Many students these days actually work part-time jobs even as they earn their degree. If you are one of them, or you know people who have done this, then you will know that being a student does not necessarily mean that you are adverse to the world of work. Nonetheless, there is always going to be a huge difference between working on the side just to get by, and digging out a full-time career after you have left University. Once you’re out of the student life, it can be notoriously difficult to navigate the new terrain of work and careerism. But it is really the transition that takes its toll, not the work itself, and if you can learn how to manage that phase you will probably survive. With that in mind, let’s think about some of the things you can do to make the transition from student to employee a little easier.
Prepare Yourself For The Difficulty Of Finding Work
It is one of the first major challenges which any graduate needs to face, and it’s one which – it often seems – has no right or wrong answers. When you leave education for good, you will need to make sure that you have the abilities and the skills necessary to find the kind of work that you desire. Many students are surprised to discover that landing the dream job is actually much harder than it had originally appeared. It is helpful at this stage to think about some of the things that you can do to ensure that your chances of finding work are vastly improved. As it happens, there are a huge list of such actions you can possibly take, and it’s worth taking as many of them on board as you possibly can.
Most recent graduates will be struck by the sheer difficulty of every stage of the job hunting process, whether it’s the interview or actually finding those vacancies in the first place. It’s also true that the majority of those people will find it much easier to use an agency to land their first job. If you are lucky, you might even get headhunted by the likes of Sanctuary Graduates. When that happens, it can be a dream come true, but even if it doesn’t then going for a standard agency will ensure that you are much more likely to find some decent work.
As hard as it might be, there is no way around it – you need to find work as soon as possible if you want to survive in this world. By taking a step back, however, and taking whatever professional and personal help there might be out there, you can dramatically improve your chances and the enjoyment of the whole process as well. Both of these will be much appreciated by any recent graduate out there.
Wait For That Schedule To Be Filled
There are a number of shocks awaiting the new employee in the world of work. We have already looked at the potential for recent graduates to be surprised by just how difficult it is to find quality work. Something else that usually takes hold is the sudden awareness that your schedule is much busier than it has been the past three or four years. This is true even from the moment you start to look for work, but it is definitely even truer once you have landed a job as well. Having a full-time job after living the relatively easygoing life of a student can be surprisingly tough, as you gradually try to get used to suddenly having no spare time at all. For many people, this is a great concern, and a major cause of the daily stress in their lives. However, that does not mean that it is not manageable at all. There are plenty of ways of coping with the sudden influx of actual working hours.
First of all, try to bear in mind the truth of the fact that, no matter how busy you are, it is likely that you will get used to it pretty fast. You should also bear in mind that you can always reduce your own working hours if you really want to. No matter how strict a manager might seem or how important a job is to you, nobody can hold you hostage and you might be surprised at the actual minimum amount of hours you contractually need to work. It is worth taking a look at your contract, just to ensure that you are well-versed on exactly what kind of commitment is expected of you. That way, you know what to expect, and you can prepare yourself accordingly for the shock of sudden work.
Time management soon becomes of particular pertinence when you are working full-time. If you find that you are struggling with it, you can make it much easier for yourself simply by investing in a decent diary or calendar. Before long, you might even find that these become some of your everyday prized possessions. Either way, it is well worth looking into if you want to keep your stress levels down as much as possible. Speaking of which…
Dealing With Stress
Let’s be honest: student life can be much more stressful than many people give it credit for. No matter what you are studying or where, trying to earn a degree is not exactly void of worry or complaint. But it is an altogether different kind of stress to the kind that you might experience when you are entering the world of work. As a student, your stress is probably fairly easy to manage. You can mostly choose your own hours, and this means that if you are feeling particularly overwhelmed you can simply give yourself the evening off. However, when it comes to forging a career this suddenly becomes much less easy or straightforward to do. What this ultimately amounts to is that you will need to find ways of dealing with stress which are much more head-on, and which deal with the problem more or less as it arises. Fortunately, there are a huge number of techniques which can help you to do just that.
The first major importance is to try and be aware of what is happening in your mind and body at all times. This awareness, often referred to as mindfulness, enables you to keep a close eye on your stress, and to keep it to a low level pretty much all the time. Stress mostly becomes a huge problem when it is not truly recognised early, and it is left to grow and fester. So if you can build up the awareness in such a way that you can spot it immediately, you can also stop it from spreading and growing and becoming a major health problem in your daily life.
But this isn’t the only way to deal with the stress of work. There are plenty of practical applications you can consider as well, and it is definitely worth thinking about them. For example, you might want to think about actively reducing your workload if it gets too much. It might be difficult to ask this, but just remember that a decent employer will at least be relatively sympathetic if you are genuinely struggling with a great deal of stress. Speak to them, and see if you can come to some sort of understanding. It is bound to help.
The transition from student to employee can be tough, but it is a necessary one. It is a rite of passage, and for many it might be best seen as an opportunity to grow, learn and prove yourself. If you approach it in this positive light, there is no reason you can’t make the most of it and truly excel.