Managing The Transition to Your Professional Career

Stacie Garlieb, Successful Impressions
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Key Takeaways
 

Once you have accepted a job offer, your work in managing your career has begun.  The graduates who create a plan to managing their career from the start will have the greatest opportunities for professional development and long-term success.  Here are some key points to consider in developing your career plan:

Establish and grow your network.  Join the local AMA professional association and check the chapter’s website for relevant discussion groups, training sessions and off-site professional development opportunities. As you interact with co-workers, management, external customers, and colleagues in professional associations, use LinkedIn® to build your electronic network.  At company events, try to meet people in other departments – you never know where your next position will come from.

Find a mentor.  Your company may provide a formal mentor (as a trainer) or you may need to find an informal mentor.  If you decide to join internal special interest groups in the company, you may find an informal mentor.  These connections can be useful in developing your skills in a certain area, or in assisting you in a transition to a different department in the future.

Understand the communication culture.   In order to be most effective in your role, you should determine what communication methods are used most by your supervisor and co-workers.  If email is preferred for certain types of communication and voice mail or cell phone for others, be sure to ask those questions and then follow what works for the team.

Take charge of continued learning.  Don’t just rely on the formal internal training your company has for new employees in your role.  In some cases, you can plan with your supervisor to participate in outside training through programs like Stephen Covey, Fred Pryor, or Ken Blanchard seminars. Once you have been given an opportunity to gain additional training, offer to share those skills with other people on your team.

Balance your work and life.  Employers want their employees to manage time to avoid becoming burned out.  Figure out how you dealt with stress during school and use those methods once you have started your career too.  If you can make time, volunteering is a great way to maintain skills you got in college, like fundraising or event planning and execution that you may not use as often in your first job. 

Identify opportunities to communicate with your manager.  It is important to candidly and professionally discuss your career goals with your supervisor, but do some research in advance to be realistic about the timeline and goals.  Understand when you have formal performance review periods and one-one-one training interactions with your supervisor to maximize your communication with them about these topics.

 

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Stacie Garlieb, Successful Impressions
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