University Times Are Over – Here Comes the Reality!

Entry into the “real world” is a big step-out of the comfort zone for most university graduates. However, embarking on a new adventure that scares you a little, also helps you grow and in the end, makes you happier. Are you finishing your studies and finding you are both excited and scared to start that first job? Wondering how to make the transition from university to corporate survivable? Here are some tricks 🙂

GraduationFirst of all, it’s necessary to mention that it’s not going to be easy. For us young people who live in their own, even a little naive university world, it’s hard to imagine a new life of working 9 to 5 every day, sitting in an office and having lots of responsibility. Compared with the relatively flexible university student’s schedule comprised of lectures, this is a world apart. Be prepared for that.

The journey starts with searching for your first real job. I have many friends my age that have been recently doing so and they expected to receive 5 offers every day just because they graduated from a good university. Well, it doesn’t really work like that. Competition is high so you have to fight for your dream job. However, you can’t expect your first job to be your ideal job, with a high salary and low responsibility. It’s going to be tough, you will have to prove your capabilities and skills many times, and probably you’ll have to wait for that ideal higher salary too.

When you finally succeed in getting that first job, you will be faced with a life change in terms of changing your habits too. No more partying until the sunrise during the week, no flexible working time (if yes, congratulations!), lots of responsibility, new things and new people. One of the things you will find the need to learn getting used to is people from very diverse groups in terms of age, life stage, goals etc. Try to develop relationships and make your connection network wider. It’s an important skill to learn right at the beginning, which you can benefit from throughout your later career.

Although it seems to be common for “Generation Y” to have held 5 jobs in the first three years after graduating (Business Insider, 2014), it’s important to stay at your first job for at least a year. This can be counted as a relevant experience in your CV, which makes it easier when looking for the next job and it also goes a long way in not making you appear as a job hopper to those older hiring managers.

Make a plan to move up that corporate ladder. Along with making a plan to stay, it’s important to make a plan for the coming months/years ahead. Try to think about where you’d like to be (career wise), how do you imagine your career path and what are the milestones you’d like to achieve.

Change is hard. We worry and but we never know whether we’re making the right decision unless we try first.  Remember, that your entry into the ‘real world’ should also be a time of excitement and exploration.

So, are you ready to make that step from the comfort zone you are now in?  Embrace the change and challenge ahead.
Prepared by Julia Svandova, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech