Career Planning

Making the Transition from Senior Year to the Work World

If your student is graduating soon, starting an internship, or planning on a summer job, here are five reminders for them to consider as they head out into the workforce.

1. Punctuality
For many students, college is a time to have fun and hang out, in addition to getting a good education. If you don’t get to class on time or if you sleep through class altogether, the worst thing that can happen is that your grade will be a little lower. You’re not going to get kicked out of school altogether. However, this is exactly what happens in the work world. If you’re late once too often, you are likely to get fired.

2. Self-Discipline
The other thing that graduates have to adjust to is the discipline of working forty hours a week, from nine to five or, in some cases, even longer, everyday. Plus, in the work world, you don’t get to choose your clients like you get to choose your classes. Certain things just have to be done whether you like them or not — for example, boring reports or data entry. And there’s also the stress of finding a job and dedication required to keep seeking.

3. A Good Work Ethic
How can college students make the transition from senior year to the work world and cope with the pressure? It helps if the student has had a job through college, even if the job is just part-time. Getting used to showing up to work and just doing what needs to be done is an important thing to get used to before finding a full-time job. Having a good work ethic when it comes to schoolwork can also be helpful. If the student puts in the hours necessary to do well at school and learns to have a regular sleep schedule, this also helps greatly once you’re in the work world. Many skills learned in school will transfer into the work world and self-discipline is the most important one of all.

4. Taking Care of Yourself
Another thing that students tend to avoid but that really helps out in the work world is learning to take care of yourself. As a student, you often skip meals, workout when you feel like it and party late on the weekends. You may be able to get by doing this in college, but once you’re working, regularity is important, in terms of sleep, meals and exercise. Experts say that taking care of your body is the first step towards taking care of your mind.

5. Figuring Out What You Love To Do
Recent graduates should also try to really think about what kind of work they would feel most happy doing. There are many books out there that are full of exercises to help you figure out your true métier, such as, for example, What Color is Your Parachute? Once you know yourself and what you love to do, you can move in that direction right away. Of course, you may not land your dream job immediately but at least you’ll have taken a step in that direction.

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