper and looking like the most swaggiest stagiare in France, I walk to our meetings like I’m going to the front line. There is just something about sitting at a table that isn’t your own, and sometimes there are sweets. Don’t even get me started on video conferences…
3. Decorating my desk
You move into your new position, sit down, put your favourite mug on your desk and this hereby declares that you, Zoe Taylor, have arrived. Post it notes, coasters, mini cactuses… the scope for customisation is vast and this is YOUR time to express who you are and what your mission as a stagiare really is. Think of it like clothes for your personality, you like horses and long walks on the beach? Horsey-beachify that desk up am I right?!
4. Team boosters
The other week we had a social event with my team at work which they called a ‘team booster’; the plan was to go to a kind of sports centre and play football, volleyball and badminton, with tapas and sangria to follow in the evening. At first I think everyone was a bit dubious about running around with their colleagues trying to pretend they didn’t care if they won or lost (this turned out not to be the case at all… many war cries and hacked ankles were witnessed), but the reality though was so much different and we had such a good laugh! Roll on Christmas!
5. Sweets in the staff room
There is ALWAYS an occasion that will justify bringing sweets into work. Birthdays and leaving gifts are no longer the prerequisites of having sweets in the staff room; your cat died? sweets!! you managed to dress yourself this morning? bring ’em over! There is nothing better than taking a 2 minute stroll from your desk for a cup of tea and a haribo to give you the sugar rush you need to get to 5 o’clock, although for some reason in our office, the sweeties of choice are always Shoko bons and for a good reason because they are so so good. Why do we not have them in the UK?
Who knew that weekends were actually made for doing stuff?!
Weekends at university: Wake up with headache, feel guilty for putting off assignments, order pizza, feel guilty for eating so much pizza, sit on a checkout for some dollar, eventually do assignment, go to bed too late Sunday night. Bam it’s Monday.
Weekends with a full time job: Wake up with a headache, go back to sleep, eat waffles, sleep, think about going outside, sleep, get bored, shower, sleep. Monday! Is it weird I get excited to go back to work?
7. Getting paid
I don’t need to elaborate.
8. The stationery cupboard
I challenge you to find one person who does find the feeling of new pens/paper/highlighters/post-its the most satisfying feeling on the planet. Usually these sorts of things cost a small fortune and so imagine how much MORE satisfying it is not to have to whip out your bank card every time you run out of staples. (Spoiler: SO MUCH MORE).
9. Adjusting the air conditioning
For the most part of our lives the heating has been strictly forbidden to touch (yes Dad I’m talking to you); you’re too cold and you’re told to put a jumper, too hot you’re told to open a window. Now I take an abnormal about of joy fiddling around with the air conditioning unit next to my desk until I reach the optimal working temperature and it makes me feel so in control I LOVE IT.
10. Using your brain
As much as I enjoy studying and I know I’ll miss it terribly once it’s over, I’m really enjoying actively doing rather than just memorising. There have been so many times since I started placement where the penny has dropped and I think ‘Thaaat’s why we do X in that class!’, because you realise that somewhere along the line everything you’ve learnt is applicable to the real world and then all of a sudden you understand it x100 better. I feel that when I’m studying I can become a bit self focused and this tunnel vision takes over meaning that I can only see what I’m doing at that very moment in time. What I like about working is that you can see how you’re contributing to a wider, team strategy rather than just your own personal objectives and it actually makes you feel kind of useful. Awww.