Our pan-Canadian research study examined the differential impact of teacher induction and mentorship programs on the early-career teachers’ (ECTs) retention. This article details the stories from our interview participants (N=36) in relation to what their lived experiences were during their first years of teaching and how they dealt with the requirements, expectations, and challenges. Their narratives were analyzed through the lenses of teacher resilience and well-being. Our findings revealed numerous needs, hopes, and concerns of ECTs. The sample provided both context specific and universal descriptions of expectations, workload and resilience strategies from the perspective of beginning teachers. This study discerned four important themes in advice and retrospective assessments of beginning teachers: cultivating a work-life balance, nurturing a positive mindset, committing to reflective practices, and finally consulting, connecting, and collaborating with others. These ECTs were able to articulate their operating in context of high demand environments; sometimes thriving and sometimes struggling.