Attending university is very much akin to living in a bubble for three to four years. The transition from an independent lifestyle at uni, in which you were largely in control of how you filled your time, into a strict 9 to 5 job routine can be a challenging one. Final students across the country will currently be gearing themselves up to make the leap at the moment and many will be feeling nervous, unsure on what to expect and unwilling to leave behind the freedom that comes with uni.
But the switch from student to staff member doesn’t have to be overwhelming and we are here to provide you with some tips that will make the entire transition as seamless as possible!
1. Accept that things will change
For most, leaving university will mean moving back home and starting a new job, which means that very early on after graduating, you will be required to adapt your daily routine. At university, you will have largely had control over how and when you completed your assignments, the same policy does not apply to the workplace. Adapting to a nine to five job can take time, as can getting used to living by your parents’ rules again. However, if you can accept that things are going to change from the get-go, the shock will be lessened, and you’ll find it easier to settle into your new routines.
2. Continue networking
You will have spent the best part of the past three years constantly meeting new people at university.
Life in the workplace is rarely the same. Many teams are relatively small these days and so after a few weeks, you’ll find that you’ve already met a majority of the people that you’re likely to bump into at work.
But, networking is the best way to progress in most careers, so it is not something that you want to stop doing. Make the most of your spare time by connecting with people who are currently working in the field that you would like to end up in. A quick search online will show up a list of networking events close to you, and, failing that, LinkedIn is always at your disposal.
3. Your first job does not have to be perfect
Long gone are the days of spending your entire working career with one company. Nowadays that is the exception, rather than the rule.
So, while you should be over the moon that you have bagged yourself a job following graduation, don’t put added pressure on yourself by convincing yourself that your first job needs to be perfect. Instead, remind yourself that you’ve got years ahead of you to find your dream job and that, in the meantime, this one will help you to build industry connections, sort out your finances and give you real-life work experience.
4. Keep in contact with your university friends
It may seem counterproductive to keep a tie to your university while trying to move forwards but keeping in contact with friends you made while studying can really help with the transition. They will know exactly what you’re going through and so, maintaining regular contact with them can help you to feel less alone and scared as you deal with the change in your lifestyle.
5. Continue learning
Having a degree on your CV does not mean that there is no value in continuing your education. A masters is not the way forward for everyone but there are now a number of online and evening courses available in a wide array of topics. Whether you want to scrub up your current skills or learn an entirely new skill, there is bound to be a course out there that will interest you.
Completing an additional course will help to ease the transition away from full-time education, at the same time as adding to your CV and giving you a way to impress your current and future employers.
6. Understand that it will take time
Graduating is a big a lifestyle change as starting university is, so you need to accept that it will take you time to adjust to your new way of living. Putting too much pressure on yourself can only make the transition harder so, instead, simply accept that it can take a little while to adjust to all of the changes but know that you will get there in time.
Shannon Clark writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs. You can find more of her writing at www.shannonlclark.com and www.sweetserendipityblog.co.uk.
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