Transitioning from College to Career

Graduation is getting nearer which means it’s almost time for you to join the real world. Being an adult sounds great; until you realize it may not be all you thought it was. Suddenly you’re left without a meal plan, your mid-day naps are replaced with mid-day meetings, and your student loans are back to haunt you. So what can you do to get yourself ready?

Before Graduation

It’s never too early to start preparing for the future. Take the months before you graduate and use them to start getting ready. Fix up your resume and cover letter and begin applying for jobs. You’ll feel a lot better about finishing college if you know you have a source of income.

This is also a great time to make a budget. Having a budget will help you know how much money you have to spend. This will show you what kind of apartment you can afford, how much money you have for groceries, and if you need to cut back on your shopping habits.

Learn how to “adult” during this time. Learn how to cook, do your laundry, pay bills and any other everyday tasks you may not know yet. You’re going to be using these skills a lot, so better to learn early.

Finally use these last few months to talk to family or friends who have already graduated. They’ve gone through this transition and will most likely have some good tips to help you land on your feet.

When you Graduate

Now is when things get real. Everyone experiences this part of the transition differently, so don’t compare yourself too heavily to your former classmates. Some people get an apartment, while others move back home. Some are off to graduate school and others join the workforce. There’s no wrong way to transition out of college, so remember to do what’s right for you.

When starting on your new path you may need to make a new schedule. College was great and it was easy to stay up late and then (usually) make it to class the next day. This may not be so much fun when you can’t go back to your dorm an nap half way through the day. Adjust your schedule to make sure you get plenty of sleep and are fully ready for your job each day.

This is a great time to embrace opportunities. Since you are just starting out, every opportunity is a chance for career growth. Build your resume and your personal experience by taking opportunities when you see them. An extra project from your boss, a volunteer event, or a personal growth opportunity could just be your ticket to your dream job.

Finally, During this time don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your family, your friends, or you college. The Career and Professional Development Center isn’t just an awesome resource for students, it’s available to alumni too. If you need help with your resume, finding a job, or just need career advice the CPDC can help get you on the right track. The CPDC is open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and always ready to help.



By Liz DeNoncour
Liz DeNoncour