As a student, you’ve likely started to plan your entry into the workforce. From developing key skills to making the right connections, it’s important to be proactive in preparing for your transition into a professional career.

However, while it’s important to cultivate new competencies — it’s also important to shed poor habits before leaving school. Understanding some key habits that you should let go of before stepping into a professional career can bolster your chances of excelling in your new roles.

Here are personal and professional habits you should kick before hitting the workforce.

Using Tobacco

Whether you smoke, snuff, or chew tobacco, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage in terms of entering the workforce. While it may have been completely acceptable to be a tobacco-using employee back in the Mad Men days, these days, it’s typically looked down upon.

In addition to attracting scorn from hiring managers and organisational leaders, the habit of using tobacco can also make you a less effective employee. If you’re a current user of tobacco, you know just how distracting it can be when you have to wait to ingest nicotine. If you’re not prepared to feel this way for the majority — if not all — of your workdays, it’s probably time to kick the habit.

Unhealthy Eating

As a student, it’s not surprising if eating healthy foods is usually the last priority on your list. While you may not acutely feel the effects of this habit at this point in time, you most likely will when spending eight hours working.

The foods you consume have a number of effects on your body, ranging from your energy levels to your ability to handle stress. As a professional, you’ll want to ensure that you’re ready to deal with any situation thrown your way and thrive in your role. By cultivating a better relationship with food and engaging in healthy habits, such as sustainable eating, you’ll be in a better position to excel as a professional and impress your bosses.

Consistent Procrastination

When it comes to being a student, procrastinating can have a sneaky way of becoming a consistent habit. Regardless, you may still be able to sustain decent grades and eventually graduate. Unfortunately, as it pertains to becoming a professional in the workforce, this habit won’t help you get very far.

Procrastination is one of the key traits that organisational leaders dislike in their teams and employees. Consequently, showing consistent signs of procrastination can get you in the bad graces of your superiors. In addition, you’ll likely have other team members who depend on you, meaning procrastination can negatively impact your relationship with your coworkers.

Given the many negative ramifications that can come from a habit of procrastination, it’s safe to say that you should definitely try to kick it before stepping into the workforce.

Bad Communication Skills

To thrive as a professional in the workforce, it’s important to be an adept communicator that can easily, consistently, and effectively express your thoughts and opinions. If you find that you’re someone who doesn’t always communicate clearly, you’ll want to prioritise altering that before you transition into a professional role.

Bad communication skills can result in a number of negative scenarios. From inadvertently offending others to miscommunicating key details about projects, instances of bad communication can wreak havoc on your career. To ensure that you never experience these results as a result of your communication style, it’s important to shed your bad communication skills and become an adept communicator before pursuing professional roles.

Poor Self Care

For many students, putting off self-care can be a consistent pattern. While this may not have a substantial effect while you’re in school, it definitely will once you enter the workforce.

Unlike being a student, being a professional typically involves having a very limited amount of time off. As a result, pushing yourself to your limits without engaging in proper self-care will likely result in experiences of stress, anxiety, and burnout. These experiences can ultimately cause you to perform poorly in your roles, leading to being reprimanded or even fired.

Since poor self-care can have such a disastrous effect on your professional life, it’s important to kick this harmful habit before transitioning into the workforce.

It’s Important to Prepare for Your Professional Life

As a student, it’s not the end of the world if you engage in a couple of unhealthy habits. However, when it comes to being a professional, continuing to engage in these habits can have a myriad of dire consequences.

Given the importance of thriving in your professional roles, it’s key to buckle down and kick any unhealthy habits before stepping into the workforce. Though some habits may seem hard to let go of at first, putting in the effort and staying determined will help you prevail and find more success in your professional life.