You’ve probably heard it dozens of times over your academic career: “you need to get ready for the real world.” Well, the real world is here. And you’ve got to get ready to transition from college to the full-time job you’ve been preparing all your life for.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. About 4 million students graduate college in the U.S. each year. That’s a lot of people making the difficult shift from dorm rooms to conference rooms.
Preparation will help you get an edge on the millions of competitors hitting the labor pool along with you. With that in mind, here are a few tips to ease your transition from college to a full-time job:
Get Ready for Longer Days
Yes, you worked hard in school. But your tasks were often broken up. A few classes in a day, time to study, a paper to write — blocks of eight hours toiling through the same tasks were rare.
You’ll have to get used to a different rhythm in the working world. This can be a difficult transition. But don’t worry: once you’ve got your routine down, it will start to feel natural.
Talk to People Who Have Already Started Working
It’s hard to predict the little changes that you’ll encounter at the start of your professional career. To learn about these nuances, talk to people who have been there. Seek out friends and family members who have recently gone from college to the working world.
Consider these the explorers who went before you. They can give you a roadmap of what to expect.
Prepare for a New Social Schedule
You might have to limit those midnight pizzas and all-night video-game sessions. A 40-hour-a-week job will make a dent in your social life. Be prepared.
Find Out as Much as Possible About Your New Job
Going into your first day, learn as much as you can about the position. Check out the company’s website and its social media feeds. Talk to your contacts at HR.
This information will let you get off to a good start.
Look into Dress Codes and Professional Habits
Each company has a different approach to culture. Some places are very casual. Others pride themselves on a formal, professional appearance.
Know what you’re getting into. Depending on your new gig, you might need to update your wardrobe and learn a new way of approaching personal communication.
Make a Schedule (And a Budget)
You might need to make a schedule so you can get everything done. Your routine will likely get more rigid and you’ll still want time for hobbies, friends, and family. A schedule can help.
Also, get your finances off to a good start. You’ll likely start making more than you ever have before. However, your expenses might rise at the same time. Make a budget to keep yourself on track.
Just because you’re leaving school doesn’t mean you should leave the learning process behind. In fact, your knowledge acquisition might accelerate. You could pick up more new skills and mind-blowing information in your first few weeks on the job than you did in your four years at college.
Your first job should be an exciting growth experience. Be open to new experiences and set yourself up for a dynamic career.
Ready to take the plunge into the working world? A top staffing agency, like Recruiting In Motion, can help. You’ll find the perfect job to ease the transition from college to your professional career.