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‘I’m afraid that I might not be able to contribute much to my company’
Well, that’s what I always thought after I accepted my first job (in fact, I am still thinking about that). As a fresh graduate, the transition to becoming a young professional might be very challenging. Fresh graduates often find themselves at a loss after their graduation, even after they secured their first job (Molinsky and Pisman 2019). Furthermore, Geirdal, Nerdrum, and Bonsaksen (2019) described the transition as a ‘practice shock’ or ‘transfer shock’, meaning that the transition causes uncertainty and lack of mental health coping when they enter the first job. Despite that, you can overcome the transition by following these tips below.
- Manage your time wisely
One of the key takeaways that I have learned from my transition is that college life is totally different from working life. While in your university life you have plenty of free time, in the working life, do not expect that you can finish your work or take a rest after your eight hours of working. In reality, you have to prepare yourself for working overtime or reduce your sleeping hours. As a result, this will reduce your quality time with your family and friends or sacrifice your relationship with your closest one. To cope with this, Bhumbra (2020) suggested that you need to establish healthy habits for maintaining your work-life balance.
- Chill, take it slow
It’s okay if you feel difficult to adapt to your new environment. In fact, some people require more time than others to adapt to a new environment. Based on research by Wong (2016), 60% of 213 respondents found out that they need three months to adjust to their new roles, while 22% of them need nine months to adapt to the new environment. Accordingly, you should not rush everything and take your time to ensure a smooth transition. To ease your transition, you can try to talk to other people or seniors as they might give you insight or tips on how to survive in the workplace.
- Patience is the key
The transition might be hard for some people, but if you want to pursue your career successfully, you need to endure it patiently. Again, it takes time and lots of patience for you to adjust completely. Pietrzack (2020) defines a patient person as someone who accepts reality and acts on reality. This definition clearly states that you should realise that you are not going to understand everything straight away and you cannot master everything in a short time. Instead, you should enjoy the process of being “moulded” for you to be able to master in your job.
- Your first job is (probably) not your last job
There is always a time that you start to consider your decision for your future, whether you want to stay in your job or you should move on. You should know that there are many unexpected situations in your life, such as a layoff or better opportunity. Because of that, your first year in your professional career is your best opportunity to improve your skills or learn new skills. Moreover, this is the best time for you to expand your network as they will help you to gain new insight regarding the industry that can help you to grow.
To conclude, making the transition from a student to a professional is very difficult for some people. It takes time to adjust to a new life. However, it does not mean that you cannot develop yourself. For me, this is the best time to learn new skills and network. Also, as you are currently in the process, do not forget to ask for some support from your parents, peers, and your seniors to help you in adjusting to your new life.
Are you ready to embark on your new journey as young professionals?