The transition from student life to a workplace is often challenging. Replacing the student lifestyle with a full-time job is a drastic change.

You were used to an environment of comfort, in what to expect and how to manage this. A place surrounded by your friends and flexibility in your routine. Your focus was – your classes, preparing for your tests etc. but now you are entering a place where your routine is decided on by clients and seniors.

This may lead to you feeling anxious, lost, and not sure what to expect.

How to make the transition from student life to a workplace environment

How to make the transition from student life to a workplace environment

Below are some tips that can help you to be able to manage this transition:

  • Accept that everything is going to change

Your life is going to be different in pretty much every way. You will have to get used to waking up early in the morning and preparing yourself for work. Your social life might not be as fun as it used to be especially if you are working and studying part time.

You will have to work during the day and study in the evening as well as on weekends which means you might have to compromise some activities you were used to when you were a student such as partying on a Thursday night or going out every weekend.

You may have decided to look for your own apartment, being independent and being able to manage your finances very well because your parents won’t be giving you allowance anymore. For some, this is a time where they go back home after spending 3-4 years at university hostel, they are now used to doing things in a certain way – being back in their parent’s house will require them following their parents rules and contributing money towards grocery, and helping your siblings etc.

Take this change as an opportunity for personal growth and development!

  • Do not compare yourself with other people

A few months down the line, a friend from university or your neighbor buys a car, get married, throws a big party, relocates to a different province, graduates with cum laude, or moves to a new apartment, posts all events they attend with their friends on social media and all you do is scroll through their social feeds. You feel this is the life, this is everything you wish to have but your current salary doesn’t allow you to have all those things.

Learn not to compare yourself with others.

Should you at some point feel too much pressure, try to talk to your friend’s directly about how they are transitioning from student to working life. You might find that most of them are going through what you are also facing, which can be reassuring and can give you a sense of perspective.

  • Be patient

Learn not to put too much pressure on yourself but to be patient and follow your own pace. As you start your new job, some of the responsibilities might be a lot of administration-based tasks, but that will not be forever.

As you climb your career ladder and get to understand the roles and responsibility, you will possibly move to a more senior position and your tasks will be more interesting and advanced.

Stay positive and patient, if this is what you aspire for – you will get there. All you need to do is to take it one step at a time.

  • Believe in yourself

Believing in yourself means having faith in your own capabilities. Do not doubt yourself. If you feel that you have some great ideas, feel free to share that with the team and where you don’t understand, make sure you ask so that you don’t find yourself sitting and not knowing what to do, or spending hours working on the wrong things.

  • Initiate some healthy coping mechanisms

This includes: eating healthy, exercising, having enough sleep, practicing breathing techniques, self-compassion and gratitude.


Careers & Workplace advice from Hays (2021). Available from

[Accessed 18 February 2022].

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