While you are in school, no one really tells you how to prepare for work life. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could make it in the real world. However, I’m currently working a full time job, paid off 2 student loans (2 to go), picked up my cell phone bill and bought a car! The best part is that I’m only 23 years old.

No one can prepare you for the real world better than yourself! You have to know what will work for you and what won’t.

Consistency is Key

A lot of college students think that they are clever by taking classes that start after 10 or 11 every day. But in all honesty how many jobs are there where you are going to be able to come in at those times? My first year of college I didn’t have the luxury of picking late classes, but I was also supposed to be up at 5 everyday for swimming practice.

Getting your day started at the same time everyday will help prepare you for working everyday. Make sure that you wake up with plenty of time to get ready and eat. After a night of fasting you’ll need the energy to make it through the rest of the day.

The other aspect that is often overlooked are the “overnighters” and late nights out. Now, I understand the desire to want to go out with friends or (in my case) playing video games all night. But making sure that you get into a regular sleeping habit is just as important.

Make Time for Work…

Doing your work in school or while on the job is important, however, you should also know when to stop. People that I work with seem to lose a bit of separation between the two. I’ve worked with people that try to get by with doing minimum work and those that work 12-16 hours a day (including my own parents).

You need to find what works best for you. While I was in my last year of school I took 22 and 23 credit hours and worked about 15 hours a week. Fortunately I was able to fit everything I needed to get into my day between the hours of 8 and 6. After 6:00 (aside from my night class or class projects) I didn’t do any work. I took some time for myself and my friends.

…And Your Friends

Making time for friends is something most college students don’t have a problem with, but I have noticed it as a problem between people starting their careers. You don’t have the privilege of going out every night like you did in college and it then seems like you aren’t MAKING time for your friends anymore.

Everyone needs to just take a step back from work and enjoy your time off. Get away for the weekends, go out to a bar or just to a movie or something. Don’t take life too seriously, no one gets out alive.

Take Work Seriously…but don’t let it consume you

In the next part of this post Randy Clark (@randyclarktko) will talk about being happy with your work life. Which includes certain sacrifices that you might have to make if you aren’t happy in your current situation.

To me, work isn’t my life I just do it to make sure that I can live. That’s my philosophy so what’s yours? How did your transition from school to work go? And more importantly how were you able to manage your time?