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The Daily Illini

How to transition from college to the workplace

Brooke Eberle, Special Sections Editor

The transition from college to a full-time job can be difficult. After sleeping in for late classes and even skipping a few with little to no consequences, beginning a full-time job requires some adjustments.

Wake up earlier

For your new job, you’re probably going to start work around 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., so you should get into the habit of waking up earlier. Try to start going to bed around 11 p.m. or midnight to make getting up a little easier. It may be difficult at first, but with time you will be energetic and excited for your early job.

Learn how to cook

After living off of ramen noodles and frozen pizza, many college students still don’t know how to make a quality meal. Now’s the time to learn. It’s cheaper, which will help you out if you’re starting an entry-level position. Take the last couple days of college to practice some online recipes instead of buying a quick meal from a restaurant on Green Street.

Be prepared to learn new things

As with starting any new job, you’ll learn things that you didn’t know before. This may be even more notable going from college to a professional field. Most skills are earned from experience, so make sure to listen if another co-worker wants to offer some advice or share some experience. One day, you might just return that favor to a new post-grad.

Be a friendly face

If you are moving to a new town, you may feel homesick and want to move back home to see some familiar faces again. But that’s not the solution. In a new work environment, make friends and get to know everyone you’re working with. You’ll appear as an agreeable co-worker who people will view positively.

Create a planner

Creating a planner is an easy way for you to keep track of everything you need to finish. As an adult, you’ll have more tasks than ever and a planner can help you keep track of it all. This allows you to be more organized and decreases the chance of you forgetting something important. The last thing you want to do is miss a deadline at your new job.

Be patient

Adjusting to a new life can be difficult, but with time you will become more comfortable with your new job. It’s as simple as that. You may also feel frustrated that you’re not picking up on things as fast as you thought you would. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. You might be stuck with a bunch a busy work that isn’t what you truly set out to do. Just be patient and give yourself enough time to immerse yourself in the work culture for you to feel comfortable.

beberle2@dailyillini.com

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