Five Tips to Consider During the Transition Phase from Student to Career

When I speak at colleges and universities, students and “soon to be” graduates ask me varying questions. The one that is consistently asked regardless of whether I’m at a public or private institution is…


“How do I make the transition from student to career?”


Here are five tips that will assist you on this new phase of your journey.


1) Career: It’s important that you pay attention to, as well as research, what your future/desired company/employer is doing in their industry. At a minimum, learn how they are generally performing in the market, any news about their current market position or future potential of the industry. You can search information from a company’s website as well as conduct your own research online. If they have public annual reports, get and study the three most recent ones. Annual reports are a good investment tool for shareholders and employees, too.


2) Wardrobe: We should all present ourselves in a manner that expresses us properly within the workplace. Your attire should be consistent with the culture of the organization and always professional. Your clothes should be clean, and it goes without saying you, should always have good personal hygiene. If you find yourself looking in your student closet asking the question, “Is this appropriate for work?”, it’s probably not. There’s a well-known saying that “You should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” With that being said, you need not break the bank in order to be stylish. Minimalist works well. Invest in classic pieces. Fashion changes, classic does not. Be wise: Invest in stocks not stockings!


3)  Saving Culture: Financial stability is very important to your future. You should intermittently determine the most consistent amount that you can pay to yourself. In The Strangest Secret, I discuss that, ideally, it is good to save 10% of your income. Your job must support you and the ability to save a little over time. If your job does not allow for this, see where you can adjust your lifestyle, or build a timeline to get there! Although the amounts you initially start to put aside may be small, it is important that you start, don’t put it off! Make the financial commitment to yourself.


4) Journal: Writing down your goals (long-term and short-term), aspirations, and dreams is important. It supports your ability to physically see and clearly articulate your desires. Journaling is a great way to track your progress, provide encouragement that reminds you of past successes, and helps to determine your next steps. Don’t wake up one morning and let where you are in life be a surprise. Journal it all! Journaling forces you look.


5). Be Candid and Honest: Communicating with clarity, purpose, candor, and honesty will enable you to communicate with others in a more profound way. It allows you to be about your message in more than just your speech. Communication is not merely talking…it’s listening, seeing, and being invested. This way, you can see things as they are, not as you wish them to be. Candor is best useful because it is data supported. When you’re honest, you’re being complete and utilizing the entire picture. Nothing falls out of context.

It’s important to remember this: Everything you do contributes to your own personal brand. #You can own your life, even when you don’t own the business!



Janice Bryant Howroyd

Businesswoman, entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, author, mentor and Presidential Special Appointee, Janice Bryant Howroyd is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Act •1 Group, a global leader providing customized cutting edge solutions in the human resources industry.