5 tips that'll help you navigate the transition from college life to professional world

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaMay 10, 2023 | 08:30

5 tips that'll help you navigate the transition from college life to professional world

How to navigate the shift from college student to real-world professional. Photo: DailyO

It's a big first step, almost like a milestone, when you try and navigate through the transition of being a college student one day and then entering the real world of work as a professional the next day. In the beginning, it can seem to be very daunting and intimidating.

Here's are some tips and tricks on how to make this transition as smooth as possible without getting that feeling of being "lost" in the transition. (Don't worry you've got this, just take deep breaths)


1. Create your own structure and schedule


  • When you're studying in college, you work around a set time-table or a routine - attending lectures, finishing assignments and submitting them on time in order to perform well.
  • Your goals as a college student are always set out. 
  • However, right when you are entering the professional world, you have to create your own sense of structure, a schedule that works best for you to achieve your personal and professional goals. 
  • Even though at work you are following the company's hours, after work you can manage your time if you follow a schedule.
  • As a working adult you have a lot of freedom to craft your own routine and prioritize things suited your needs. (identify your management style)

2. Readjust your expectations

  • The idea of being an adult or "adulting" could seem glamorous on its face value, but is it as fun as it looks?
  • You might want to set real, grounded expectations and goals when you step out in the real world. 
  • While being an adult might seem that they have everything together, it'll be an eye opener for you to see what goes behind the scenes when you're an adult- the stress, anxiety, good and bad days etc.
  • Basically, take one step at a time and do not live in a fairytale. That being said, be optimistic and confident.
  • Do not compare yourself with other, everyone's on a different journey. Your expectations from yourself are unique to you.

3. Use this time to explore

  • As you enter the professional world, remember to take sometime out to explore your own interests.
  • Maybe look for your passion, something that'd you be excited to do (other than your job).
  • Explore different opportunities, your likes and dislikes and discover the things that make you "you".
  • Try new creative and productive things.

4. Build genuine relationships at workplace

  • It is key to build positive, genuine relationships in the professional workplace.
  • Having meaningful connections with colleagues can make the transition easy because you feel that you have a friend that maybe you can talk to or open up.
  • This will help you feel less anxious and you might get that feeling of "belonging".
  • By forming such relationships, you casn improve your networking and find new project or work opportunities of your interest.

5. Practice self-compassion

  • Treat yourself like a friend and don't be too harsh on yourself as you set out to navigate through this phase of your life.
  • Big changes like this take time, so give it time to adjust. 
  • This is a process, so give yourself sometime and space to explore this new milestone of your life.
  • Learn from your own experiences and from that of others, and try to enjoy whatever comes your way.

This your guide on how to navigate such a big shift without trying to feel too overwhelmed or lost. You've got this, I promise.

Last updated: May 10, 2023 | 08:30
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