The Learning World Vs. The Working World

By Nicole Pajer

Workers looking at computerLesson Plan Guide

1. You won’t have that feeling of having completed a project and being done at the end of the day.

When you are in school, you have a certain number of exams, papers, and projects in each class that you have to get done before the semester is over. However you plan out your time, you basically bounce from one project to another, finishing them, and moving on.
Having a job is different. There, it’s pretty rare to finish your tasks for the day and go home with a feeling of completion. You will usually feel there is something left to do, and you will have an ongoing “To Do list” of projects.

2. Working involves a different kind of prioritizing throughout the day.
When you have a job, you can’t really sit down and focus all of your effort on one project for the entire day. You will have a phone at your desk that will ring, emails that need to be addressed, meetings that pop up, and a boss who will call you in randomly to give you new projects to work on. Working is all about prioritizing the most important task at the moment and focusing on that, then moving on to the next on the ladder. Sometimes you will have to stop what you are working on and move on to something that takes precedence.

3. Jobs usually don’t involve tests and exams.
They will, though, test your skills, knowledge, and ability in different ways. Your job ability will be tested through on-the-job crisis management, the way you handle your day-to-day endeavors, your ideas and contributions to your team, professionalism, as well as through projects and presentations. How you handle something that pops up unexpectedly or how you can save the company money and increase profits are just a few of the ways in which your job skills will be put to the test.

4. You may have hated group projects in school, but they will prepare you for your job.
Remember everything that came with the group project? The deadbeat group members, the overachievers, the ones who tried to do all the work, and the ones who didn’t do anything? Well, chances are good that when you have a job, you will be working in a team environment and collaborating in some way on a project, task, or presentation. Learning to work with the group members in high school who didn’t pull their own weight will help you deal with those employees at your job who might need an extra push to get started.

5. No homework, studying, or writing papers...
...outside of the office. It is true that some jobs will require overtime and extra hard work. But for the most part, when you put on your coat and leave for the day, you are done until the next morning. You will not have to spend a day at class and then go home and work on a paper or a project, or make yourself study for an exam. A lot of people don’t even know what to do with all of their extra time when first transitioning from school to a job.

6. The hours are different.
Most jobs that follow the traditional college track are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in nature, with a scheduled break and time off for lunch. This is very different than a typical college schedule, with classes scattered throughout the day and a schedule something like: 8:30 a.m. class, 11 a.m. class, 5:40 p.m. class, and then having to study and feverishly work on homework in between throughout the day.

7. You will have money.
Although college is fun, it eventually gets tiring having to live the life of a poor college kid who returns beer bottles for pizza money and lives on Kraft macaroni and cheese. Imagine not having to continuously call up your mom and dad and explain to them that you are broke and need to borrow some money to pay for a textbook. When you work, you’ll finally see the fruits of your labor.


About the Author

Nicole Pajer