Congratulations! Your hard work has finally paid off; attending career fairs and networking events, crafting your application to various companies and preparing for interviews. You have now secured your first job, fresh out of the university. The transition from student to employee can be an overwhelming experience. Here are five tips to help you make the transition process as smooth as possible.
Communication: While studying, you may have gotten used to communicating with your lecturers and fellow students. The world of work exposes you to more varied forms of communications. You would most likely work with other colleagues in a team, it is important to communicate the progress and results of your tasks with the team. This could be during meetings or through emails. You may be given the tasks of communicating with external stakeholders, preparing reports or delivering presentations to the client. Each form of communication should be executed professionally. Even informal conversations with colleagues and networking with others in your industry requires certain etiquette to be displayed.
Flexibility/Adaptability/Resilience: Working in the industry is different to studying in terms of the case studies we considered. While studying, you usually worked on ideal and clearly defined scenarios. In the industry, situations are constantly evolving, with changing technologies, different business requirements and even unforeseen circumstances. To be a successful working professional, you must understand how to deal with change and how to factor it into our planning. It is wise to adopt an agile mindset, which means being adaptable and resilient to change.
Curiosity/Willingness to learn: A major lesson to note is that we do not learn everything at university. The major thing we ought to take from our university degree is the ability to learn and the willingness to apply knowledge to drive change and innovation in industry. The world is changing at a really fast pace, so it is important to stay curious and understand how changes affect your work and processes. There are many opportunities to learn from the wealth of experience of your more experienced colleagues. The growth of your professional experience is largely dependent on your ability to tap into the wealth of various knowledge sources that surround you. Be willing to put your hand up for opportunities that stretch you out of your comfort zone.
Leverage your unique skills and experience: This might sound cliché, but you have a range of skills and experiences that is unique to you as a person. Do not be afraid to stand out and express your points of view. You are a unique combination of your experiences, skills and education. This is required for innovation so do not be afraid to showcase this as a fresh graduate in industry.
Confidence in providing fresh perspectives: It is very common after many years of working in the industry, more experienced professionals may develop what is known as ‘tunnel vision’, that is, is a tendency to do things a certain way. While this usually results in higher efficiency, it could also result in less opportunities for innovation. As a fresh graduate in a company, you have the unique advantage of a new perspective. You get to ask questions that may lead to innovation and reduction of waste where possible. Learn to confidently express these views as they are an important contribution to the company as a graduate employee.
These are some of the ways you can thrive as a fresh graduate employee in industry. Let me know in the comments, if you have any other ideas in which you can contribute as a fresh graduate or which of the above resonated the most with you.