College graduates are usually passionate and enthusiastic about the future. They dream of big careers and hope to reach top level positions. But they also face a number of dilemmas: How to make a shift from theory to practice? Can I handle the everyday routine? Is competition too strong for me?
The mind of a fresh graduate is burdened with all sorts of doubts. However, it’s not a mission impossible and there are many ways to successfully change your college mindset and become a professional. In this article, we are going to present the most efficient tips to help you get through the difficult period.
- Set your professional objectives
Good students gain a lot of knowledge over years and then find it challenging to choose an adequate industry. Therefore, the priority is to set your professional objectives and decide to go in one direction. There are many factors to consider. For instance, you may think about the latest trends in business or current opportunities but your own affinities should play the key role in that regard. Follow your academic and intellectual intuition and you’ll be on the right path to choose the best niche.
- Think about it on time
It will be difficult to adapt to the new situation without decent preparations. You should think about the career on time and conduct a little research about the jobs that you are interested in or the market in general. At the same time, it would be great to volunteer from time to time or apply for an internship within a large company. It will look good on your resume and give you the notion how it feels to work in a serious organization.
- Start wide and then specialize
Young graduates start from scratch and slowly add practical experiences to their theoretical knowledge. At first, you will get a broad impression about the business but you will gradually specialize and deserve better position within the organization. Although it is a long-term process, be glad that you have a chance to put into practice what you have learned during college. Many people don’t have such good prospects but college graduates can count on higher earnings and better career achievements.
- Use your knowledge
Although it’s crucial for you to accumulate enough experience and explore the details of your professional occupation, your fresh academic knowledge still give you the advantage over more experienced colleagues. Use the methods of evidence-based thinking, research, and teamwork to boost your career right from the start.
Just like Alex Downer, a career advisor at the writing service company, recently stated: “Contemporary college graduates have a few skills that were not too common back at the time. They are exceptionally good at public presentations and especially in writing, which is their biggest virtue. They should use this quality to grab the attention of supervisors and earn higher positions in the hierarchy.”
- Improve your weak spots
Nobody’s perfect but for young people, it’s often very hard to admit their flaws and start dealing with them. You need to be honest and analyze your weaknesses objectively. Once you do this, you can work on it and improve your weak spots. For instance, if you are not fluent in a foreign language but really need it for the job, take private lessons or online courses.
- Make use of social media
Today, employers don’t only explore your resume before hiring. They also look at your social media accounts to find out what kind of person they are dealing with. That’s why you need to update your digital profiles and add relevant information related to your academic background, volunteering, or previous work experiences. Obviously, the last thing you’d want is to be denied consideration based on your social media footprint.
Networking – both on and offline – can be essential for your career advancement. Even if you are not the friendliest person in the world, you have to grow the network of professional acquaintances to increase the chance of getting noticed.
- Adapt to the corporate climate
All organizations, especially the biggest ones, have a strong corporate culture that employees must respect. On the other hand, young workers usually doubt general rules and call into question the basic principles of business. You should avoid making such mistakes because the methodology exists to make the company as a whole more functional. Be patient and adapt to the corporate climate – that’s the best thing you can do.
- Find a mentor
Perhaps you are a genuine do-it-yourself player but our recommendation is to rely on more experienced colleagues in the beginning. Try to find a mentor or at least an advisor who will guide you through the early stages of your career. It should be the person you trust but also with huge practical experience. The mentor is there to help you learn the essentials of the business and eventually let you work independently.
- Be ready to make improvisations
Professional career continuously brings unexpected issues that you must solve in short notice. Unlike the college – where everything runs according to the academic schedule – your job will be full of surprises. One of your duties will be to embrace the challenges, to see them as new opportunities, and then to look for solutions to the problems. It requires a full focus and improvisations skills but that’s exactly the beauty of real-life business.
- Build personal image
People usually believe their first impressions so try to present yourself as an intellectual from the first day you enter your office. Build your personal image and try to look good whenever possible. Also dedicate some time to the sports and training – people will respect you simply for being fit. It works on a subconscious level in the minds of your colleagues but what matters the most is that it actually works.
- Dream big but don’t just dream
Fresh graduates usually want it all and they want it immediately. However, it’s not easy to find a good position among so many talented peers and experienced colleagues. Be persistent and work hard. Don’t break down after mistakes – they are parts of the learning process. You should dream big and hope for the best but also work hard to achieve your objectives.
College graduation is a real crossroad in life as young people need to adapt to new circumstances and become serious professionals. In this article, we gave you some great tips how to deal with that – don’t hesitate to use our suggestions and prepare for the initial challenges in your career.
Sophia Anderson is an associate educator, blogger and freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on learning, writing, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development. Talk to her on Facebook or LinkedIn.
All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.