What to expect in the world of work
Now is the time of year when recent graduates are starting out in their first full-time jobs. If you are getting ready to start a new job, congratulations to you! It’s an exciting time of life. It’s a time when careers are just beginning, and the skills you learned in school are finally being put to the test.
But like any change, there is bound to be some adjustment. The world of work is a bit different from being in school. To prepare yourself for your new life, take a moment to find out some of the changes you are about to undergo.
Vacation time will be different
If you’ve been on a school schedule your whole life, you might be used to getting week-long breaks during the holidays, as well as a 10-week break during the summer. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in the world of work. But on the bright side, most entry-level jobs offer some level of paid vacation time, sick time, and personal time. And as you gain more experience, you may earn additional time off.
A regular schedule
As a college or career school student, your schedule might have been unusual. You may have taken night classes, or you might have had classes scattered throughout the week. A full-time job typically has regular hours, often 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Or in a healthcare position, you might work 12-hours shifts three to four days per week. Whatever the case, having a regular, predictable schedule makes it convenient for you to schedule your life!
As a student, your main accountability was to yourself. If you made mistakes, failed a test, or skipped a class, the consequences would only affect you. In the working world, you will be more responsible to others. You may have team members who are counting on you to get your work done. Your employer will expect you to meet your performance targets. This kind of accountability may be daunting at first, but eventually you will see that it gives you something to feel proud of.
Your behavior shapes your reputation
As an employee, your behavior and attitude reflect on your employer. It’s important to behave in a professional manner and keep a positive attitude. This will help you develop a positive reputation and improve your chances of success. Here are some tips on acting in a professional manner on the job.
Your supervisor is smarter than you think
Sometimes when graduates are fresh out of school, they might feel that they know everything. They might be quick to criticize the way something is done, or they might question what their supervisor is doing. Try not to fall into this trap. Instead of criticizing or offering your advice when you are new to the job, take a step back and observe. Ask thoughtful questions. Try to learn as much as you can. Make sure you have a strong understanding of the big picture before you speak up.
As a student, you were mostly responsible for yourself. How you performed in school depended only on yourself. In the workplace, however, you will probably be expected to work as a member of a team. This means that people will be counting on you to do what you say. You will have to work cooperatively with others and learn to interact with all sorts of different personalities. This may take some adjustment, but working with others is a lifelong skill that will serve you well.
Entry-level jobs are just want they sound like: entry level. At first, you may feel that your skills are not being used and that you want a promotion right away. A better approach is to be patient. There is a lot to learn in an entry level job, and if you have a little patience, chances are that your strong performance will pay off in the long run. You should stay on the lookout for chances to advance, but be patient enough to learn as much as you can in the entry level job.
If these changes sound intimidating, don’t worry! There will be some adjustment, but with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, you should be on the right track. Good luck in your future career!
This blog post is courtesy of the Salter School. At our campuses in Fall River, MA and Malden, MA, our school provides career-focused training and prepares our students for the world of work.