When we enter college, it is with hopes and expectations of a fun life, living out all the experiences we ever dreamed of. People want to experiment and try new things. For people who move out of their homes into hostels or PGs, it is an en even more exciting period, being away from the watchful eyes of your parents. In all, college life is a bundle of giddiness.
However, some fundamentals remain the same for college and school. At the end of the day, you have an adult guiding you and telling you what to do. When to attend classes, when to turn in assignments and telling you what you need to do. More than that, this adult also spends most of his time telling you how to do these things. There is altogether different freedom; the freedom to do what you want, but someone to take you through this journey without nagging at you every step of the way.
It is in the final year of your college, more so in the last few months that reality steps in, the reality of being a full-fledged adult with responsibilities. The responsibility of stepping into corporate life and facing the work arena. For many people, this movement is just as exciting, this transition just as full of hopes.
But if we are honest, corporate life is extremely different from campus life. In college, you may have read about concepts and memorized them to be able to put them down in your exam answer sheets. In corporate life, these are not just concepts. There are real-life things that you use every single day to turn your ideas into practical use. At the end of the day, working life is about doing your bit to get yourself a livelihood, a job, a source of income.
For those of us who are independent of the beginning itself, this transition comes easily. You see, at the end of the day, corporate life gives you a whole new world and a much more attractive to work for.
Here are some challenges you may face as you enter into corporate life.
- The social environment is easier in college as you spend significant portions of your day together with your friends, even more so if you share a hostel or a dorm room. In the working world, however, the social scene will be completely different. It tends to be much more formal and your interaction will be with a varied group, in terms of the profession as well as cultural backgrounds.
- The events and activities that you are expected to get involved in at a corporate will be much different than those at your campus. Corporate will offer you professional activities that help you develop as a member of an organization.
- In college, it's okay to loosen up every now and then, take a break and relax with your friends. It's even normal to skive off classes every now and then, after all, you can always take notes from someone else. However, that pattern does not work at a corporate. It is important to be much more attentive and take your work seriously. Your performance and dedication to work are judged at every step and one wrong step can have grievous repercussions for your job.
- Professionalism is perhaps the biggest obstacle you’ll face. A corporate requires professional and formal conduct at every step. No more usage of slang or bundles of food when you walk into your office. Going to class in bermudas and tank tops may be acceptable at college, however, it is frowned upon heavily in most corporate offices. You must take care to take every precaution to be controlled with your display of emotions and in your conduct in general.
- The latest social and fashion trends may not be taken positively at your workplace. It is best to dress up as plain Jane than to be exciting and experimental and have yourself facing an inquiry.
So how do you prepare yourself for corporate life? Three, four or even five years spent at a college doing a basic undergrad and post-grad degree or a professional degree, is a long time that you’ve held on to a particular lifestyle. You may have difficulty adjusting. On top of that, every profession has its own requirements.
There are a few things that you can keep in mind to make your life in a corporate easier, irrespective of what field or profession you are engaged in.
- Always maintain a positive attitude. Do not get carried away with your emotions or do anything reckless. Remember, you are watched every step of every day.
- Make a proper schedule, and follow it as well. Corporate life will require you to be much more organized and juggle a lot of things at once. The easiest way to ensure that you don’t face a burnout is to schedule everything properly and make space in your day for everything. You can no longer procrastinate and put things off.
- Be careful with your expenditures. No one expects you to be frugal after all this money is what you’ve worked hard for. But you must remember that setting aside cash as a part of your savings from early on will be a very wise decision.
- Always be punctual. No corporate office will be okay with an employee that doesn’t appreciate the time. Time is money in the corporate world, and no one likes to lose money because an employee was careless.
- Attention to detail is important. Take the first few months to observe your co-workers so that you pick up on the small things that you may have missed out on during orientation.
Most importantly, remain calm and focused at all points. It never helps to get nervous and mess things up!