Entering the world of work as a young person can be incredibly daunting, and you may feel as if you are not ready to fully immerse yourself within a work environment after years of school and college. As such, you need to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for work, and this guide will go through many of the top steps that you can take to ensure that you are ready for every eventuality and that you will succeed when you do eventually enter the world of work and start out on your career path.
1. Get the Right Qualifications
The first step that you can take to prepare for the world of work is to get the right qualifications that are available for the career direction that you want to take. As well as the usual bachelor’s and master’s degrees, if you want to go one step further and be even better prepared for your career, you might also consider taking an EdD program. This type of program can prepare you for the leadership roles that you may one day want to take on and can help you to rise through the ranks of your workplace quicker as you will have all of the relevant skills that you need. Getting the right qualifications at the right college or university can also allow you to get the practical and clinical experience that you need to ensure that you have enough insight into your future working environment before you work in it full-time. As such, you should ensure that you have all of the qualifications that you need before even thinking about starting your career, or you might decide to continue your education online while you work.
2. Get Work Experience
If there is one action that can fully prepare you for what to expect in your future workplace, though, this is getting a varied amount of work experience. Work experience is important, as it can help you to fully immerse yourself within a workplace without the commitment that accepting a job position offers you. Not only this, but work experience can ensure that you can pick up skills that you would not otherwise have had the opportunity to learn and can allow you to make useful contacts who can tell you everything that you should expect before joining an organization. Work experience can also offer you a simulation of the working day and what you can expect your routine and work/life balance to be, ensuring that you have a realistic understanding of the profession that you want to join. As such, you should try to find work experience by contacting companies about their work experience programs, applying or asking for internships, and asking your friends and family whether they have heard of opportunities in the industry that you want to get into.
3. Speak to Professionals
However, if you want to discover what the world of work is really like without the rose-tinted glasses of many career websites and career counselors, you should consider speaking to professionals within the industry that you want to get into. They can help you to discover what you want to know and can tell you about the workings of the organization that they work for and what their job role consists of, detailing both the pros and cons of their job. If you do not know anyone who currently works within your industry, you should consider attending networking events within your industry or following influencers on social media or on LinkedIn. You might also consider attending conferences and talks where you can hear a professional from your industry speak frankly and answer burning questions from their audience. This will then help you to decide whether this is definitely the industry that you want to go into.
4. Practice Interviews
When you are trying to prepare for the world of work and you have not yet had much experience with job interviews, it is important that you practice these with a friend or family member. By doing this, you will be able to ensure that you do not fall at the first hurdle and that you are prepared for every question that they may throw at you, and you will also have to practice making up answers to less common questions on the spot. You should consider looking at the most popular interview questions, as well as the type of answer that might be expected, and you should consider ensuring that you have an answer to each of these to ensure that you do not get stuck without anything to say, especially if you are an introvert or struggle with talking to new people.
5. Ask Questions
Before you take on a job, you should also make sure that you are not too shy to ask important questions that might give you an understanding of the work environment that you will be in for the working day and that might help you to prepare for the job to come, and decide whether this is a job that you will be interested in. In an interview, you will be interviewing your potential employer just as much as they are trying to find out whether you are the perfect candidate. As such, you should make sure that you always have a host of revealing questions to ask about the company and the role that you are applying for, and you should listen to the answers carefully. You might also consider taking a notebook to write information in so that you do not forget it after the adrenalin of the interview has worn off. You will then be able to refer to this later when you are preparing for the world of work.
6. Join Social Groups
Even if you have not previously ventured much into the world of work, you do not have to have had a job to know what to expect from an office or factory. Instead, you should consider joining a social group, such as a theatre group or sports club. Not only are these fun and can help you to learn new, transferrable skills, but they can also boost your confidence in interacting with new people and dealing with problems. Often, these social groups also have a range of positions available that can help you to try out different types of roles and that can give you practice as a motivational leader. This will then help you to start to understand how you can best collaborate and work with others and how the power dynamics work within a group of people.
7. Conduct Research
It is also important that you conduct a lot of research into the world of work and the job that you are going to be doing before you sign up for a job. This will allow you to find out about important elements such as salaries and the hours that you will need to work and will ensure that the job in question suits you and that you suit it. As such, you should make sure that you do more than just perform a quick Google search, such as finding blogs by people in that profession as well as first-hand accounts of the career path that you want to follow, that you read journals and news articles about the job in question, and that you look up statistics about the industry that you want to work in. You should also thoroughly check out the organization that you will be working for before you go into your first day at work, such as looking to see whether there are news articles about them and looking at the company reviews on websites such as Indeed.
8. Get a Part-Time Job
If you want to ease into the world of work gradually, you should also consider getting a part-time job in the sector that you want to work in, or even an entirely different sector, before you accept your dream job. This will give you an understanding of what is required of you and can help you to make the most common initial mistakes without the eyes of an employer that you want to impress on you. This will also ensure that you can learn all of the skills that you need and allow you to gain more confidence. However, you should remember that starting any job can be daunting, and you should not expect your dream job to always run smoothly just because your first part-time job did.
As such, to prepare for the world of work, there are a great many steps that you can take. From getting a part-time job to getting the qualifications that you need, each of these steps can prepare you a little bit more for what is to come and can ensure that you do not become overwhelmed by the world of work in your first few weeks of getting the job that you need to start out on your career ladder.