How is adult work like school?

We also use criteria & match reasoning to compare things.

For example, this Marie Claire article argues that adult workplaces are sometimes like high school:

It's funny, isn't it? We grow up, leave high school, go onto college, and then join the ranks of other working professionals, but do some ever really graduate emotionally? After a few years in the real world, it becomes clear that the office where you spend your days is just like the educational institution where you spent your teenage years.

How might work resemble school?

A whimsical, naive illustration in a wide format, depicting kids attempting to work in a typical corporate office

Jot down some distinctive features of school and whether you think work would have the same features. (If you don't have any work experience, make something up—use your imagination!)

Here's a summary of the shared features that Marie Claire came up with:

Things that school and work have in common:




Suck ups





How does that compare to your list? 😂

The Marie Claire writer lists each feature and explains their reasoning for the match.

Here’s an example—do you notice anything interesting?

Routine on Repeat

You show up every morning. It's the same hours, within the same structure, next to the same people all over again, every day. Only now you don't get summers off, you are fully responsible for paying your way, and instead of moving on after four years, you might be at your current place of employment until you, dare we say, retire.

Notice how the writer not only points out the similarities, but also the difference?

Does that undermine the comparison? 

Not in this instance, because the writer is saying that work is even more like high school than high school itself.

Here’s another example. Do you see the same pattern?

Cliques Still Exist

It's impossible to miss them no matter where you work. The girls and guys who stick together – they lunch together, have happy hour together, and watch the same funny YouTube videos they share over their own private chat groups. The biggest difference now is that these can exist across your company's matrix instead of just one grade in school. That means from workers to leaders, even your boss, can be part of a clique. And, sometimes, sadly, these can be mean girls—where their friendships matter more than the company's bottom line.

Write a brief explanation of why work is similar to school based on one of your criteria. Highlight how work actually exaggerates that feature. (Feel free to make things up!)