For everyone coming up on graduation this spring, lots of big transitions are headed your way! How can you best prepare yourself for the switch from full-time school to your new career? Let’s ask our hiring experts!
Sarah, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, shares, “Your first full-time, professional job will certainly be an adjustment from college life, but it’s also very exciting! Adjusting your focus will help you successfully make that transition. In college, you have a lot of control over when and how you get homework done, when you go to class, how engaged you are, etc. While working, remember that your work is contributing to an organization’s business needs and that you might need to adjust your style or schedule to meet those needs. I also recommend making time to observe and learn from respected colleagues or leaders, maybe even develop a mentoring relationship. It can be so easy to jump right in and have a laser focus on your own responsibilities but watching and learning can help you navigate the workplace, its unwritten rules, and expand your network (which is SO important).” More from Sarah
Leading Up To This
Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., shares, “I like to think about the fact that just about everything you’ve done, from the menial tasks to the head-scratching innovations, has been preparing you for your next step. It has taken a culmination of experiences to get you to where you are, and I am a firm believer that it has taken many experiences both inside and outside of school to prepare you for your career.
“Many students work in the service industry while they’re in school. Never underestimate the tremendous skill set it takes to succeed in the service industry. It is tough work to be a waitress, sometimes even tougher to work retail. Customers require you to have good negotiation skills, patience, a reasonable understanding of supply and demand, to be kind when people are not kind to you, to be gracious in moments of strife, etc. I could be saying these things to list out the skill set I would like to see in my next executive hire just as easily as it could be the list for a retail sales consultant.” More from Stephanie
Soft Skills Always Transfer
You’re navigating a lot of transition, but your soft skills are always transferable! Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, explains, “Soft skills are the skills that you use when you are building relationships with other people or showcasing your strengths. They may be described as interpersonal skills, teamwork, decision making, and creativity, to name a few. These are the skills that really determine someone's career trajectory since they are the key components to how far someone can go in an organization. For example, you may have excellent accounting skills, but if you can't talk to business partners, it will be hard for you to move your career forward. You’ve likely gained many of these soft skills in your schooling. You can continue to build on these areas by reading books, volunteering for projects where you can get experience, and learning from peers and mentors. More experienced colleagues can share their career lessons learned and help give you guidance on how to handle situations in your new company.” More from Lori
You’ve earned this degree and now you’ve earned this job! It’s normal to be nervous about the unknowns of this new stage of life, but know that everything that’s gotten you to this point will continue to push you forward. You’re likely more ready than you know. We’re cheering you on as you head into your new career!