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How to make the switch from college to corporate life

October 14, 2013 20:44 IST

How to make the switch from college to corporate life

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Viraja Devi Vakada

Implement these important changes in your attitude if you want to positively cope up with the professional demands of corporate life.

The transition from college life to corporate is one of the major shifts for 20-somethings.

At college, there is excitement, there are friends, there is fun and essentially, there is freedom.

But, professionalism pitches in when you move to a corporate life and unless you bring in some attitudinal changes in you, it is tough to survive in the new environment.

As you might be aware, the job market was not really at its best this year so far.

The lucky ones who grabbed campus placements need to make the best of the opportunity and adapt themselves to the corporate life.

Before that, here are some important changes one must bring in to cope up with the shift between the two Cs.


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1. Organisational goals

In college, the focus is on you, on your achievements and on your individual growth.

The world revolves around “you”.

However, once you enter the corporate world, the situation changes.

There, it is all about the organisation, its goals, its accomplishments and its growth.

You need to align your goals with the organisation's goals.

Of course, you need to think about yourself too, but you need to link your growth with the organisation’s growth.


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2. Generate feedback

In college, your professors evaluate you at every stage.

The entire year goes in assessments that speak about where you stand among the peers.

However, in a corporate scenario, assessment happens once a quarter or half year or at times even once a year.

Your boss will not have time to review your work every day.

At the time of your appraisal, you'll need to ensure that you are able to showcase all the work done over the said period of review.

Take time out on a regular basis to discuss with your boss about your performance.


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3. Be consistent

In college, your overall score is average of the score you get throughout the year.

So, if you perform badly in one exam, you can cover it up in the rest.

However, at the workplace, things are way different.

You might have performed really well in one quarter, but in case you show up poor performance in the next, your appraisal is bound to get an 'F' grade.

Consistency in performance is what is expected when you begin to climb the corporate ladder.


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4. Rewards

In college, you get rewarded for all your achievements.  

These rewards motivate you to perform better and better.

However, when you work for a corporate organisation, it is the team which gets the credit.

So, you need to be a motivated team member.

You must start helping others, so that people come to you to seek help and support.

When everyone gets to know about your expertise, awards are not far off.


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5. Customer first

In college, you are the customer. 
You pay here to get the services.

But in a company, you'll be required to serve others.

You might face both internal and external customers.

Like the adage goes, customer is the king and your performance has to keep the customer happy.

You have to treat all your customers equally whether you like them or not because they are your company’s customers.


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6. Cordial relations

In college, it really does not matter if you complain about your teacher or professor. You will still move on to the next grade without losing anything.

However, be careful when it comes to the workplace.

Complaining about your colleagues, boss or the sub-ordinates can leave you at the wrong spot.

It might affect your reputation too, irrespective of how strong your work credentials are.

Feedback must be given but not in the form of a complaint.

Maintain cordial relations with people around you.


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