Surviving the Aftershock of the 9-5: 5 Tips to Transition from Student to Professional Life

Surviving the Aftershock of the 9-5: 5 Tips to Transition from Student to Professional Life

By: Hailey Mathiesen
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Juggling a full-time course load and a part-time serving job while attempting to maintain a social life and working to gain contacts with industry professionals left me longing for the days of a steady 9-5 job.  My co-op placement has given me the opportunity to see the good, the bad, and the ugly of adjusting to the schedule of a full time job.  There are days when I appreciate this new found structure, and others where I dream about sleeping in before my 12:00pm Communication and Rhetoric class.  These are a few of my go to solutions that have made this transition easy, and enjoyable.

1. Get your rest! 

When I first started my position my sleep patterns were all over the place!


It sounds like such a simple thing, but maintaining a regular sleep pattern is not always an easy task.  My trick is to attempt to go to bed at the same time every night.  This makes it much easier to get up in the morning and allows me to feel rested for the day ahead.

2. Try to balance your social life!

As many of my friends are not yet experiencing the aftershock of the 9-5 job, it became difficult for me to make time for them.  After work I was tired, they were busy, our schedules were not matching.  I have now made an effort to schedule activities that work for us.  Whether this is going to a movie, out to dinner or for a walk, making time for my friends has helped me to enjoy my job and new schedule even more.

3. Stay active!

After being in my position for a few weeks, I continued to push my work out to the side. I was tired after a day of work and the last thing I wanted to do was hit the gym.

However, once I got back into my routine I realized that this activity would give me more energy throughout the day or give me a much needed boost after work.  I am lucky enough to be working right above the West Vancouver Seawall and take full advantage of this when I have the opportunity to take a longer lunch break.

4. Be social at work!

It doesn’t take much to get to know a few people around the office.

I found that taking the extra time at lunch or during a coffee break to connect with my co-workers makes the daily tasks much more enjoyable.  Not to mention these connections in other departments have helped me to learn how my office functions and how I can assist other departments.

5. Take advantage of those weekends off!

Gifsoup.comUnlike the classroom, when you leave the office for the weekend the majority of the work stays at your desk.  My co-op advisor suggested that I take advantage of this and that is exactly what I have been doing.  With no papers looming over my head I have had the opportunity to attend networking events and investigate organizations that may connect me to future employers.


These tips have helped me to make the most of my co-op position

Posted on June 06, 2014