LIFE AF­TER SCHOOL

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Front Page - LAU­REN AHWAN

S CHOOL leavers are en­cour­aged to keep their fi­nances in check and hold tight to their dreams if they are to suc­ceed in the next step of their ca­reer jour­ney. Mean­while, those still at school are en­cour­aged to find part-time work to ease their tran­si­tion to life af­ter Year 12.

Steve Clif­ford, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Doxa, a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion for dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren, says the stress re­lease that comes with fin­ish­ing school is of­ten quickly re­placed by new anx­i­eties about ad­just­ing to work or ter­tiary study.

“This pe­riod (of leav­ing school) is of­ten stress­ful for many young peo­ple and can be­come a roller-coaster of emo­tions,” Clif­ford says. “School is such a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment but, when you come out of that, it can be quite chal­leng­ing.

“It’s harder th­ese days. There’s a lot of pres­sure to get into that univer­sity course or to go out and get a job – but it’s not al­ways that easy.”

Heart Sparks life coach Jo­hanna Parker says school leavers of­ten re­port a lack of mo­ti­va­tion as they strug­gle with their new cir­cum­stances, but what they re­ally lack is com­mit­ment.

“Be­ing com­mit­ted is a skill that can be learned,” she says. “It’s about con­tin­u­ing to show up when things feel hard and mo­ti­va­tion is wan­ing, es­pe­cially (if) you are be­ing turned down for jobs or fur­ther study.”

Finance Academy Aus­tralia spokesman Chin­may Ananda says fin­ish­ing school brings a sense of free­dom and in­de­pen­dence, but can also be a strug­gle with per­sonal fi­nances.

Ananda sug­gests spend­ing no more than 45 per cent of a salary on liv­ing ex­penses such as rent, bills, travel and food and no more than 15 per cent on clothes, en­ter­tain­ment and hol­i­days.

Clif­ford says se­cur­ing part-time work while still at school can help min­imise the ad­just­ment to life af­ter Year 12.

“If you get work ex­pe­ri­ence in your high school years, you can build up some of those skills that will help you out­side of school – things like turn­ing up on time,” he says.

“Hav­ing a job (while still at school) can build up your self-con­fi­dence so you can deal with the chal­lenges af­ter school, whether you are at uni or go­ing straight into work or what­ever it might be.”

Shel­ley Fenech, 22, says it took time to tran­si­tion into univer­sity but per­se­ver­ance paid off.

“At high school, they re­ally want you to do well but at univer­sity it can feel like your lecturers don’t care,” says the 22-year-old, who now works as a sales and mar­ket­ing as­sis­tant at Anec­dote.

“It is hard to stay mo­ti­vated. I found go­ing to the (univer­sity) li­brary was a good strat­egy for me to get work done. When I was (study­ing at home) it was too easy to be dis­tracted.”

Pic­ture: NI­COLE GARMSTON

CUL­TURE SHOCK: Shel­ley Fenech says it may take a while to ad­just to univer­sity life, where it can be hard to stay mo­ti­vated.

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