Schools Training

Post-Grad Life: Making the Transition from School to Work

25 DEC 2013
Career Path : Career Tips

Making the transition from school to work is a stage in many students life that they are either looking forward to with anticipation, or dreading like a looming deadline. Part of the fears that students close to graduation face is the reality of completing an education that often doesn’t reflect the reality of the job market, particularly since the job market can be competitive and unforgiving towards grads with very little “real-world” job experience. However, whether you’ve decided to pursue trade school or stick to the college route, competition is tougher than ever, and making a successful transition from school to work takes more worthwhile career planning than just plain luck.

With that reality in mind, we’ve compiled a list that will help make the transition much easier:

Set clear and defined goals – If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Even if it seems as though many students dream of being successful or achieving the job of their dreams, just as many students are unsure of how to become successful or what their dream job actually is. With vague and undefined dreams, yet with lots of ambition, many students won’t get to that dream job until they become sure of their goals and properly plan how to achieve them. The first step starts with checking Canadian college directories to find the best program for your potential career.

Create a Realistic Career Strategy – Once you are confident about the career path that you want to take, it’s important to have a realistic plan to get there. Whatever your career aspirations,  it’s important as a post-secondary student to intern, work part-time, or even volunteer in your desired career path in order to gain experience. The more experience you gain prior to graduating, the more realistic your chances of finding that first “real” job in your field.

Develop your skills – It may be well and fine that you dream of being an automotive technician or an MP. However, the time during your post secondary education should be best spent developing the skills that you will need for your desired career. Take a look at listings in your school news, or even educational articles for ideas on courses that relate best to your future career. And if you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to meet with the Career Services on your campus. That’s what they’re there for.

Be Flexible – Although it may be tempting to settle in the town where you went to school or alternatively settle in your hometown to be near your family, in today’s tough market, you’ll have to be flexible enough to go to where the jobs are. Though you can’t beat having a built-in network and support system, in order to achieve the position that you are seeking you may just have to uproot in order to make a living, whether it is to the closest major city or in another country.

Finally, even though it may feel easy to become disillusioned with the education that you’ve attained, as well as the job market; just remember that this transition is temporary. Once you’ve become accustomed to the workforce, school will feel like it was a lifetime ago!