Some students are very adept at planning their college schedules so they have only afternoon classes or classes only on certain days of the week, and it’s these students that have a hard time facing the reality of going to work every day, five days a week, from as early as 6 or 7 in the morning to 6 or 7 in the evening. And it’s not like the 8 a.m. class that you often skipped when you hit the snooze button too many times on your alarm clock; show up late one too many times and you’ll find yourself unemployed.
Another time-related harsh reality is free time and vacation time. In college, you get used to taking long weekends away from campus — on top of extremely long winter and summer breaks. Most colleges also have mid-semester breaks. Unfortunately, most employers are not that generous with time off. You may be lucky to get two weeks of vacation in your first job – but even with those two weeks, because you are one of the newest employees, you may not have much choice as to when you can take your vacation.
The final time factor is time management. You may have thought it was tough managing various group projects, tests, and other activities while in college, but it will be even more of a struggle to manage your time once you are working — and your future with your employer depends on how well you can manage your time. “There is a huge difference in time management when you have to work 40+ hours and try to have a life on the side,” a 2001 general-business grad told us. “I find myself scheduling dinner with people four weeks in advance. College didn’t teach me working 40 hours. College didn’t teach me a bedtime… but those are all things you learn with necessity. I think if I had worked during my college career… I would have learned that.”
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