By Mel Sim

Welcome to the real world of working.

Congratulations – you’ve made it; you landed your first job! The real world starts right now and it’s up to you to make that good impression to make it far in the future.

There’s no denying that student life and working life are a world’s apart. What may be OK while you are a student won’t fly now that you’re making a living. There’s really no excuse now for bad behaviour, such as these ones that you need to break if you’re guilty of them before you start working.

#1 Staying up all night
You’re probably used to hanging out with friends until late night at the mamak or lying in bed Netflix-ing instead of sleeping, watching that entire series of Stranger Things in one go. It’s OK when you’re a student and classes don’t start until afternoon or if you’re on a term break.

But when you have to wake up at 7am to get to work on time, you need to hit snooze on these night-creature habits. You don’t want to go into work all blurry eyed and unable to concentrate because you went to bed at 3am! Or worst, run the risk of waking up late on a day where you need to be at work early for an important meeting.

Like Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

#2 Procrastinating
Had a whole week to complete your student project but left it to the last minute? Your lecturer might be a bit more forgiving or you probably spend the day before submission up all night completing it.

Reality check – at work, deadlines are crucial because others may rely on your input to win important projects to meet the company’s financial goals. Also, leaving things to the last minute means you’ll be rushing through your submission, handing in work that’s not quite up to par. Which is totally not acceptable in the working world... and would be one of the reasons why you won’t get ahead in working life.

#3 Less than desirable grooming habits
Hair greasy and unkempt? Nails unsightly and dirty? Clothes wrinkled and soiled? You really want to start your first job looking like this? What may be forgiveable as a student is a big no-no when you’re a working professional. Would you rather be known for your great presentation skills or the fact that you bite your nails at every meeting?

#4 Bad communication skills
If you’re used to using LOLs and FTWs, you may want to consider communicating in proper words and sentences when you start work. How you carry yourself in terms of your communication skills matters a lot in the working life. Things like mumbling, not speaking clearly and using slang words make you look like an amateur, whether it is through verbal communication or in emails. You may have all the right skills (that’s why you’re hired) but that’s not enough – being able to communicate properly is a massive win factor in your career success.

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

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