Your first job is like your first boyfriend in that you truly think he’s perfect, but then again, you have nothing to compare him to, so you may not even know you’re with a total loser until after you’ve broken up. When my college boyfriend of two years broke up with me, I reached a whole new level of devastated that I didn’t even realize was humanly possible. How could this person who wept in front of me when his grandmother died, surprised me in my hometown for my birthday, and paid for all of my Chipotle burritos (with every add-on you could think of) not want to be with me forever? Fast-forward like six months, and that time and distance made me realize both how wrong we were for each other and how much he f*cking sucked as a person. After him, I took note of all the things I did and didn’t want in my next boyfriend. It really was the year of realizing stuff. Just call me Kylie Jenner.
Leaving your first job should feel the same way. Even if you loved it, you should still walk away with a sense of what you want and don’t want in your next position. I, for instance, loved what I was doing at my first job so much that I didn’t even care about having to live in the trap house that was my apartment, which was the only place I could afford on my laughably small salary. I was an editor at a ~luxury~ magazine and it made me feel like Miranda motherf*ckin Priestly (minus all the power, money, and ability to own a home) because I got invited to every party, media dinner, and opening you can imagine. I also got free facials, clothes, trips, etc., so you can imagine that walking away from “the good life,” as Kanye says, may have been a little tough.
However, what ultimately made me want to leave was the fact that I didn’t see much opportunity to climb the editorial ladder and tbh I didn’t want to stay in the South forever. So after I left, I had the time and distance I needed to realize that my first job was f*cked up in more ways than one. Knowing that and knowing why helped me find my next job (also at a magazine), which I actually love. No matter what industry your first job out of college is in, these are the key takeaways you should walk away with after leaving.
1. Respect For The Product
I obviously don’t mean this literally since not all companies produce something, but it’s really important that you respect, understand, and appreciate what the company does. After I left my Job From Hell, I flipped through a few of the previous issues and noticed that we only covered sh*tty companies/people who paid an embarrassing amount of money for full-page ads. At the end of the day, I couldn’t really stand behind what I wrote.
Doing something you love is the most important thing because, let’s face it, we spend all of our time at our jobs and you may as well enjoy your many hours
locked working in a giant freezer office doing something you give actually sh*t about.
2. How (Not) To Interact With Your Manager
If this is your first job, chances are you have a manager and, believe it or not, there are a few not-so-chill ways to interact with them! At my first job, my editor and I were pretty close in age and she happened to be really cool, so naturally we became friends. As fun as it was working with my friend, it was also pretty f*cking awkward when she had to reprimand me for doing something wrong. Like, are we still going out for drinks later or are we in a fight because you fully yelled at me just now?
Having a friendly rapport with your manager is great, but I’d be careful about being legit friends with them. It just confuses the hierarchy and can ultimately ruin your friendship, which in turn will make going to work suck. Keep a respectable distance between you two so that you can f*ck around a little at work, but it won’t be totally uncomfortable if and when sh*t hits the fan.
3. How To Stand Up For Yourself
When you’re in an entry level position, you may feel like you’re working for your grandparents because everyone is constantly reminding you that you’re young and don’t know how to do anything. As much as I didn’t want to be the annoying millennial who was offended by everything, in some instances, you can and should stand up for yourself.
The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad world in which we live, sexual harassment is generally the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the phrases “entry level employee” and “stand up for yourself,” and you definitely should. But there are plenty of low-level offenses we forget about and shouldn’t let slide. Like, when you’re working on a project and put 97% of your effort into it and then your sh*thead co-worker swoops in and spends a lousy five minutes doing the last 3% then turns the project in as if she did the whole damn thing. Nope!
Obviously, pick your battles wisely, but if something is going down that’s legitimately making you upset, don’t just bend over and take it. If you let these shenanigans go on for too long, you’re basically telling your coworkers that it’s totally cool if they f*ck with you forever. Is it? Is it cool?
4. Negotiating Is Allowed
I happened to be an intern at the company that ended up hiring me, so when my future editor pulled me into a conference room and offered me the position by writing my “salary” on a sticky note and asked if that’s okay with me, I should have said, “No, it’s not!” First of all, never accept a job on the spot; always take a few days to think about it and negotiate benefits and salary. The fact that the number was tragically low wasn’t even the problem; I just didn’t think to try to negotiate because I
’m dumb I had no sense of what a competitive salary in that industry even was. Go on Glassdoor to read other employees’ reviews on the company and to see salaries to get an idea of whether or not you’re being lowballed.
Generally, companies welcome negotiations. That doesn’t always mean they will accept your final offer, but they will rarely just slap a number on the table and refuse to entertain any discussions. Don’t be afraid to whip out your flea market negotiating skills, people.
5. Have A Career Development Plan
Look, I think five-year-plans are stupid. Sorry, but not really. Life is too unpredictable for a multi-year plan. Here’s why: My five-year-plan involved staying in the South forever because #job, #friends, #boyfriend, but then my dad got cancer, so I moved to New York to be closer to home, and my five-year-plan imploded. Having a career development plan, however, is really smart. When you’re a college senior getting job offers, you’re usually so excited about getting paid that you don’t even think about what’s next because no more frat parties and pregamed dinners—sounds good enough for now! But knowing where you want to be professionally in the future can help you make better decisions in the future—especially because nothing looks sketchier on a resume than a slew of random jobs that have nothing to do with each other.
Instead of soul-searching for four months in your childhood bedroom because you just quit your first job and don’t know what you want to do now, start thinking about that when you begin feeling like you want to leave your current job.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to wish you had done things differently after you already did them wrong, so take this as an opportunity to learn so that every job you get after your first sh*tty one, is a good one.
Images: Giphy (5)
It’s obviously a well-established tradition for magazines to have celebrities on the cover. The thing is, when magazine chooses someone famous as their cover star, there’s typically a photoshoot, or at least an actual photo of the person to put on said cover. There’s also typically an interview that serves as the feature for the issue. You’ve all read magazines; you understand how it works. If there’s not a feature or interview for the issue, at the very least, the celeb probably knows that they’re going to be on the cover. But apparently sometimes none of those things are true, hence why Billie Eilish is now beefing with NYLON Germany.
Just in case you’re not aware, a quick explainer of Billie Eilish. She’s only 17 years old, but has quickly become one of the top stars in music, and she got her first number-one song last week with “Bad Guy.” She’s known for her creepy, outside-the-box music and visuals, and she defies traditional beauty standards. Most notably, she usually wears oversized, baggy clothing so people don’t comment on her body. Considering that she’s literally still a child, this seems more than fair. Basically, she’s the current Gen-Z queen.
Billie Eilish’s dedication to taking focus away from her body is part of what makes this story so crazy. A couple days ago, the German edition of NYLON magazine posted their new dual covers on Instagram. The issue is titled “DIGITAL PRODIGIES,” so naturally it features some of the top Gen-Z stars, like Willow Smith, Madelaine Petsch, and Billie Eilish. The first cover features Lisa and Lena, German sisters who had the most-followed account on TikTok until earlier this year. And the second cover, as you’ve probably guessed by now, features Billie Eilish.
But it’s not the Billie Eilish you’re used to seeing. Gone is the silvery hair, the oversized hoodie, and any shred of personality. Instead, the image makes her look like some kind of cyborg, with a bald head and skin that’s a metallic gold. Oh, and she’s not wearing any clothes. It barely even looks like Billie Eilish, which kind of seems like the point.
But it turns out that it doesn’t look like her, because it’s not even a photo of her.
After NYLON Germany posted the cover, Billie Eilish had some things to say in the comments:
Wow wow wow, this is a lot to take in. So first of all, Billie and her team were never asked permission, or even told that this cover was happening. I don’t know what all the rules are for something like this, but this is different than TIME using a photo of Donald Trump without asking permission first. At the very least, it seems like you would notify Billie’s team out of courtesy if an image of her was going to be featured on the COVER.
In her second point, Billie Eilish clarifies that this isn’t even a real picture of her. I don’t know whether they did a full CGI job, or just heavily edited a real photo of her, but this is some weird sh*t. From looking at the photo with no other information, you would definitely think Billie sat down for a whole photoshoot with the magazine, because this doesn’t look like it’s supposed to be a drawing or something.
But Billie’s third point is really the main root of the issue here. The magazine took (or created) an image of someone who’s still a minor, and made it so she’s not wearing clothes, or at least a shirt?? Billie Eilish is incredibly conscious of NOT sexualizing her persona, so for a magazine to do it without asking her permission or even telling her feels like a huge violation.
And lastly, they removed all her f*ckin’ hair. Not cool, guys.
For what it’s worth, Lisa and Lena clarified that they were asked about their cover:
While I’m glad that they consented to their appearance, that makes it all the more sh*tty that NYLON never reached out to Billie Eilish or her team. This kind of reminds me of when Kanye West included a sculpture of Taylor Swift’s naked body in his music video for “Famous” without asking her first. It’s not quite as bad as revenge porn or leaking someone’s actual nudes without their permission, but it’s still an uncool thing to do.
This whole story feels extremely wild considering that Billie Eilish is one of the world’s biggest stars right now, and this magazine only has 15,000 followers on Instagram. I’m truly shocked there was not an immediate take-down and subsequent Notes app apology, but the magazine did (sort of) respond to Billie’s criticism. They updated the caption on the original post with the following statement:
“For this cover, it was never our intention to create a look that is confusing or insulting to Billie Eilish. It was only ever our intention to honor Billies (sp.) impact and her work by creating this avatar which is part of a cover series highlighting the power of digital prodigy artists. This avatar is a piece of 3D artwork created in dedication to her achievements and the positive effect she has had on millions around the globe – including us.”
Yeah, okay, I really didn’t think they put her on the cover because they hated her and her achievements. Essentially, NYLON is doubling down on the cover, and not even addressing Billie’s complaint about the lack of clothes her robot clone is wearing. I get that it’s someone’s artistic vision, but it still clearly feels like they were in the wrong here.
Do you like hearing about all the drama that goes down in the world of Gen-Z celebs? Let me know in the comments if there’s anyone you desperately need to know more about, because I love a good deep dive.
Images: Shutterstock; nylongermany (3) / Instagram