That final stretch towards graduation got you a little stressed? Despite all the necessary lessons that university imparts on us, it’s good to remember that there are essential skills that we won’t be taught within the walls of campus. So, before you get your degree, be sure to refine these life competencies that will help you transition into the work force.
Between the late-night study sessions and weekend parties, uni can leave you a little perplexed about appropriate self-care. Try to keep a moderate work-life balance, as much as possible. Eat a diet with lots of fruits and veggies and limit your refined sugar intake. Drink plenty of water and try to exercise at least a couple times per week. These may sound like simple tips, but proper self-care can do a world of wonders for managing life stress.
#2 Healthy Structure
Uni doesn’t encourage the most consistent routine. For one, your class schedule changes between semesters. During the week, you may find yourself juggling different class times, club schedules, and assignment deadlines. Even so, try your best to develop a routine, especially in terms of eating and sleeping. The body operates best when you go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.
In the work force, your working hours probably won’t vary much from day-to-day. This will make it easier to keep a routine. Still, it’s important to practice structuring your time now so you aren’t completely clueless during the first week on the job.
#3 The Job Search
Navigating job applications after uni may seem daunting. To prepare yourself for the job search, try out some of these tips. If possible, keep a part-time job while in uni. This will not only boost your resume but help you acquire skills for future careers. Check out the resources at your uni’s career centre. Many schools offer resume-writing and skill-building workshops for post-graduation. Keep a portfolio of your best work on a Google Drive to share with future employers. You can even network with your professors and advisors for potential job opportunities (a lot of the time, it’s who you know.)
Most importantly, apply for tons of jobs. Even if you don’t think you will get them, going through the application process will help you feel more confident. Keep an updated Linked In profile and sign up for daily e-mails from Indeed.com. You never know when that dream job may pop up.
#4 Career Development
Life skills don’t just happen: you have to build them. The same is true of professional skills. Career development is a lifetime process, and it is one that you can begin before leaving uni.
Keep an eye out for professional conferences, either through your uni or an outside party. Professional groups on Meetup often host workshops to boost key career skills. You can also take an online tutorial in Photoshop, marketing, or web development software to keep your resume looking fresh and sexy.
#5 Conflict Resolution
Unfortunately, jobs don’t always come with the best boss or co-workers. It’s important to acquire appropriate conflict resolution and communication skills so you can navigate the workplace. Your uni’s wellness or career centre may offer workshops in communication or conflict resolution. If not, check out one of these self-help books.
Just a few general rules: if you feel frustrated with something, be sure to address it swiftly so it doesn’t fester. Take a night to sleep on it or even write out what you might say. Then just do your best to navigate the issue professionally. Above all, this is a learning curve. Uni may not provide all the skills you need to succeed in the work force, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn as you go.