Leaping from student life into the working world isn't easy. Here's 5 tips to make that move as seamless as possible.
As finals come to a close and Prosecco corks are popping off, many soon-to-be graduates are thinking about their future in the working world.
Whether you already have a job or internship lined up, in just a matter of months the freedom that came with university days will seem like a hazy memory. Going from student life to a 9 to 5 regime isn’t easy, and not everyone will be prepared for transition.
Here are 5 tips to help you guide smoothly into work-hood:
“It feels like running a marathon,” is how some people describe their first few weeks at a job. Not only can it feel physically tiring, but also mentally draining. Trying to concentrate, take everything in and remember everyone’s names at the start of your job can be a challenge.
Sticking to a routine is key to getting through anything. Long gone are the 4am bed-times and having no relationship with your alarm clock. In work life, it’s all about getting to bed at the same time every night so that early am start won’t feel so ludicrously unpleasant. Forget the kind of social life you once had university - during the work week, cut off your pub sessions at a reasonable time and start cherishing your weekends.
And taking care of yourself will really pay off - eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Your body and mind will thank you when you boost your performance at work. A 4pm nap at your desk will have your colleagues thinking that you’re still in student mode.
You’re much more likely to be working with a wider range people. Your colleagues will be of all ages and might come from different social and geographic backgrounds. Education and experience levels may totally vary too. It’s worth taking the time to understand how your colleagues contribute to the company. Not only will this help you to appreciate and learn from your co-workers, but it’ll also be handy if you ever need your colleague’s help with a particular task.
3. No Job Is Too Small
You probably didn’t dream about spending hours making lists on excel spreadsheets when you stepped on that stage to receive your BA in Philosophy. It’s easy to feel like you could be spending your time doing something a lot more meaningful than endless hours of admin. But mastering the art of admin - dull as it can be - is a rite of passage for anyone starting a job. Don’t underestimate the power of lists and spreadsheets, they are essential to organisation in any job. If you get the knack for it, other aspects of your job will be much easier. Those spreadsheets also look impressive when you add some colour coordination. By offering to help your manager and senior colleagues with this often time consuming work, you’re proving yourself a good team player. Trust us, they won’t forget it.
4. Your First Job Is Not Your Last
Nowadays, people rarely spend their entire career in one company. You don’t have to be in love with your first job. It’s only natural that you’ll start to get itchy feet and want to move on. What’s important is, that you first job gives you the experience and responsibilities that you need to develop your skills and knowledge.
It’s a good idea to read and educate yourself about your industry outside of work. Maybe there’s a relevant newsletter you can subscribe to so the information automatically reaches you by email. Understanding your position in your particular industry can help you to figure out what your next move could be.
Remember the money you get on payday is meant to last for a month. We all get a little trigger happy with our contactless cards the day the digits go up. But try to rein it in by setting a monthly budget. You’ll thank yourself when you’re not living off instant noodles by the end of the month.