Adapting To The Real World After College
College students often get so wrapped up in the education process that they cannot see beyond their schooling and this can be a costly mistake. While the education process is important, you need to keep your eye on the prize, which is a great job that you believe you will love.
Many college students struggle with the move from the college world to the “real world” of the world that requires them to put their education to good use. The real world often isn’t as kind or as simple as one would think, even with a degree. Luckily, if you start planning you can make your transition into the real work and the workforce with a limited amount of stress so that you can be a success.
Obviously, you need to get through school and graduate to give you the best leg up on success. But, before you finish school you need to start seriously thinking about what you’ll do with your education and your life after you graduate. Did you get into your career field thinking you would do one thing and now you aren’t sure about it? Consider all your options with your particular degree and decide which one seems the best fit. Then, you need to start working on breaking into the job that you have decided is your best fit.
Motivation is a key factor to your success after college is motivation. You can have all the education and experience in the world, but if you do not have the motivation to do anything with it, you’ll find the transition into the working world very difficult. Motivation will allow you to chase your dreams, instead of sitting back idly and waiting for opportunities to fall into your lap.
Your first task will be applying and interviewing for jobs that seem to fit what you are looking for. Will you continue to live in the area where you are attending school, or is there another area of the country or world that will allow you to gain the experience you are looking for? Can you afford to move, or would it be a better decision to stay where you are now and become a bit more established? These are the things that you need to seriously think about because once you decide these things the real world will be a lot easier to navigate. Though this is an important thinking process, it’s one that many college students fail to do well and it makes the transition from college into the real world so much more difficult.
Hopefully you will have already secured a job when you graduate, which will make the transition into he workplace and the “workplace” much more smooth. When you get a job you’ll have to consider if you’ll stay with this job, or if this is just a stepping-stone to something bigger and better. Can you afford to live in the area where you have found employment? Is your salary enough to pay for housing, food, utilities, a vehicle if necessary, and to repay any student loans that you have? Many students get into trouble with credit card debt when they graduate from college because they see it as a quick and easy way to pay off their student loans as well as obtain the things that they would like to have in their “new” life. Credit card debt isn’t a great way to start off your life, instead, you should let the first couple years out of college be a time for character building, and if you don’t have a ton of money, that’s okay! Credit debt is not fun to deal with, so avoid it if at all possible.
Your first job may not be your ideal job, but consider it a good stepping-stone. Even if you see yourself doing bigger and better things in the next year, five years, or even ten years you need to give your all to your current job. Keep your options open, but remember that your first job sets the tone for your entire career, so you must take it seriously. It can be easy to slack off and perhaps not give your best efforts to your first job if it’s less than what you had anticipated, but remember that every connection and contact that you make in your business can be a bridge to better things in the future.
The transition into the working world can be difficult, but it’s also a very exciting time. All of your efforts during college have come to a head and you can test yourself and the education you received at every turn. Finding a balance between work and fun may be difficult, but it can be done. Just because college is over doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a great time, you just need to be focused on work when you are there, and do what is required of you. Remember that the best policy is to under promise and over deliver to employers, this will gain you a lot of respect in the workplace and will likely help you move up quickly.
The real world doesn’t have to be as scary as many college students think it will be. With some good planning and a focus on your future during college, you’ll likely find the transition a smooth one. Whether you’ve worked during college or not, you’ll likely find the year or so after you are done with your education quite different than any other time in your life. It’s fun, exciting, scary, and many other emotions and stressors all wrapped up into one experience. When you’ve completed college or a graduate degree you have everything you need to succeed in life, you just need to go out and really go after the things you want. What are you waiting for?