28 Jan The Difference Between Full Time Work And School
This is an article about the transition from student to full time worker. All of these points are not necessarily currently applicable to my current job but they are all true facts of full time work.
Summer Holiday Is Finished:
It isn’t like school, or even better university, where you force yourself to keep on working because a long summer/Christmas/Easter is coming up. Those month-long holidays will never happen again.
If you want to go on holiday, you have to book it out of the 25 days of annual leave you’ll have, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to take more than 10 days off in a row. Even worse, there is no guarantee that you’ll get the whole of Christmas week off. In some jobs, you might even get roped in to work Christmas Day.
Shut Up Dolly!!:
Do you remember those 80s American movies where the office worker with incredibly padded shoulders would clock out at 5pm? Well, that doesn’t happen in the real working world. There is no such thing as Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, regardless of what industry/business you work in.
You will be expected to stay in the office until your work is finished, and that doesn’t mean you get to come in late the next day. Even creative-types, who get to start later, will finish later, and getting paid for overtime doesn’t happen (Most of the time).
Tax Like A Hole In Your Wallet:
I’m still not really over this one, even though I’ve barely started paying it. It turns out you get taxed at least 20 per cent (40 per cent if you earn a higher rate, in which case you shouldn’t be complaining), and on top of that you have to pay National Insurance, and can contribute to a pension fund.
If you took out a student loan at university, you then have to see more of your remaining salary disappear monthly. By the time all the taxes, bills, and rent are deducted, you will look back with longing at the days of student loans. At least back then you got 10 per cent off at Topshop.
When I heard my parents discussing office politics, I thought they had decided to be a part of the drama. I was convinced that when I entered my own office, there would be no drama, and if there was, I just wouldn’t get involved.
But office politics is an inescapable part of working life, and it isn’t optional. A friend told me he entered his first job to find out that his desk had an invisible boundary line around it, and crossing it would lead to a full blown office turf war. Beware!!
No More Weekday Pub Crawls:
Before you entered the world of full time work it was the norm to go out on weekdays, while weekends were spent recovering from the week. But in the working world, you can’t drink on weeknights anymore as your body won’t be able to handle a hangover at work.
You’ll still spend your weekends recovering, but this time it’s from working so hard and not from partying. If you want to have enough energy to get through the working day (remember it’s longer than 9-5) you have to cut down on drinking and socialising.
Friday Night Bonding At The Pub Is A Lie:
I always imagined this would be an integral part of my working life, but actually, I’ve come to realise that everyone in the office has a life of their own. Friday pub sessions rarely happen now, as everyone wants to spend their precious weekends with their actual friends and not the colleagues they can chat to over their desktops.