I Was Excited About My First Job out of College, but Now I Get Depressed by It

Your Corporate Black Girl

Dear Nikki, 

My first “big girl” job out of college is not what I expected it to be. I remember being a bright-eyed recent grad ready to utilize the knowledge and skills gained from my bachelor’s degree. However, I got a rude awakening. As weeks, which then turned into several months passed, it became clear that my opinions or contributions weren’t valued at my job. This realization caused me to sink into a temporary depressive state—during which I lost my sense purpose. What is your advice to recent-grads who are not satisfied with their current jobs?


Annapolis, MD, USA


I really wish colleges did a better job of preparing students for the real-life workforce. Getting an education does not prepare you for what it's like to deal with workplace expectations, politics and in general, the downside to being in the "real world."

Real companies - in the real world are looking for changemakers; people that can increase revenue and decrease costs and be innovators, making the work more efficient. The landscape right now, depending on your field, is very competitive. 

Are you a change maker? 

What is making this experience so bad for you?

I sincerely hate to know that this place has gotten you to the point of losing your sense of purpose in this world!  There's good news though!! You can choose to leave. You can choose to find a place that's a better fit for you. 

Not to set more false expectations of the perfect job, with no pitfalls or disappointments, but you should think about what's happening at your current employer & ask yourself if it's something you have control over? 

At the end of the day (& I really loathe that term), it's up to you no matter where you go, to make sure you have open dialogue about the expectations for your performance.  Make sure they're communicating with you what's expected and seek regular feedback to ensure you're hiring the mark.  It's your career and your future, so take ownership of the things you ultimately can control. 

A lesson that I learned after being with the same company for over ten years, busting my butt year after year is that companies are only loyal to their staff up to a certain point. But we all have the choice of deciding when we need more from our employers.  If you're at the point of feeling depressed, I would suggest moving on. Don't leave before finding something new. And with this move, do some research on the company you're interested in and go for the one that's the best fit for you. 

If your company offers an exit interview, you should definitely attend and give them honest feedback. If they've made you feel this way, they've likely made others feel this way as well.

Good luck to you!

Nikki Davis

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Your curly girl manager, just trying to live her happiest life! 

Wife, new mom, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with 11 years industry experience, 6 years of management experience. Manager a team of men in a male dominant industry, while being the only woman on the team. DIY fashion blogger, a self taught seamstress. Owner/Creator of a monthly subscription service, SewConscious.com

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