5 Challenges Of Transitioning From Graduate To Professional

work life challenges

As a graduate, you may be well-prepared to write a good essay. But what about the many real-life challenges you’ll be faced with as a young working professional? Moving into adult life from university can present challenges that no academic qualification can prepare you for.

But these work life challenges can be surmounted if you’re willing to approach them with a good attitude and an openness to change. Being open-minded, adaptable, flexible and willing to embrace opportunities is important. After all, you’re looking to make a positive and empowered jump into early adulthood.

Here are five real work life challenges that every graduate has to face.

A competitive job market

It might come as a nasty shock that having a degree does’ot mean that you can just walk into your dream job. Instead, new graduates are confronted with a host of more experienced candidates competing for the same positions. The issues is compounded by a lack of job opportunities in any competitive sector.

A good solution is to seek out less obvious opportunities, such as internships and volunteer roles, that still offer relevant workplace skills and experience – at least to start with.

Adapting to a change in lifestyle

One of the major challenges faced by graduates in transitioning from student to professional are the social adjustments that have to be made. Sometimes relocating to boost career prospects is required, which can be isolating without the support of family and friends. It may also be difficult to balance a personal life with the demands of long work hours or deal with different personalities found in the workplace.

Adult life is very different to the social-centric lifestyle of university. Give yourself time to adjust before lamenting your new existence.

Handling personal financial issues

With student loans to pay off and cost of living expenses such as rent, food and transportation to take care of, financial pressures can be a struggle to meet. Handling credit successfully and meeting financial obligations can also be tricky for recent graduates, especially because entry-level salaries are generally low. Remember that student loans are rarely payable straight out of uni, and concentrate on simply making ends meet to start with. That salary will increase quickly, we promise!


Adapting career paths

It is more than likely that your first job will not be your ideal one. Still, it could function as a stepping stone towards what you really want to do. Your first year out of university is often spent finding your true calling and adapting the career plan you previously envisioned for yourself. Indeed, it is relatively common today for professionals to switch jobs, or even careers, many times during a working life.

Time management

As a university student, you would have had to manage a schedule that comprised of lectures, exams, sports and cultural activities. A working life also requires efficient time management, as it can prove more rigidly structured than life at university. Apart from the time spent at work, the rest of the day has to be divided into seeing chores done and spending quality time with loved ones.

Life after university begins a new and exciting stage of your life with its own set of unique challenges. From preparing to enter the job market to adjusting to full-time employment, navigating through the twists and turns of the working world will require a willingness to be adaptable.

The author, Zulfah Abrahams,  writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs, including digital jobs.