How to Make a Successful Transition from College to Career

How to Make a Successful Transition from College to Career

There’s a rhythm to starting each semester in school. New college graduates can use the same format with some tweaks to approach transitioning into a workplace.

It’s May, which means a flood of new graduates will be entering the workforce. Making the move from college to the workplace requires a lot of adjustments, including learning acquiring new job skills, managing interactions with colleagues, and learning to balance independent projects with working on a team.

Whether you’re adjusting yourself or working with someone new to the workplace, here is a checklist of ways to navigate the transition and make it more manageable.

Long term project management
In college, a big project rarely lasted longer than a semester, and usually were much shorter. But in the workplace, you’re often expected to juggle multiple projects that can last six months, a year or longer. When you’re working on projects of these lengths, set several milestone goals, check in on progress regularly, get feedback, and use the resources of others around you. Here are steps to take to become more proficient at project managing, which will make your work life flow more simply.

Set expectations
At the beginning of the semester, your professor issues a syllabus and devotes the first class to expectations. This not only provides a framework, it helps determine the professor’s teaching style and fit and feel. The same format is just as crucial when starting your role at work. Sit down and communicate face to face – not just over email – so both of you can get a sense of your style, your motivations and expectations.

Secure a mentor
When you’re in college, you can stop by your professor’s office hour or book an appointment with your academic advisor. The same principles of mentorship are just as important in the workplace. But after you graduate, you have to be more proactive about it securing your own mentor. Having a mentor will enable you to learn what employers expect from new grads and you can use the information to make yourself job ready. Here are a few more tips on the best ways to find and choose a mentor.

After years of being in the school system, it will take new grads time to transition to a different environment. But just as freshmen become seniors, this next generation will mature, learn and grow into their roles. Good luck, graduates!

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