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So you’re about to graduate from school – whether it’s college, university or high school – and you’re excited about seeing what’s next in terms of getting your first real job and getting into the working world. Well, we have some news for you! Things aren’t always what they seem and you might be walking into a world of unpleasant surprises if you think you know it all and will get that sweet 60k a year job right off the bat. Already shocked? Here are six harsh truths no guidance counsellor will have told you about careers fresh out of any level of school.

You Really Do Have To Work For It

Work? What’s that? You mean I have to get up at 6am and actually go and put in a full day of hustling for that sweet, sweet pay? You bet! Gone are the days of six or seven hour days and now, depending on the company and role you do you can be expected to do anything from 7, 8 or even 12 hour days. Rough, right? On top of that you have to factor in commute time, getting ready time as well as the fact you will have a lunch hour – and won’t be paid for that either, usually.

No, You Won’t Get A Company Car

Company cars are for winners, and you aren’t quite there yet. We really do mean that. No one gets a company car or a company credit card straight off the bat. Only people in certain roles in the business will get these privileges and even then, with the privilege comes a lot of hard work, dedication and time commitments needed to do the role to a decent degree to keep the role.

You Aren’t ‘Special’

Did your parents always tell you how ‘special’ you were? Did you get ‘participation’ medals in school? Well, the working world isn’t like that. You won’t get a boss who lets you casually have days off or leave early so you can work on your own side projects or you can go off on adventures with friends who are on holiday from their jobs or who are unemployed. If you want to ‘find yourself’, you will be finding yourself doing it on your own time, not the company’s.

You Won’t Win All The Time

Believe it or not, the working world doesn’t come with special participation prizes and pats on the back for doing nothing. If you think you can get by the same way you have been in school, you might be in for a surprise. You won’t always have a pat on the back for doing your job, doing it well or even doing it exceptionally well. Some companies do have great perks and accolade systems in which people do get prizes for jobs well done or for helping colleagues and going the extra mile, but like everything else in the working world, you have to work for it.

Your Boss Is A Lot Tougher Than A Professor Or Teacher

Think your science teacher is a drag? Wait until you have a boss! Bosses aren’t our friends and they’re there to make sure the job gets done, gets done right and the team generates the things it’s supposed to generate (income, customer service, tech support etc). Can you get along with your boss? Yes. Should you get along? Definitely! Is it possible to become friendly with the boss? For sure. Will your boss care about sparing your feelings when you mess up? Probably not, depending on the person. Some bosses will be far harsher than others when it comes to mistakes being made.

Even With A Degree, A Job Isn’t Guaranteed

Think you’ll walk out of University with a job purely because you worked for four years to get a bachelor’s degree? Think again. Jobs aren’t guaranteed just because you have a piece of paper saying you worked for it. Chances are you will have to take jobs in the beginning that are not related at all to your specific degree such as working retail or in offices until you find something relevant for your degree. Remember that sometimes experience is more valuable, especially in this day and age.

So if you’re just about to graduate from school and think that you will have just as easy a ride in the working world, these harsh truths will help prepare you for the world outside. Good luck!

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