by Brandy Abalos
The shift from college to the working world can be a daunting one. The former student suddenly faces new challenges, like finding a job, managing their finances and navigating professional relationships. It can feel isolating, but millions of people make this transition every year.
In fact, according to the Education Data Initiative, more than 3 million people graduate with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees each year in the United States. Some graduates have been managing work and college simultaneously. However, others will be entering the workforce with fresh eyes.
Tips To Navigate The Transition Into A Career
The transition can be scary. A graduate must take responsibility for their own professional growth and learn to dress and act professionally. It’s essential to get a good grasp on how to juggle all these new tasks. Here are some tips to navigate the shift from college to a career,
  • Adjust Expectations. College is a very different experience from working full-time. In college, students have a lot of freedom and flexibility to set their own schedules and pursue outside interests. Most graduates will have to work longer hours and deal with more bureaucracy in the workplace. It’s vital to adjust expectations and be prepared for this change.
  • Be Proactive In Searching For A Job. One of the best things to ease the transition is to be proactive. Start looking for jobs early, and don’t hesitate to contact people for help. Network with other professionals in the same field and attend industry events. Being proactive gives the former student a better chance of success.
  • Be Willing to Learn. The most successful and fulfilled adults are lifelong learners. Work is constantly changing, so it’s essential to keep up. Be bold, ask questions and take on new challenges. Knowledge increases a candidate’s value to potential employers. Consider continuing education through online courses, conferences, lectures and other methods. There is an array of learning opportunities out there.
  • Build Strong Professional Relationships. Professional relationships are crucial to a successful career. Make an effort to build rapport with colleagues and managers. Strong relationships will make work more enjoyable and often open up opportunities that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.
  • Don’t Neglect Soft Skills. Soft skills like communication, teamwork and problem-solving are just as necessary as hard skills, both professionally and personally. Try to develop soft skills by taking classes, volunteering or participating in extracurricular activities.
  • Be Professional in All Situations. Remaining professional is vital in the workplace. Being professional means dressing appropriately, being on time and respecting colleagues and managers. It also means being reliable and trustworthy.
  • Be Patient. It takes time for a person to adjust and find their place in the world. Most people don’t find their dream job immediately. Things often don’t work out as planned and many people try multiple careers before finding one that fits. Just keep working hard and learning new things; eventually, a path will open up.
  • Don’t Neglect Self-Care. It’s important to take care of oneself both physically and mentally during this transition. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods and sleep 7-9 hours each night. There is also no shame in asking for help if the transition becomes overwhelming.

Successfully Transition From College To A Career

Millions of people make the transition from college every year. The keys to a successful transition are being proactive, willing to learn, building relationships and, most importantly, taking care of oneself.