How to Transition from the classroom to workforce

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    o you're a new graduate or are about to graduate! Congrats! This is a big milestone, but with graduating can come some anxiety. Many students worry about transitioning from their classrooms to a professional setting.

    Graduating is an exciting time, but it doesn't mean there aren't some pitfalls that come with it. In this blog, we'll go over some of the best tips to help your transition from the classroom to the boardroom. 

    Top 5 Tips for Transitioning into Your New Full-time Career

    Realize you'll need to create a brand-new structure

    The first thing you'll have to do is realize that things are about to change drastically. Before you had a set structure, your class schedule might have changed semester to semester. But there was a clear expectation and schedule before you. As you enter your new workplace, there isn't a set schedule for you... yet.

    You'll have to create your own schedule, but if you're wondering how to do that, check out the tips below.

    • Think about your work week as a whole. Consider any projects, deadlines, and priorities you have
    • Block off certain times throughout your day to dedicate to certain projects
    • Be realistic about how much time it will take you to complete a project or task
    • Budget a little bit of extra time for reviewing, proof-reading, or editing

    Keep your head out of clouds and be realistic

    Let's be honest.  Many students have an unrealistic expectation heading into their first real professional job. When you first start out in the real world, it can be very different from what we imagine in our heads.

    It's best to realize you won't be getting the high priority tasks you would want. Chances are you might get entry level or simpler tasks in the beginning. But don't let this discourage you! Focus on learning as much as you can, ask questions, be positive, and keep your focus. This is your first job, it won't be your last. So learn as much as you can, this is a great opportunity to gain experience and develop your skills.

    Don't be afraid to explore different industries

    When you first start working professional jobs, don't limit yourself! You don't only have to work in one type of industry forever. Poke around with industries you might not have considered before, whether this be a start-up or something off the beaten path.

    Your transition to the workforce doesn't have to be linear. The workforce is truly your playground. Consider jobs outside your field or in a completely different area and see where it goes. Mistakes will happen, maybe you'll choose the wrong job or not like the company. But with each mistake you'll learn and pivot. This ultimately helps you in the end, you'll learn what you like and dislike and then, be able to be more selective next time.

    Take some time to get to know your coworkers

    You should take some time at your new job to get to know the people around you. Your new colleagues are a good opportunity to network within your workplace. This might seem a little intimidating, but there are easy ways to fix this.

    Ask your manager to introduce you to another colleague. and chat with them. If you're working in a remote setting, invite them for a virtual coffee. After you're done talking with them, ask them who should talk to next, if needed ask them to introduce you.

    By making genuine connections, this can help improve your value and give you support you can turn to. This is especially important if you'll be working in a remote setting. If someone declines, don't feel discouraged! Offer an open invitation to chat and continue reaching out and connecting with others.

    Be patient with yourself

    Now this is a good time to remind yourself to be kind to you. When we first enter a new environment it can be an overwhelming time. There are many things around us that are new, unfamiliar, and intimidating. Sometimes that expectation we have on our head can be our own worst enemy.  It's very important to allow yourself some room to make mistakes.

    It's a good idea to have goals and benchmarks to track your progress, but don't be overly attached to these metrics. When starting out in a new workplace, it's going to take time to adjust so make sure you give yourself that time.

    A student writing on their notebook.

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