It may only be the middle of summer, but for many, this means the beginning of their life-spanning career; their first experience of the 9-5 and an extremely important life transition. I, for one, have just started working full-time after university, and I wish someone had told me these five things in order to whip my mind into shape. But instead, I can help others by running through my top tips on how to mentally preparing for working life.
- Get Into An Appropriate Sleeping Pattern
Let’s be honest, moving from student to ‘young professional’ essentially equates to which side of midday you wake up. At least a few days before you start work, but preferably longer, you should start training your body to fall asleep earlier. Ok, you’re not going to get 8 hours of sleep every night, but there’s no harm in trying. Surely you’d rather your body adapts to the working week a little earlier, than spending your whole first week feeling like a zombie.
- Pre-Plan As Much As Possible
Be it what you’re going to eat for lunch every day, or a detailed outfit plan for the week, do it now. Of course, not everyone enjoys writing lists and getting organised before they really need to. But if you’re between jobs, or education and work, use your free-time to your advantage because ultimately nerves will be lessened the more planning you put in. And what about the commute? Do you know how long it’ll take? You definitely don’t want to be late on your first day, so either go for a test-run or leave super early.
- Do Your Homework
Just like you did before your interview, take some time to clue yourself up on the company’s recent news, any national or international news that might affect your job sector, and even the area in which you’ll be working. Look up some recommended lunch spots, and some local tourist attractions that you can drop into conversation – and visit – but also remember to go with the flow once you arrive.
- Write Up A Budget
A quick google search will tell you how much your annual salary will pop in your bank account each month (after tax), and with this knowledge, you can start to work out your budget. How much do you need to save? How long will it take you to eat away at your student overdraft? If you haven’t already, make an excel spreadsheet and make a list of your monthly expenses, including rent, bills, travel, food and socialising, not to mention any wardrobe revamps your company’s dress-code requires. With a rough idea of how much cash you’ll have to play with each month, you’ll be able to start work excited and a bit more relaxed, knowing your debts will soon diminish.
- Enjoy some you-time
Trust me, my mere month between university and starting work flew by and I wish I’d spent more time relaxing and enjoying weekdays off. So while I can only look forward to weekends and annual leave, make sure you give yourself a break. If you’ve done all the leg-work mentioned above, enjoy some quality time watching Storage Hunters whilst sitting in just your pants and eating ice cream straight from the tub – not that you shouldn’t do this on the weekends too.