Getting an education is an excellent first step to starting your career, but the transition from school to work can be filled with uncertainty. Education provides knowledge that you will be able to apply to your future job, however, it doesn’t teach you how to adjust to the work environment.
Following these 5 steps will help you transition from school to work with ease:
1. Apply for jobs that will give you valuable work experience
If you're unable to find a job that directly relates to your education background, then find a job where you’ll gain similar experience. For example, if you want to be a teacher then look for work with children, like at a daycare. Similar jobs can be a great transitional stage in your professional development.
2. Develop healthy work habits
In order to be productive at work you need to prioritize your responsibilities. Working for 8-9 hours a day is more demanding than the hours you spend in school and it’s important that you’re always ready to do your job when you are at work.
- Get in the habit of waking up earlier than usual. Waking up earlier allows you to clean up, eat a filling breakfast, and get a hot beverage before getting to work.
- Arrive at work on time. If you have to be at work for 8:30am, make sure you leave early enough to get to work on time.
- Get enough sleep. It’s difficult to party every night and continue to be productive at work. You will perform better if you have had a full night’s rest.
- Develop hard-working habits. In all aspects of your life, be willing do a little bit more than usual.
- Only call in sick when you are actually sick. Take pride in the fact that you have a job and can support yourself. Be proud of the work that you do.
3. Persevere through the difficult times
Be prepared to face some challenges at work. Everyone has to face difficulties sometimes, but it’s how you handle them that matters.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t know how to do something, ask for help instead of avoiding the issue. Co-workers and managers are usually happy to assist, especially when you are new to the job.
- When challenges occur, talk to your mentor, co-workers or manager. It is better to talk things out then to stew over the issue in silence.
- If personal issues are affecting your work, let your manager know what is going on, they can help to steer you towards support.
- When you make a mistake, take it as a lesson to be learned and do your best not to repeat it.
- Remember that every challenge is an opportunity to learn, overcome and grow stronger.
You may not get the ‘life-changing’ job that you envisioned right away but don’t worry, getting your dream job and developing professional skills will come with dedication and patience. Focus on building your work skills and always aim to improve. Hard work and perseverance will help you get to your goals.
5. Don’t get too comfortable
When you are in school, a college degree program, or high school there is always a new assignment approaching. Every day is different and it brings new challenges. However, some day jobs can be a bit repetitive which may lead to you feeling both bored and unchallenged. These feelings can lead to becoming unproductive. To avoid this pitfall:
- Talk to your manager or boss about additional assignments.
- Get involved in your workplace and look for professional development activities.
- Offer to help others if you have the time.
By preparing yourself for this big change in your life, you will have a better chance at success in the workplace.