You may not have been completely aware of it, but the transition from the role of a learning student to a functioning worker has been happening to you for well over a few years now, it happens to everyone.
From the first day, you start work at a part-time job to the multiple internships during your college career, you’ve been preparing for this day, the day when you’re kicked out into the so-called “real world.” Donning the cap and gown to walk across the stage and into real life may sound frightening, but there are steps that can help you make this transition as smooth as possible. Here are tips you need to know if you want to make a successful transition from the college life to a post-grad career:
It’s time for some time management. The days of scheduling your first calendar event at noon are over, every minute from here on out counts. You’re already skilled in the art of writing a 12-page paper overnight, but now it’s time to find a balance between your social and professional life. No more running around to finish a project five minutes before it’s due, bringing that into a job will not get you very far with any company. Plan your days and your weeks; the more time you dedicate to specific work tasks, the more time you’ll eventually have to yourself.
Entrepreneur.com has an entire section of news and articles dedicated to time management. To fully optimize your post-grad lifestyle, you can find those articles here.
Focus on your health. 1AM pizzas and multiple beers throughout the week are going to visibly show on you as you start to age. Don’t let the extra belly fat sneak up on you, those extra pounds are tough to lose once it’s there. Keep up the exercise you were (hopefully) doing while in college. A gym can be expensive, but it’s completely free to go outside and run down your street. Try to eat healthier meals as well; if you map out weekly meal plans including lean meats and veggies and bring your lunches to work, you won’t have to waste time leaving the office to find a meal. See that? That’s time management coming back in to play. You’re becoming an adult now, doesn’t it feel great!?
Huffington Post Associate Editor Alena Hall has written up a very informational guide to maintaining and mastering your health during your college to career transitional period, saying, “There's nothing wrong with enjoying a mid-week happy hour -- just remember that moderation will help you have fun without going overboard and affecting your career or your health. Who knows, you might come to find that you actually prefer a quiet Friday night in sometimes after a long, stressful week.”
Live within your means. You FINALLY have access to a substantial amount of cash flow! At least, more than you did when you were working as a waiter part-time at school. The only downside is you have some serious bills to pay. Rent, car insurance, student loans (the dreaded loans), all of these things need to be tended to now that you’re becoming a functioning member of society. Just remember that these are serious responsibilities, don’t buy Apple’s newest product if you can’t afford it just yet. Set aside a little bit of money after the bills are paid and save up for the new flashy item you may want. Most importantly, STAY AWAY FROM CREDIT CARDS. You’re flirting with disaster once you start to accrue any kind of credit card debt.
The life of an undergrad student is over, and this transition in o the real world can be a challenge, but with some time management and smart thinking you can succeed in all aspects of your life and fly higher than you’ve ever imagined.
||Clayton Wert is a Career Coach and Internship Advisor at Dream Careers, the leading internship program for college students. Clayton advises college students on how to land internships at the best companies in Los Angeles.