The transition from school to a full-time job can be overwhelming for some people. Others find it a welcome change. No matter what your perspective, entering the workforce full-time is a huge life transition. I graduated from Belmont University and started working at SHR in April 2021; here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way!
1. You Have to Self-Motivate
Sure, you may have supervisors checking in (or micromanagers, if you’re unlucky) but ultimately your job is up to you. There aren’t any teachers chasing after you to get your work in, and if you’re late completing a task, there are real-life consequences. Staying motivated is key—check out last month’s blog post for tips for staying on track and keeping up with your goals.
2. Office Culture is Key
You should feel good about where you work! After all, you spend a good chunk of your time there. Make sure you feel comfortable in the environment if it’s an onsite role. Maybe you work remotely—is that a good option for you, or does it make you feel lonely and isolated? Everyone is different, so it’s important to evaluate what works best for you. We have a hybrid remote/in-office system at SHR, which is the best of both worlds!
3. Self-Advocacy is Another Key
Self-advocacy is important everywhere, but once you get out on your own in the workplace, it’s paramount. If you have a problem, it’s no one’s job but your own to address it. This may sound harsh, but it’s essential to ensure your own happiness!
4. 8 AM Feels Different
This may sound silly, but it’s really made a significant difference in my post-grad life. In school, friends and I dreaded our 8 am classes. But now I start every workday at 8:30 and honestly appreciate the early start. An 8:30 start means our end-of-day meeting wraps up around 4:30. That extra half hour of sunlight makes a huge difference with daylight savings!
5. You’ll Never Regret Meal-Prepping
Don’t underestimate the importance of meal prepping!! When I’m having a hectic week and don’t prepare anything ahead of time, I end up buying lunch way more often than I should. I’ve found it’s much easier to make a few meals at the start of the week so that I can just grab them in the morning and go. It’s always worth it to put in that time on Sunday night and save yourself (and your wallet) the rest of the week!
These are just a few of the observations I’ve made after working full time for almost a year now. Lucky for me, I work at a company I love, and the transition wasn’t too challenging—especially since I interned at SHR before I went full-time. If you’re about to graduate, never fear!! The transition sounds scary, but everybody gets through it—and you have your fellow grads to commiserate with. If all else fails, feel free to send me an email with your post-graduation fears—maybe we can get you started on a search to find the perfect first job for you!