From College to Corporate: 5 Tips for a Smooth Transition


Easing out of college life and entering the workforce can be a wake-up call to many, but it is an inevitable rite of passage…and a brutal one at that. Leaving college can be as pleasant as being dropped off in a foreign country without a passport. Graduation is wonderful, commemorating your years of hard work. After all the pomp and circumstance, however, you are faced with a grim reality. You may no longer be carried on your parent’s insurance, landlords aren’t as forgiving as resident assistants, and bosses can be more stressful than all of your past professors combined. The good thing is that it won’t always be that rough. The transition can be the hardest part, but once you’re past that, things often fall into place. To help for a smoother transition, below are 5 prime tips for successfully entering the corporate world.

Tip 1: Set clear and realistic professional goals for yourself. There is nothing worse than entering a new chapter of your life without a plan. Figuring out exactly what you want to do can be taxing and you may even change your mind a few times, but it is still important to strive towards something to help you reach your next step.

Tip 2: Network, Network, Network! Broaden your network by attending the office happy hours or joining a professional organization outside of work. You never know whom you will run into and how that person can help jump start your career.

Tip 3: Balance your personal and professional life. Functioning on three hours of sleep and running on empty at work isn’t a good look. In the corporate world, you have to be on top of your game at all times, so adjust your lifestyle accordingly. That being said, keeping an active social life is important for sanity’s sake so make time for fun here and there.

Tip 4: Be proactive. Unlike some of your college professors, your boss probably won’t have the patience or time to pull effort out of you. That is something you will have to demonstrate on your own.

Tip 5: Take an interest and engage in the work you are doing. If you don’t care about your professional development, then no one else will. Also remember, it is better to be great at one thing than mediocre at many things. Take the time to hone your skills and learn as much as possible for the best experience.

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