How to Transition from College to the Professional World
In this article, we will go over several tips that can help you adjust to your new job post college.
August 31st, 2023
At Katapult Network, we understand that people are more than just a resume and jobs are more than just a list of tasks. We're a recruiting company that takes a human-focused approach to the job search where we're able to match college graduates with entry-level, professional jobs. Whether you're a job-seeker looking to start your professional career or a hiring manger seeking to build your future leadership at the entry-level, we're excited to be your partner in navigating the search process.
After graduating from college many are ready to enter the workforce in the professional world. While internships help you get a taste of what working is like, securing your first job and working it can be extremely different from that experience. Here are some tips that can help you adjust to this new way of living so you can be successful in your first year out of college!
1. Accept that everything is going to change:
From now on, your life is going to be different in pretty much every way. You’ll have to get used to early mornings, commuting, and having a different social schedule. You may have moved back in with your parents again or moved to a new city, meaning your home life will change too. Try to see this change as an opportunity for personal growth and learning rather than a negative thing.
2. Keep an open mind:
I’m sure you’ve long wondered what the ‘corporate world’ is really like. You’ve probably formed some strong assumptions over the years – both good and bad – from family, friends, lecturers, careers advisors, even TV and movies. Of course, some of these assumptions will be more accurate than others. So, try to keep an open mind as you embark on your first job.
3. Be patient and persevere:
If you’re about to start your first job out of college, some of your responsibilities will likely be relatively administrative. As you climb your career ladder and become more senior, your responsibilities and tasks will become more interesting and advanced. So, be patient, stay motivated and persevere.
4. Your first job won’t be your last:
It’s important to understand, too, that your first job won’t be your last one, for the simple reason that we’re all living and working for longer than we have ever done in the past. So, if your first job isn’t everything you thought it would be, don’t worry too much. This is just the first stage of your career journey – you have a wealth of experiences ahead of you. Take as much as you can from your current role, and then move on.
5. Don’t compare yourself to your friends:
In the era of social media, it can be easy to start comparing yourself to your friends from college. This isn’t healthy and it’s certainly not helpful. Instead of scrolling through their social feeds, talk directly to your friends about how they are transitioning from student to working life. You will find that most of them will be in the same boat as you, which can be reassuring and can also give you a sense of perspective. Remember that social media can be deeply deceptive, because people only tend to share the things on their social media profiles that they want others to see.
6. Try not to feel intimidated:
During your time as a student, the only people you probably would have come across regularly who were in a more ‘senior’ position to you were your professors. The world of work can be a whole different ball game. You’ll almost certainly come across people who are much older than you, and in much more senior positions – possibly positions that you might aspire to be in one day. Try not to feel intimidated by this, instead see it as an opportunity to learn. Remember that even the most senior person in the company was once in a similar position to the one you’re in right now. Everyone has to start somewhere. In any case, it’s very likely that one day, you’ll be in their shoes!
7. Have the confidence to ask questions and share your ideas:
You may have reached what you consider to be a high level of knowledge in your degree subject over the last few years of studying, but when you start out in the world of work, you’ll soon realize you don’t know everything. In fact, you’ll sometimes feel like you don’t know anything. This is no reason to allow your confidence to be battered down. Employers appreciate young graduates for their curiosity, energy and eagerness to learn, not to mention the fresh and new perspectives they often bring. So, if you do find yourself bubbling with exciting ideas when you join a company, don’t be afraid to suggest them.
Transitioning from college to working in a professional can be a struggle but with these tips we hope to prepare you for this endeavor. You are more than capable of making this change, but it is helpful to know what you can do to prepare yourself a little bit more! We hope you have a great start to your professional career.