Five Ways the Office is Different From the Classroom

Managing the Transition from College to Work

Those four years of college were pretty sweet, but it’s time to move on to the next phase of life: the full-time job. Fear not – it’s a good move. While the days of unscheduled napping and irresponsibility are over, there are benefits to entering the professional world (money to do the things you want to do, for one).

Transitioning from a traditional or online school to the office can be a shock. But the more you know about something the less daunting it is. So, here are five tips for the transition from college to work:

1. Higher Stakes

Not to downplay the importance of GPA – but if you bombed a test in college, it probably wasn’t the end of the world (though it you may have thought it was). Screw up at work, however, and you put at risk your reputation at work, professional reputation and livelihood. There’s no coasting when you’re working: Show up on time, do what you say you will and keep producing.

2. Friday Mornings

This one goes for traditional college students…Say so long to Thirsty Thursday – you have work on Friday morning. Once you start your professional gig, your mid-week partying may suffer (you need to show up to work with a clear head, after all). On the bright side, you’ll probably have more disposable income for getting down in style on Saturday night!

3. Stricter Schedule

When in college, for the most part, you were the master of your schedule. But once you start working, you’ll likely be living in a 9-to-5 world (or some variation thereof). Your days will be more structured, tasks more pressing and deadlines tighter, and you lose the option to just not show (sure, you can take a sick day. But that will just set you back a day so you have more work to do when you return).

4. Money Money Money

It’s the truth, being a student just doesn’t pay. Being a professional, however, does. While you’re giving up some of your freedom when you venture into the professional world, you’re gaining a valuable resource: money (and contrary to our utopian fantasies, the stuff does, in fact, make the world go ‘round). Go ahead, buy that fancy coffee maker. You’ve, quite literally, earned it. But be sure to budget for the not-so –fun stuff: rent, food, college loans and emergencies …  and SAVINGS!

5. College Casual is Out

No more rolling out of bed and slipping into yesterday’s jeans, a sweatshirt crumpled on the floor, and a baseball cap – or better yet, staying in your pajamas. Part of being a professional is dressing the part. Sure, what is appropriate workplace attire varies from company to company. But chances are PJ pants and bed head won’t go over well at your morning meeting.

About the Author: This article was written by CareerBliss, a company that is focused on helping everyone lead happier lives by finding happiness in the workplace.