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How to Manage the College-to-Corporate Transition
By Gayathri Ramachandran
 
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The transition from college to the workforce can be unsettling. When I first finished, I struggled for a while trying to figure out where to focus my effort and energy. While life will pull you in a million directions after graduation, here are some pillars to stay focused on during your journey.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Invest in professional relationships.                                                                                                                         College tends to be an environment where cliques form very quickly. A person arrives on campus and before they know it, they find themselves in a like-minded group of people.This approach works on campus, but is completely different to how corporate works. Lawyers work with marketers, who collaborate with engineers, who engage with salespeople.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Develop your flexibility.                                                                                                                                               There's a good chance that your first job will be uncomfortable. Almost overnight, you will have gone from an environment where you have been paying to learn to one where you're being paid to perform.You might assume the job is a bad fit, quit, and find something less challenging. Fight through that feeling. The truth is that no matter how great your job is, there will be days you don't like it. But the experience can help you develop muscles that you may be using for the first time. Companies appreciate determination. Embrace the discomfort of learning new things and develop the flexibility necessary to handle the difficulties at work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Treat everyone you meet with respect.                                                                                                                    Upon first arrival, corporate Sri Lanka seems incredibly large. But in reality, it is a fairly small place. Your reputation is no longer something that you leave behind when you change companies. In fact, if you’re correctly maximizing opportunities, it precedes you and is something to be considered as a point of advantage.The most basic of lessons in this regard is to treat everyone—everyone—with respect. You never know when a former colleague, team member, or boss will be asked their opinion of you. Your abilities may be unquestionable, but people will often make judgments about your character. Those opinions can affect future opportunities, so do your part to earn favorable reviews.