The three words every fresh graduate dreads: university is over. This means becoming a professional.

Before you start mourning the loss of your uni years, don’t forget that you have a truly exciting time ahead of you. Yes, university gives you some great skills to take with you to the workplace, but the learning is by no means over.

Now it’s time to learn how to stop being a student and start becoming a professional.

The key to tackling such a big change is knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Knowing what to expect means you can prepare yourself, physically and mentally, for the road ahead.

Here are some things to bear in mind if you’re making the jump from student to professional!


1. You’re a grown-up now

Even if you’re still 18 in your head, or you’re the baby of the office, you’re expected to act like an adult. Don’t worry, you don’t need to start talking about mortgages to everyone who’ll listen or be in bed by 7.30pm every night.

Being an adult doesn’t mean boring!

It’s about showing that you’re mature and that you’re ready for the responsibility that comes with a career.

becoming a professional

It’s time to get your head in the game. Gone are the days of waking up at 1.00pm on a Wednesday, so try implementing a new sleep routine. This will not only help you make the most of your days, but will get your body ready for 9-5 life.

Take care of yourself, a healthy body leads to a healthy mind; you want to be at your best at work, don’t you?

Invest in your business dress wardrobe so that you make a great first impression.


2. Get ready to use your people skills

At university, you met so many new people from all walks of life. No matter how confident you are in your people and communication skills, prepare to have them tested.

This isn’t a bad thing, but you will be faced with an even bigger variety of people in the workplace. The people you met at university may have been from all over the world, however you were all around the same age and shared a goal.

At work, you’ll have to work closely with people you’ve never met, different age groups, from various departments and it’s safe to say that you’ll also come across people you simply won’t like.

Be ready to adapt your communication style and behaviour around certain individuals.

This is all part of the experience and the learning curve!


3. Use your initiative

This is probably one of the biggest shocks to the system when graduates move into the working world. During your education, you’re given very clear instruction and you have someone pushing you to achieve.

You won’t necessarily have this at work.

It’s all up to you to think for yourself and make the right decisions.

Yes, this may sound daunting but the freedom will be unlike anything you’ve experienced and you can really challenge yourself.

The world of work has its similarities with university; you’ll be used to working independently, meeting deadlines and juggling a few things at once.

However, you would be forgiven for feeling a bit of culture shock making the transition, especially if you haven’t had a job in a commercial environment before. The fact of the matter is that work feels completely different; the tone is a little more serious and you’ll start to see yourself blossom into a fully-fledged professional.

Remember, as scary as it is, venturing out into the professional arena is just another exciting chapter in your life!


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