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The holidays have arrived earlier than ever this season at least it feels that way.

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Skip to main content Skip to footer Skip to site map. Career Planning 5 Ways to Ease the Transition from College to a Career Help ease the transition from student status to your next phase of life and set yourself up for long term career success. Elizabeth Hoyt March 25, Graduating from college is a big change.

The key is making a plan of action as early on as possible and following it through.

This plan will help you determine your career goals, gain job or internship experience and recognize potential opportunities that exist. Business Journals shared detailed tips which can help you successfully plan this transition and place yourself in situation that aids success. Indicate your interest in gaining valuable skills and experience that will help you stand out as a job applicant. By preparing for them in advance, you have a better chance of more gracefully easing into your transition from college to work. Some students are quite adept at planning flexible college schedules that suit their personal preferences, like limiting classes to only late afternoon hours or just a few days of the week.

If you're one of these students, you might have a harder time adjusting to work every day, all day, five days a week.

And no, you can't hit the snooze button and grab the notes from a friend; show up late one too many times, and you'll find yourself unemployed. Your new work schedule will also likely put limits on your vacation and free time. In college, it's easy to get used to long weekends away from campus — on top of luxuriously long winter and summer breaks. Unfortunately, generous time off can be hard to come by with employers.

You may be lucky to have two weeks of annual paid vacation in your first job.

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You could even find yourself working over the holidays, as it's not uncommon for long-tenured employees to get the first choice for preferred vacation time. And then, there's general time management. Managing various group projects, tests and other activities in college may have been challenging, but the stakes are much higher when you're employed. In the workplace, managing your time well is essential to not only strong job performance, but also maintaining work-life balance.

College didn't teach me about working 40 hours. College didn't teach me a bedtime … but those are all things you learn with necessity. I think if I had worked during my college career … I would have learned that.

5 Ways to Ease the Transition from College to a Career

On the other hand, some students worked so many late hours in college that they find that their jobs after college — where homework is not necessarily required — a welcome relief. Chamber of Commerce. I tell people that I have had more fun since I graduated college than I did in all four years of college. I have gotten involved in many activities too," she says.

If you were lucky, your college experience may even have helped you learn to manage your time better. As another recent grad explains, "While I was in school, I was used to managing a full course load while participating in a variety of extracurricular activities. I have tried to follow this thought, and it seems to work the majority of the time. For many students, college is a rite of passage — a time to explore different interests, be adventurous and even go a little crazy pushing new boundaries.

3 strategies for any job transition - Herminia Ibarra - WOBI

In college, acting unprofessionally might just result in a bad grade or a lecture from an administrator or professor. But in the workplace, unprofessional behavior can get you fired. That's called personal accountability," one business-school grad says. You should always have the zeal to seek out new knowledge and learn from your mistakes.

That is what creates uniqueness and personal character. In the working world, it's important to demonstrate that you're a reliable team player who people can rely on to do your job. Deadlines are critical, much more so than in college.

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You might have been able to schmooze your professor into giving you an extension, but you'll find that in most fast-paced business environments, missing deadlines is unacceptable. While it helps to have a solid vision of your preferred career path after graduation, don't panic if your first job doesn't perfectly match your original expectations. Many recent college grads change jobs after their first year in the workforce — the job and career you thought you wanted may not be a fit you once you've a chance to experience it first-hand.

Another common misconception is that your college major dictates the types of jobs for which you can apply. Sure, some specialized fields, such as engineering or nursing, require a specific degree for entry-level positions. But most entry-level positions simply require a college degree and an expressed interest or passion.

Focus your job search on the roles that sound most interesting and relevant to you, rather than those that you feel best accommodate your academic degree. In fact, statistics show that students graduating from college today will change careers multiple times over the course of their working life, so don't worry if your first job isn't a dream position. But it's never too early to start planning for the future you do want. Keep track of your accomplishments and build up the transferable skills you can apply to bigger, better jobs down the road.

One of the most common issues we hear from overwhelmed recent grads is that college didn't help them develop the interpersonal and life management skills truly needed to transition from college to career. If you have concerns about any of these 'soft' skills, meet with a career professional in your college's career services office for added support and preparation.

2. Professionalism rules the workplace

If you're like many college graduates, you may have thought that earning a degree would guarantee you an exciting job in the field of your choice right out of the gate. The truth is that job markets are competitive in most fields, regardless of your level of experience. Securing a job offer is very time-consuming and a lot of work — and the process can be stressful and, at times, disappointing. So many people had similar skills, my employer literally went by things such as resume appearance or randomly choosing 10 out of 30 similar but great resumes.

It's tough! As most experienced job seekers know, hunting for job opportunities takes commitment and effort. Use all resources available to you, track down all job leads, and follow up on all leads and interviews. The more quality work you put into your job search, the better your chances will be at landing an opportunity. College students today also can easily fall prey to the misconception that the internet is the one and only way to find a job.

Don't discount good old-fashioned personal networking as an option. Reach out to anyone who might have a lead on a job:. Having a college degree does not entitle you to a job, and most employers will not be as impressed with your grades or your education as you are.

2. Clean up your online presence.

The sooner you make peace with those two truths, the better. It's certainly true that graduating from a prestigious school or having a high grade-point average can be advantageous, but a wise graduate won't rely on those credentials alone to land a job.