Life transition: Classroom to career

Classroom to career

Spring means beach weather (at last!), outdoor events (woohoo!), enjoyable strolls to class and, for some on campus, graduation. Congrats are in order. You’ve either made the leap or are about to transition from student to a citizen of the Real World, and that’s an awesome accomplishment. Whether you’ve been hired already and plan to dive right in or you need to do some serious job hunting, here are a few things to be aware of as you transition from life at CBT College to your career.

  • There’s a funny thing that often happens in the weeks after starting a first post-grad position. Forget how many clubs you were involved in on campus or how much you took on in your after-school hours. There’s a good chance you’re going to be mind-blowingly exhausted those first few weeks on the job. Whether because of the excitement of the new beginning, the stress of leaving the familiar behind or some funny combination of both, baby yourself those first few weeks as you get used to your new status quo. Sleep, eat well, exercise and enjoy the process.
  • The DIY schedule you had at college—with plenty of midday breaks—was lovely while it lasted. But more than likely, your new job is going to be a block of working hours, say, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Can you remember the last time you worked on one thing for eight hours straight? The trick is to make your work schedule work with you. By law, you’re given breaks. Take them. Use them to stretch, take a walk, occupy your mind with something other than work. Recent grads often have difficulty adjusting to a “typical workday” schedule; know that it might take some time to get used to.
  • As you transition to a normal work schedule, it may feel like there’s no time left for socializing or sleeping or working out. The trick? Schedule it as you would for work or class. At first, choose one event per evening—Wednesday, dinner with friends; Thursday, yoga class—and as you get used to the flow of your new schedule, you’ll find more can be squeezed in, if you so choose.
  • With any job come new coworkers, bosses and managers. Similar to stepping onto campus for the first time without a group of friends, go out of your way to develop working relationships with your coworkers early on. You’ll be spending an awful lot of time with these people at your new gig, and by default, they’re the very first additions to your networking circle. Building your professional connections early—and staying in touch regularly—can serve your career well long into the future.
  • Now is a good time to start thinking about your money situation. Whether or not you have student loans or other debt, with a brand new job that comes with a paycheck (heck, yea!) every couple weeks, it’s a smart move to begin a budget for where that money’s heading. Save, spend, donate—whatever you decide, mapping out a plan early helps you start off your career and shiny new post-grad life on the right foot.