There is so much advice out there about the transition from student life to work life. Most universities have their own support pages for soon-to-be graduates. Numerous ex-students have shared their stories and experiences, creating current first-hand advice, like in this article on the London Institute of Banking and Finance website.
Many lessons relating to the transition in to full time employment, after University, you will find out by yourself, through first-hand knowledge and by diving into the experience. But it’s still nice to get a bit of guidance and reassurance, and for this purpose we have three top tips and values to remember as you step out into your own workplace adventure:
Keep being social
Student life isn’t easy – there are endless deadlines, stressful exam periods, and pressure from friends, family, and professors to do your best. But there is also the fantastic social life, the freedom of independence and flexibility of routine. Students have a great work/life balance that makes them happy. One of the best things about university is the society parties and groups of friends that you form. Work is a great opportunity to meet new people. So spend time with them, hang out together, and stick to that buzzing social life.
Not only will a good social life keep you sane, but being social is a key part of the workplace. The better you are with people, the better you will be at your job. Going from university, where everybody is the same age, and from similar social backgrounds to work, where everybody ranges in age, social background and education can be a shock. Everybody brings different attitudes and perspectives, being able to work with, rather than against, these mindsets is an important learning curve.
Embrace your responsibilities
So work isn’t the end of your world or social life. That being said, there is still an abundance of new responsibilities to adapt to. Even the simple act of getting up early can be a struggle. Either fight against it, always complain about your early hours and be miserable. Or – embrace it. Enjoy the extra time in your day and appreciate the enhanced productivity that comes with a morning routine. Sticking to a routine is a new responsibility. Tackle it head on, build up your stamina and pride yourself in working hard. That way, feeling exhausted can be rewarding instead of just, well, exhausting.
The same goes for budgeting. Dealing with your own finances is another transition from student to work life. No more maintenance loans in the workplace. So embrace the challenge. Budget properly, pay rent and bills, start paying that student debt and feel rewarded when you can treat yourself every now and again. The first rungs on the career ladder can be a lot of work for little money. It’s worth getting an online presence to support your finances. Here’s some ideas on how you can gain a bit of extra cash online.
Do what makes you happy
One of the reasons students have such a great life is they usually prioritise what makes them happy. You probably chose a certain course and university because it was exciting to you; your favourite subject or lead to your dream job. Keep up that passion and happiness going into the world of work.
Do a job that excites you and keeps you engaged in your new context, rather than always looking back at your student glory days. Research shows that happy people work more productively. If you do what makes you happy, you won’t think of work as working. And if you don’t think of work as working, your whole career will be a lot brighter.
There is a huge divide in our society between students and workers. Students are seen to be free, social and exempt from responsibility – a stress-free, exceptional lifestyle for three years. Whereas workers are introduced to the “real world,” where there are bills to pay, promotions to strive for and countless responsibilities.
However, working life is not the end of your free, fun and social days. Just like student life wasn’t always easy living. So, approach work with the same energy, passion, and happiness as you did with your studies – make it just as exciting as life at university.