5 Things They Don’t Teach You About Work in College

23 05 2014


Getting a first job is something that’s a milestone for every person. Whether you’re a college graduate or started working after high school, a first job is something that is nerve-wracking and unforgettable at the same time. Not only that, this is your first experience into a world that’s totally different from school. Your assignments and exams will be replaced with tasks and deadlines, bosses are the counterparts of your school teachers, and your peers will be equivalent to people of different ages and work status. It’s a change of scenery from the campus scene that you’ve gotten used to over the past years.

High grades and great student performance are equally important. But then, school doesn’t teach you everything you need to know about life after graduation. Here are 5 examples of things they didn’t teach you in college about “the real world”.

1. How to handle your salary

That feeling when you get your first paycheck can surely give you an adrenaline rush. It’ll make you want to buy all the things you can get. But before you go haywire on buying a new pair of heels or that snazzy gadget, think twice. Your salary is only enough to keep you covered for your basic living expenses, like food, rent, and transportation allowance. In short, you have to stretch your budget to make it last until the next payday.

It’s not like you can call up mom or dad anytime and ask for an allowance. The key here is not to go broke. Responsibility in learning to handle your money can help you. Save up, take another job if you can, and be creative with your budgeting skills. Experience in handling your own money can teach you just that.

2. Dealing with people and office politics

In school, you might have encountered these groups of people, like jocks, popular girls, and the strange kids. But in the office setting, these people will be replaced with the following: bosses, supervisors, and subordinates who have more work experience than you do. Years of working in a company can surely give other co-workers that air of superiority that can either be arrogant or inspiring.

In the office setting, you deal with people who may be younger or older than you. This kind of set up can pave way for office politics. Here’s some advice for you, fresh graduate: work wisely and don’t play dirty. Don’t do things that you know isn’t right just because you want to fit in with the office culture.

And if you’re worried about friends, accept the fact that not all of your office mates will be your friends. It’s a valuable lesson in learning to adapt without compromising your values.

3. Learning how to listen intently

If your student habit was pretending to listen to the teacher’s discussion, this won’t work anymore in a company setting. As an employee, you have to listen intently on what you’re being told to do. Nothing’s worse than working with an employee who doesn’t know how to listen and obey. You’ll have to do a lot of listening, from meetings to your boss’ task for you. Listen with your mind, and don’t just hear it.

4. Gaining new skills at work

Not everything will be taught to you by the book. You’ll pick up a few soft skills along the way without knowing it. Be aware of your weaknesses, and turn these into your strengths and skills.

5. Juggling work-life balance

It’s hard to balance work with your life outside of it. Don’t be a workaholic, but don’t slack off either. Have time to work hard and still enjoy life.

These five things are something to expect once you start working. Enjoy working, learn from it, and live well.

****For this great guest post, Campus to Career thanks Eliza Sullin!****

Author bio: Eliza Sullin is a college student and freelance writer for best essay au service. Working as a student taught her how to be responsible for her life and work.


Is an Apprenticeship the Stepping Stone to Your Dream Career?

13 05 2014

apprenticeshipFor many school and university leavers, an apprenticeship offers the perfect cocktail of education and experience. In fact, more and more students are opting to train on the job rather than pursue higher education to search of better job prospects, but is an apprenticeship the stepping stone to your dream career?

We take a closer look at the apprenticeship providing an essential guide to its pros and cons, applying for an apprenticeship that is right for you and what the future holds for former apprentices.

The pros and cons of an apprenticeship

The debate surrounding apprenticeship versus degree is likely to rage on for years to come, but due to the economic downturn and the rise in youth unemployment, many students are opting for an apprenticeship to achieve experience, education and a regular wage.

The benefits of an apprenticeship include:

  • Earning while you learn – whilst university students may struggle to hold down a part-time job and study, an apprenticeship allows you to get the best of both worlds
  • Gain experience – as well as combining on-the-job and classroom learning, apprentices work up to 30 hours a week, gaining the essential experience they need to help their CV stand out from the rest
  • Study without the burden of debt – Unlike university education, an apprenticeship offers a debt-free educational route. As companies receive grants to run an apprenticeship program, training is free
  • A practical approach to learning – many students favour more practical modes of study, and whilst there will be some classroom learning, the opportunity to put these skills into practice complements this particular learning style
  • Real job prospects – the education and experience gained via an apprenticeship opens the doors to a host of job opportunities.

Whilst the benefits of completing an apprenticeship are for all to see, many feel missing out on the university experience is the biggest compromise. In addition to this, competition to gain a place on your chosen apprenticeship program will be very high. The world of work can also be particularly daunting to school and university leavers and taking on an apprenticeship will mean you have to grow up fast to succeed.

Applying for an apprenticeship

Submitting an apprenticeship application has never been easier, there are various government backed organisations that help school and university leavers gain access to apprenticeship vacancies across the country. Alternatively, you can approach companies and apply to their apprenticeship program direct.

Competition for apprenticeship places is high so ensuring your application goes above and beyond will help you stay head and shoulders above your fellow applicants. Follow these simple dos and don’ts when completing your application…

  • Complete your application using as much detail as possible but remember to opt for quality, not quantity
  • As well as listing academic achievements give your prospective employer an insight into your personality on paper
  • Never create one generic application, copying and pasting may be easy but each application must be crafted to each individual vacancy
  • Check and double check your spelling and grammar to ensure you demonstrate great written communication and attention to detail
  • Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, apprenticeship vacancies attract hundreds of applications so leave no stone unturned in your quest to be the best!

Life after an apprenticeship

According to a recent survey, around 85% of former apprentices find employment, a third of which receive a promotion within the first year! Whilst life after university has changed significantly in recent years, with a degree being no guarantee to a job, an apprenticeship provides a solid background for a long-term career.

****For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Brittany Thorley!!****


About the author: Brittany Thorley is from Getting-In, an educational resource that provides the guidance students of all ages need to thrive during their time at high school, college and beyond in their career.