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Home Centennial College Blog 2012 December 20 How work life is different from school life

How work life is different from school life

Picture of student in a call centre

The most significant difference of work life from school life is that you gain independence - you are out in the real world. In school, you are assigned grades for completing your assignments. However, as a professional you are paid for your services. Thus, you are able to start saving money to pay off your student loans as well as your other expenses like rent and insurance for your car.

In school you are accountable to your professor whereas at work you are accountable to your boss. The similarity lies in feedback since your progress is evaluated both as a student and a professional. However, in the workforce, there are more immediate consequences if you fail to do your job. You are responsible for quality work and if your boss isn't happy with your performance, you can lose your job - which means losing your ability to pay your bills and in some cases, take care of your family. As a student, the worst thing that can happen is failing your course and losing the monetary value you paid.
Another stark difference in work life is the people who work with you. In school, you have friends who share the same classes with you. You study together in school and also hang out after class. However, in your workplace, your colleagues cannot really be your friends, as you have to maintain a level of professionalism and cannot be fully social while at work - since you need to get work done. Moreover, socializing outside of work is harder since everyone has their own families and are busy with their lives.
Another aspect that you have to get used to on the job is the amount of time you spend working, usually 7-8 hours a day and you have fewer breaks compared to a student. You don’t have the flexibility of taking lunch as and when you please or choose your own time table, even though you may the choice of flex-time or working from home in some cases. 

It is obvious that work life and school life are different in many aspects, but school does prepare you for the work environment, as you learn to be focused, organized and time efficient in school while juggling multiple commitments. The goal is to be able to have work life balance so that you are able to achieve great work s and also enjoy your life outside of work.