Tips for Successful Transitions from College into the World of Professionals

Thursday, August 24, 2017


A college education teaches you many things including writing, researching and thinking. Now you have grasped all that and finally graduated. What next? You join the world of professionals where there are no teachers or lesson plans to follow.

Now you should make the transition from the settled college life to a professional field you may have no idea of. Unfamiliar faces, nine-to-five workdays, and no more long summer vacations – it is enough to make you curl into your cubicle.

But don’t lose hope. There are a few tips that can help you move into the professional world smoothly. Here are some ideas.

Determine Your Direction

Maybe you have excellent education qualifications that fit different job positions but you don’t know what would be best for you. The best thing is to try to determine your direction. Go for a job position that you feel fit and interested in not just for now, but in the coming years. Remember you’ll need to develop your skills in that direction until you get used to it.

Research and Analyze Early 

Start the transition process as early as possible, before you graduate. Get to learn the job market, the skills you need, job requirements, and additional skills to help you stand out among your peers. This will give you an idea of what to expect and maybe you might learn a thing or two that you can add into your resume to make it competitive.

Make up Your Developmental Plan 

The reason why you go to college is to gain knowledge and build a good professional career later. So, you need to grasp the right skills. As a young graduate, you need to develop professional and personal aspects. The best way to do this is to make an individual developmental planof improving your qualifications along the way. Your first job will be a stepping stone, so don’t limit yourself to a specific frame of your new job. Look for the ways to develop your personality all around. Investing time and effort in own improvement will definitely be justified.

Develop Universal Skills

In college, you are taught about effective communication, research and presenting skills, proficient writing, languages, working in a team, and many others. These universal skillsare meant to prepare you for the successful transition to the professional world and will be your stock-in-trade.

Tom Moore, a writing expert and tutor from UK Essayontime, lays stress on the necessity of professional writing skills that can сome useful when crafting your high-end resumes, job applications, follow-up letters, or corporate mailing. He also indicates that it’s generally treated as a skill of minor importance in a career, but which shows the level of your proficiency.   

So, mastering universal skills will for sure help you cope with entry barriers. Don’t ignore them!

Work on Your Weaknesses 

As you go through different levels in college, you start to recognize your weaknesses. The first step is to admit your own weaknesses, and start to work on them. If you are not very good at public speaking, look for a professional training teacher to help you overcome the fear of it and volunteer to make public speeches to get it fluent by the time you are out of school.

Build Professional Profiles

Building profiles are not just about your resume. You need to revise your social media profiles so that they don’t give away the show. Create a LinkedIn profile and include relevant extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and any other activity that can add value to your resume. This will help employers find you quickly and take you more seriously.

Grow Your Networks

Not everyone is comfortable with networking. Making new connections requires getting out of your comfort zone and looking for cross-points to benefit from them.

But a good network can offer more scope for your career prospects, new knowledge and valuable experience.  Visit some professional conferences, meetings or just join a community in your area to start building your network and get new contacts.

Accept In-House Code of Conduct

The truth is many young people feel much too ambitious and sometimes they may not agree with some rules especially when it is their first job. The best way to go about it is to be patient and develop your self-discipline and mindfulness. Every company expects you to behave according to their internal standards. Train yourself to accept the code of conduct in your job.

Opt for Mentorship

Individual growth can be attributed to the involvement of mentors. At some point in life, we always need a mentor. Their value comes when a senior person can teach you a lot about the profession you want to pursue. This will help you know what to do to land your job and gain practical experience.

Make Things Happen

While college is characterized by preplanned activities and classes for you, the professional world offers different experiences and expects you to take actions.

Cynthia E. Olmedo put it right, “You must know what you are fishing for and have no fear of casting out; alternatively you will just end up with whatever the tide washes in.” Be ready to adapt to the changes and accept the challenges it offers.  Learn to be a proactive and thoughtful leader, have control of your days.

Look Smart

Your overall appearance is what others see first when they meet you. In fact, how you choose to present yourself speaks volumes. Neatness and cared-for look contributes to your confidence and helps to build up a dialogue with an interviewer. Spice up the feeling by wearing proper clothes and do some physical exercises to keep fit.

Be Realistic

To grow to a professional requires time and effort. This includes hard and long work on yourself. Don’t feel frustrated when you fail at one thing. Let every mistake be a lesson you should learn from. Set reasonable goals and plan your steps to achieve them.

The last days of college may have been the most stressful days of your student life when you need to take final decisions and set directions. Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare before joining the professional world. Make up your plan and put it into action!

About our guest blogger:  Rachel Bartee is a blogger and a freelance writer. She loves writing about things that are on her mind and can be of use to others. She feels inspired by her morning yoga and oil painting classes. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


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