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Transitioning From A Student To A Professional What’s In Your Future?

Where Life Meets Work


How does the student lifestyle differ from the professional style? 

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Not as much disposable time or income to decide how you are going to do things Schedules are dictated for you No more running errands between classes, sending email or grabbing lunch on your free time 

Not as much Freedom


Getting Ready to Graduate? 

Market yourself 

Establish goals and have the ambition to connect yourself Let people know what your goals and ambitions are Have hobbies established and keep learning for self-improvement


Make the Transition Bearable 

Take time before starting work to travel and explore all of your options 

Set aside time for reflection on what your ideal work environment would be 

Once you start work, you may not have the time

Envision how you would like to dress What exactly would you like to be doing?

Maintain contact with friends from college 

You never know what opportunities will come


Set SMART Goals  

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Specific Measurable Attainable Results-oriented Time-bound


Prepare A Plan 

Begin a rough draft of what you want to be doing in the next 5-10 years Consider the following questions:  

 

What What What What 

would I like to do? skills do I have? skills do I need? type of work do I like?

Research, academia, teaching, product design, etc…


Adjust Your Focus 

Learn how to take on and manage responsibility Think like an employer 

How can you contribute to the organization’s needs

Job shadow working staff members  

Develops organizational skills Staff see you as potential employee


Develop People Skills  

Learn to control tempers Adjust yourself to the personalities of others and be accepting of different cultures and backgrounds 

“Drama” reflects poorly in the work place no matter who is right or wrong

Search websites on ways to improve people skills 

A person who is pleasant to work with can be more valuable than a more skilled individual


Develop Professionalism 

Practice being punctual and being ready for work Develop a working dress code that will be suitable for your desired work environment 

“Dress for where you want to go, not where you are now!”

Find a mentor to enhance your transcending into the workforce 

These are usually trustworthy people who have behaviors, reasoning skills, and values you would like to emulate Consider former teachers, current teachers, or fellow members of a professional committee or society


Women’s Business Attire 

A Fashionable Two-Piece Suit or Dress Ensemble 

Limited, Tasteful Jewelry 

Nothing high and lifted up

The secret to having the look of authority   

This creates a favorable impression and a readiness to work

Simple Hair Accessories 

The goal is to avoid dazzle

Sensible Shoes 

This is professional yet stylish, suggests preparedness for work

Wear a blazer or finishing jacket Wear tasteful make-up, understated is best Simple accessories

Avoid Provocative Attire    

Avoid showing the midriff No see-thru blouses Be mindful of skirt lengths Avoid showing cleavage in the workplace


Men’s Business Attire 

Formal: 

  

A conservative black, dark navy or gray two-piece business suit White long-sleeved button-down dress shirt Conservative tie to match colors in suit Nicely polished dress shoes

Informal:    

A conservative sports jacket Nicely pressed dress slacks or khakis Button-down shirt Conservative tie (optional) Nice shoes


Identify Your Ideal State 

Be the author of your own identity 

 

Take a strategic, proactive approach to managing you image

Are you capable of changing your image? What are the character traits you want people to associate with you? Which social identity do you want to incorporate into your workplace interactions? 

Which would you like to minimize?


Professionalism in Action   

       

I do the job to my best ability. I take pride in the job I do. People are better off because of the way I do my job; I make a difference. I start my workday neat and clean. I report for work on time and stay for my entire shift or workday. I honestly earn my pay. I treat my customers, clients and coworkers with respect and dignity. I employ good manners in my interactions with others. I keep my mind on the job at hand. I respect my work and myself. I take care of my tools and supplies, whatever their cost.


Assess Your Audience 

What are the expectations for professionalism? How do others currently perceive you? 

Use strategic self-presentation to manage impressions and change your image Build credibility while maintaining authenticity


Make Connections 

Network, Network, Network 

This will help at every step of your career by establishing relationships that will help you reach your future goals

Use the resources at your disposal to make contacts 

    

School Career Center Conferences Professional Affiliations/Clubs Volunteering Internships Family/Friends


Resume Information  Keep track of all jobs to use as resume 

information and for future references Keep track of all relevant learning experiences to help keep resume up to date Have your resume looked at by your Career Center or another professional to ensure it is presentable in your job search 

This keeps you prepared for opportunities that may come along at any time


Job Searching 

Begin by scanning job listings for necessary skills and job areas Look at individual company websites to get a feel for the company’s make-up Learn transferrable skills while looking for that perfect job to show experience Make sure to choose a field in which you are interested in working


Interviews 

Prepare for the interview whether face-toface or over the phone Practice giving responses to interview questions that may be asked 

A mock-interview with the Career Center can help you prepare with feedback on how to improve

Ask Questions: Helps to make a connection with the interviewer 

What do you like about your job? What challenges do you face?


Watch and Learn  

Make each job a learning experience Observe and Learn, from the more experienced workers, the necessary skills for the job 

Learn to navigate the workplace and the office politics 

Take full advantage of any orientation period to learn more about the position and who to trust in the workplace Offers work with supervision to ensure your smooth transition into the business Learn how to “fit” and set yourself up for success

Respect the work hours and the dress code to show you are serious about your work


Keys To Success 

Good communication skills The ability to learn, apply and obtain new skills quickly Problem solving skills

 

Technology savvy Good Preparation Teamwork Time management skills


What's In Your Future