Starting out in the working world – your first real job – is an incredibly exciting time. But it can also be stressful. Going to class every day and going into an office daily are two very different things. There are certain habits you need to adopt and make part of your life before you start working. If you start practising these good habits now, you’ll be well on your way to mastering them by the time you start working. Whether you’re working in retail, creating marketing strategies or starting your own business, spending your first days applying for equipment finance, these habits will be useful to all graduates. As Stephen Covey, author of bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, famously wrote: “Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness or ineffectiveness.” Waking up early It’s true that not everyone is a natural morning person. But the working world is geared toward people who are. You’re going to have to get used to waking up, making yourself look presentable and getting to work by the start of office hours. Going to bed early In order to become better at waking up early, you’re going to need to be better about going to bed and sleeping earlier. A good night’s sleep is essential for improved health, wellness, thinking and memory. You’ll need all of these when you start working, so it’s essential you get enough rest. Wearing appropriate clothing You can probably get away with wearing your pyjamas or workout clothes to class right now. As long as you’re covered, no one really cares what you’re wearing. But once you enter the working world, you’ll need slightly more appropriate clothing. You don’t need to wear an old school three price suit or ankle length skirt, but you do need to look clean and well put together. Keeping up to date on current events You’re going to need to know what’s going on in the world when you start interacting and communicating with you new colleagues. There are only so many conversations you can have at the coffee machine about the weather and that latest Game Of Thrones episode. As you get to know your colleagues and start sharing tidbits of each other’s lives, you’ll soon start to discuss the goings on in your community and country. Completing work by deadline The last, and possibly most important, habit you’ll need to master is to hand all work in by the expected deadline. Extensions are not a reality in the workplace; deadlines are set for specific reasons. Presentations need to be made, emails have to be sent to clients and promised work needs to be delivered. Start adjusting to these good habits now, and you’ll be well on your way to a long and successful career.