This Week’s Topic: Transitioning to the Workplace
You finished college and landed your first job! Congratulations! But what now? Figuring out how to transition from college life to the workplace can be overwhelming. There are many challenges associated with this change that you may not have considered when searching for your dream job, but here are some tips to help you conquer this transition to move from collegiate life to professional life.
Acknowledge the transition.
It is okay to not have all the answers. Figuring out a new schedule and job will take some time to get used to. Allow yourself time to adjust, and do not be hard on yourself. Everyone experiences a little nervousness or anxiety when starting a new job.
College has not prepared you for everything.
College places an emphasis on academics, where the workplace will require other skills including teamwork, time management, finances, communication, and balancing work with personal life. Focus less on your academic achievements and more on how you can be a good team player to contribute to the workplace overall.
Understand that most post-college jobs are entry level.
Be aware that your first job may not be the job you always dreamed of having. This may mean you receive lower pay and less responsibilities than what you were hoping for. Employers want to ensure you understand the company and how it works. If you do well, you can expect to move up from that entry level job and gain more responsibilities. Do your research on the company and make a good impression with the tasks given to you to complete. In time, you will move your way to a higher position if you have earned it.
Learn time management.
Managing your time in college looks a lot different than in the workplace. In college, you have a certain degree of control over your schedule, making it so you can sleep in later on some mornings or spacing your classes out to avoid sitting for multiple hours. However, most college graduates have jobs that are five days a week from 8:00am to 5:00pm. There are no nap times built in and no sleeping in when you feel like it. Managing your time between work and personal life can also pose a challenge for college graduates. You may find it harder to schedule time to see friends or make plans during the week. Being able to manage your time on the weekends or after work will allow you to make plans and balance personal life with your new work schedule.
Although each job and workplace are unique, remaining professional is key. You want to be able to show your coworkers that they can depend on you. Focus on your speech, attire, behavior, and motivation. Be punctual with arrival time, meetings, and deadlines. Keep your work organized and neat. Talk to other coworkers about expectations within the workplace so you are aware about what is expected from you. Lastly, be enthusiastic about your work and display good work ethic. Remaining professional in the workplace is crucial to set you apart and gain respect from your coworkers and boss.
Although the transition from collegiate life to professional life can be scary, following these tips can help ease you into your new life. Be confident in your skills and open to new challenges. You have already accomplished so much, so now it is time to put your knowledge to the test!
CAREER READINESS COMPETENCY
Teamwork is a soft skill that can easily translate from classroom projects to campus organizations and onto the professional workplace. Take note of what skills you bring to the team. Being able to collaborate with others who may or may not share your same views, ideas, or culture while navigating disagreements are key factors when it comes to achieving success as a group.