As your post-secondary education comes to a close, your new chapter of entering the working world has only begun. Gone are the days of text books and studying for exams, replaced instead with a daily test of your skills in practical situations.
Transitioning from school to the working world may feel difficult, but there are tips for easing the stress and anxiety. First and foremost, relax. Going from elementary school to secondary school may have been unnerving, and from secondary school to post-secondary school intimidating, but you survived those transitions and likely with ease.
With each transition you are welcomed into a new environment, introduced to new people coming from different backgrounds, and faced with new challenges.
If possible, gain practical, hands-on experience in a volunteer or paid setting prior to finishing your schooling. By gaining experience in a professional environment prior to graduating and entering the working world, you have the opportunity to practice being a professional. This also allows you to start networking with contacts helpful to you in your future endeavors and building additional skills needed for professional settings.
Once you’ve finished your education and have landed a position, be prepared from day one. Arrive on time, come dressed appropriately based on the setting, and keep an open mind. Introduce yourself to your co-workers and have a willingness to hear and accept any of their advice.
Openness is the most important trait for you to possess during the transition period from your schooling to the working world. You will be given new tasks, sometimes not directly related to your area of study, and need to learn to work productively with your new co-workers and in your new setting.
Just like in your schooling, remember to ask questions to your superiors. Superiors in many ways will be replacing the role professors previously played in your life. They will guide you as you start your career and likely teach you new skills and knowledge. Asking questions and creating an open relationship with supervisors and co-workers will also help you blend into the environment easier.
Lastly, when transitioning into the work force, understand your role within the company. In your post-secondary studies you may have “ruled the school” but you are a small fish in the professional world. Respect and learn from co-workers who possess years of experience, asking their advice rather than simply assuming your way is correct.
Transitioning into the working world does not have to be a scary thing, and if you’re willing to learn and make an effort to fit into your new setting you’ll start to feel like a big fish in your new pond in no time.