The Transition from School to Career

It is possible that you stumbled on this post and just decided to peruse. On the other hand, you might be a graduate intentionally seeking information on how to ease the transition from school life to career. Whatever the case may be, I’m glad you dropped by. Please tag along.

First of all, I will like to establish the fact that I am not a pro with regards to matters such as this. I don’t have a lot of work experience. I’m currently just a student.

However, I was lucky enough to find myself working as an intern at an architectural consultancy for a short period of six months. Topped up by observation and, my personal work experience from side hustles as well as volunteer work, I’ve garnered useful tips which I’m going to share, in an attempt to help you out in your journey too.

It’s important to note that school life and work-life run on different principles but, they undoubtedly, also have a lot in common.

Consider me your personal aide, present to guide you through a couple of mindset shifts that will help you transition successfully from being a graduate to taking the very first steps in your career. Enjoy!

1. Be Professional

This is not volunteer work or a random side hustle. It is a corporate job, a major first step towards building your career, which is why you should try as much as possible to put your best foot forward. The trick is to always to do more than is expected of you. This might not be easy but, it undoubtedly makes you stand out from the rest.

Don’t just settle for average or the bare minimum. Exude excellence. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Be a person who your boss can depend on to get the task done effectively within the set period of time.

It’s important to take this into consideration. The repercussions for missing deadlines in the field of work is much greater than the consequences you faced during your college/university days.

You probably ended up with low marks or a rebuke but, in the world of work, your boss might not be that considerate. Failing to manage your time well means you are dragging your work ethic on the ground, thereby ruining first impressions or worst still, setting yourself up for dismissal.

Trust me, you don’t want to find yourself in either of these situations, so put in the work.

Another way of being professional is taking initiative. Being proactive is the key.

Don’t just sit around and wait for work to be handed over to you. Actively engage and look for ways in which you can help solve a problem.

2. Be a Student for Life

So you thought the learning process is over? No. The journey has just begun. Learning does not end in school, so don’t limit the education you gain to the four corners of a classroom. There is so much you can learn on the job, through self-studying or by taking online classes. Utilize every opportunity you have and use it as a point of contact to add value to your self. Be a student for life.

3. Work on your People-Skills

As a student, you could handle work on your own. You did your assignments and tests alone. If you ever actively worked with your colleagues it was through projects which were short-lived.

In the world of work, it’s a whole different ball game because you will now be working as a member of a team and not as an individual. This is why it’s important to develop your people-skills if you are not naturally a people-person already.

Be patient with yourself if you are going to embark on the journey of learning such skill because soft skills such as this are not developed overnight. They are honed through practice and experience.

In most corporations and companies, employers tend to be more satisfied with people who are capable of getting along with their co-workers as opposed to individuals that are stuck up with bad attitudes. As such, it will be a win-win situation for you if you don’t mind adding this to your skillset.

4. Find a Mentor

No man is an island as we have all heard before. In a professional work setting the same principle applies. If you really want to go fast and far in a relatively short period of time. It’s important to attach yourself to someone who already knows what you want to know. Be intentional in your relationship with this person. Be determined to grow. Ask questions and listen.

It’s also important to note that balance should be maintained in such a situation. You don’t want to be overly dependent on this person. What you want to achieve is interdependence and not dependence. Be equally willing to make research and find answers to your questions yourself. This builds personal character and births greater satisfaction.

{Read: 6 Qualities a Mentor Should possess}

5. It’s a Process

We all fantasize about graduating from school and landing our dream jobs immediately. If your position in your first job fails to meet your original expectations, don’t freak out. Refuse to panic if the job is less-than-ideal. Remember that life is a journey. Things will eventually work out with patience and persistence.

With these things in mind, It is my desire for you to not just survive but to thrive. Also keep in mind that by following through with these principles, you will be setting yourself up not just for short term gratification but, long term career success. You’ve got this!

Are there more tips I should have added? Do let me know in the comments.


3 thoughts on “The Transition from School to Career

  1. This blog was really enlightening. It gave me a clearer picture of what to expect outside school. I have a lot of dreams an expectations, however they are still a little bit vague. I hope with time things get clearer.
    Thanks again, I hope to read more of your blog posts.


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