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Engineering Is "real" job anxiety normal (fresh graduate)?

  1. May 3, 2017 #1
    I am a fresh graduate on my way to get a permanent placement as a Design Engineer. I've been interning and working temporally before but this "real" job offer invites all sorts of ideas about settling down. I just can't see myself going there every day sitting by the pc just to wake up and repeat it again the next day. The job seems very introverted and I start getting panic attacks thinking about how stuck I could become. It is a new town and I haven't made any friends here so everything is just piling up on me. Is this a red flag that corporate life isn't for me?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    You need to get over your panic attack here. You are thinking too much.

    Once you start your job and get into it, you will find engaging problems to work on and you will spend a lot of time learning new things and applying what you know to the task at hand.

    Perhaps after a couple of years you can consider moving to a new company or job in the same company.

    Life is about change and you are coming out of your academic cocoon now so of course you're worried.
  4. May 3, 2017 #3
    Anxiety is a normal thing to experience. There are varying levels of it that depend on the person and situation. We all have different ways of experiencing and coping with life. You are going through changes and you are not alone in what you are experiencing. Do you anyone that you can talk to? Friends, family, etc.? Give yourself some time to adjust. =)
  5. May 4, 2017 #4
    Actually, I'm in a foreign country where I have studied for a year and made amazing friends whom I left due to job relocation requriement. I skype my family so I don't miss them much.
    I think my anxiety is related to the change in my behaviour. I became more serious and less outgoing. Mostly, I miss being unstifled and crave that conversational flow I used to have. Now, things I say or the way I say them seem completely unengaging. Workplace is not somewhere where I can display my dry witty sense of humor :(
    Also, gender inbalance and age gap in my line of work is absolutely crushing.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  6. May 4, 2017 #5
    yes normal. but if it makes you feel any better, even if you stay all your friends will eventually get real jobs and move on too so wouldn't make much difference.

    now actually about to go back to full time after doing part time remote for year and a half, wish me luck.
  7. May 4, 2017 #6


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    The transition from university life to the working (real) world is a big one.

    Remember that for your university years you've been surrounded by people your own age, at your own stage in life, with similar goals. It's generally pretty easy on campus to join or start a club for whatever interests you have. You have freedom to pick your classes, attend or not attend as you wish, and a lot of control over your schedule.

    But once you leave that, you're back in the general population. As a fresh grad, you're on the bottom of a totem pole. And you don't get paid if you don't show up. A job isn't about doing what interests you, but what your employer needs you to do. So sure, that can be a tough transition and some anxiety about it is perfectly normal.

    That said, most people figure out ways to get engaged with other things if work isn't doing it for them. (And if you haven't started working yet, or if it's early, don't fret - lots of jobs that seem unengaging at first can be really interesting if you give them a chance.) Join some kind of sports league. Take a night class. Volunteer. Write a novel. One big key to happiness is that to not let your vocation define who you are - at least not completely.
  8. May 4, 2017 #7
    Definitely agree. I started going to the gym and joined a basketball team. I take these two interests more seriously than anything else. Surprisingly, I never had many hobbies/interests in my life and suddenly I want to do some many things - probably a manifestation of my internal resistance. It's sad to compromise to only enjoy one small part of my whole day, though. Would be great if the workday was only 6 hours :D
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