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Grace Lee

Special Projects Assistant

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Career strategist William Thourlby writes: "Success is the ability to get along with and interact with others while always getting the job done." Take advantage of your resources and ask lots of questions.

For some of you, the thought of making the transition from academia to the world of full-time work may be quite daunting.

If you are like most of your classmates, you’ve probably had part-time jobs and an internship or two over the course of your university career. And whether you have a job already or are still looking for a position, leaving university for the first time can be scary, especially as you face new challeges and potential barriers. But at the same time many opportunities will be opened up for you to take the classroom learning to the next level. The overall key is to have positive attitude.

The most important factor in making a smooth transition from being a full time student to a full time worker is to have the right attitude. You need to first understand your role in the corporate workplace. From being able to spend time flexibly without a serious consequence, now you must conduct yourself according to the codes of your organization and contribute positively to it. Secondly, don’t forget that it is an endless learning process. You will find, soon enough, that there are still many tasks and skills that you have to learn. Don’t get discouraged when you make a mistake. They understand that as an entry level employee that you are still learning and adapting to your job. Learn from your mistakes and constantly improve your performance with a positive outlook. Your co-workers and managers will be a valuable source of information. Career strategist William Thourlby writes: "Success is the ability to get along with and interact with others while always getting the job done." Take advantage of your resources and ask lots of questions. Not just about the practical matters such as finding your way around the building but also for the professional matters. 

Enjoy the experience. Companies will only make offers to who they believe will do the job well and will enjoy the position. They want you to learn, progress, be happy and contribute to their success.  No matter how close your first job may be to your dream career, do you best and who knows where you will end up in another 5 years. 

Need some ideas and strategies to ease your transition from SFU?  Join us for Backpack to Briefcase Conference, Sat Mar 31st, for more information visit: www.sfu.ca/career

Beyond the Blog

  • Grace Lee Feb 22, 2012
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About the Author

Grace Lee

Special Projects Assistant

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