4 common challenges when you transition from student life to the world of work

Starting your first paid full-time employment with long-term prospects requires adjusting to some significant differences from academic life. However, if you can foresee the differences you are likely to encounter, you will be ready for them, and they will become easier.

There are certain common difficulties that many people run into when making the shift from the realm of academia to the world of work.

Here are five typical obstacles you could encounter as you enter the workforce. They are:

Working with different generations: One factor to consider is the type of people you work with. At school, you tend to select the types of people who surround you, although there will be some differences. However, at work, you may find yourself working alongside people who graduated at different times and belong to distinct generations, such as Baby Boomers, Millenials, and Gen Z. If you are a manager, it is sometimes difficult to manage people who are older than you or have more experience.

Having an unclear structure: In academia, the entire academic year is structured with your timetable, schedule, and the number of sessions you need to obtain your certificate.  However, that is not really the case in the world of work as companies are affected by internal and external environmental factors.

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Working on your own vs working in a team: Another thing to consider is that in the realm of academics, you may frequently work alone. For instance, even if you may participate in group projects, your final grade ultimately depends on you. That’s usually not the case in a workplace because you may often work in a team.

Knowing your long-term career path: Another item to consider is your long-term path. When you study, you know what you’re committed to, such as a four or five-year degree. However, when you start working, you may not have the same pattern for your career. So there’s a good probability you won’t know where you’ll be in three years because there are so many variables to consider.

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These are some of the things to get your head around, so it’s important to be self-aware and have an understanding that you will probably face challenges when you start out in the working world.

Also, expecting them to happen makes the transition much smoother, which is a good thing. Although it may not feel like it at the time, it will help you to grow your confidence, learn and make you develop in your role and your career. In the long term, it is going to help you enhance your resilience, boost your performance, and create the career that you want. So, it is actually important that you view these as opportunities rather than just challenges.

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