The Adventures of Shay in Corporate America

So, I haven’t written in a while. Part of this is because I left grad school, and entered the world of Corporate America. Working a full 40 hours a week with about an hour commute takes a lot away from the time I used to use to write posts. It’s been almost three months since I was hired. So how am I doing?

Honestly, even though I titled this post with “adventures”, corporate life is quite boring. I do pretty much the same thing every day. Sometimes I get handed a project to work on, and that takes a few days of dedicated effort. Or, somebody will ask me to help them with something math or programming related. And that gets me in fervor that will keep me occupied for a few hours. But most of the time, I’m doing some sort of maintenance type busy-work. I’ve managed to develop quite the routine.

However, lest you think me unhappy, this routine, this mild amount of busy-work, has me so much less stressed than graduate school. I don’t dread going to work every day. Even when I’m working on something tough, I happily show up to work, roll up my sleeves and dig in. The most stressful thing I’ve had to deal with so far is the commute! I’ve got my own office, and I can close the door to block out the noise. I can bring my iPod to work and listen to podcasts or music while I’m working (which helps keep me more productive because my brain has something to tune out). I’m encouraged to personalize my workspace. They provide water and snacks, and there are restaurants nearby for lunch. (I tend to bring my own lunch and snacks, but it’s nice having them there.)

There’s a gym that I can go to on my lunch break. I went for the first time in a month a few days ago, and now I’m sore today. But, even though it can be crowded, I always manage to find a rowing machine. Still working on when the best time to go for weight lifting would be. I may finally be able to get into that workout habit that I always talked about but never happened. And the company offers me incentives for being healthier!

Also, I cannot rave enough about how much of a relief it will be to have better health insurance again. My sister recently discovered that she had breast cancer (they caught it early, so she’s doing ok!), so I’ve been thinking I should be more thorough about my checkups as well. But it’s hard when the only option you have in grad school is the student insurance, which honestly isn’t that great. And I’ll have a retirement plan that I can start contributing to.

Of course, it’s not all rosy. My student loans are going to be coming due, once they discover I’m not going back to grad school. We also had to acquire a second car so that I could make the aforementioned commute. It’s probably going to be a while until Andrew and I are out of debt (he also has loans and isn’t out of grad school yet). But I feel I can handle things better, now that I do not hate what I’m doing every day. I feel like I can more accurately plan for the future without the hesitancy of “Well, I don’t know what I’ll be teaching next semester” or wondering which weekends will be taken up by conferences. And that gives me a lot of peace of mind.