Transformation from Student to a Professional. Skills to build, for your career

Transforming from a student to a professional entails bringing into work what a student learns in college in whichever stream he/she chooses.  That knowledge he acquires in his graduation would be a start or a stepping stone to one’s professional career. While he may have gained both theoretical & practical knowledge in his graduation degree, his work experience would bring forth, many layers, dynamics of an individual.

A student stepping into the corporate world has to be like a sponge – absorb, learn, learn and learn.  Understand your interest & talent, what you really like, your passion is. Build skills around that interest and talent. Be open to learning constantly.  Upskill continuously as every industry is extremely dynamic and changing. Channelize your energy appropriately towards your goals, have a single-minded focus to reach your goals.

Learn to adapt and adapt to the environment – the Company you are working for.  It is pivotal to learn all areas or aspects of the Company i.e. the services, products, clients, domain, technologies which the company is associated with.  Learn to collaborate, calibrate with your peers, seniors, and colleagues. Most companies will train employees in many areas but it is important to learn technologies, upskill & reskill on your own.  A fresher/new employee should not expect the Company to train an employee in all areas. Understand how to maneuver through your career by identifying what your interest, aptitude, skills are. This should be the approach for every fresher whether he is B.Tech graduate or B.Com. B.Sc graduate. Read a lot on various domains verticals, explore various areas. Take a lot of initiatives. This would ensure the company understands your potential which also exhibits your quest for learning, leadership skills etc.

It is perfectly alright to have a career change even after 7-8 years of work experience.  It could be a shift in domain or technology or a complete shift into a totally different area i.e. moving not only within domains/ verticals in the technology space but moving from HR to Finance or a completely new area of Technology or any other area of work.  But, one should have absolute clarity and understand what the new area of work entails.  The student should not be jumping from one technology or department to another department.  If a student wants to change to a different career, he should first understand the depth of the new career move. He should not jump/ change to another career because he is influenced by his peer/colleague who has probably moved faster in his career or he may have got an onsite opportunity. It is important to dive deep into the subject/vertical/domain, gain expertise study in-depth of your work area. Have strong knowledge of the area you’re are working on, have hands-on experience, and become a subject matter expert in that field/domain

If an employee moves into another domain/vertical/department after 5-6 years of experience, he would not lose out on the experience, salary, hierarchy. It will be a lateral movement. It certainly would not be a vertical movement nor will he get demoted. In other words, it will neither be a promotion or demotion but will be a lateral movement.  The experience of 5-6 years that he has gained (having worked in another vertical/domain will certainly not be wasted). But yes, he will have to learn the technology from the start which he has moved into.

Students can become an entrepreneur. He should have a plan of the area he wants to venture into.  Once the plan is concrete, he should seek advice from his seniors, lecturers, family, etc. He should discuss the venture with his seniors etc. to understand his plan from a wider scope and have ideas from people who have many years of work experience or entrepreneurs who will be able to guide him appropriately.  There are innovation hubs in Hyderabad such as IIIT – Incubation hub etc. There are also angel investors who are willing to invest in the idea/plan.  Of course, there will be a full-length discussion, to understand the proof of concept. Based on the blueprint, road map of what the entrepreneur journey he wants to tread, these angel investors will handhold the budding entrepreneur till he gets a command and understand how to build his business.

Students should also keep in mind the following:

  1. Should not have self-doubt.
  2. Do not wallow in self-pity.
  3. It is ok to be at crossroads, but have clarity at the end of the short phase.
  4. Do not have an attitude.
  5. Have a lot of gratitude.
  6. Be open to learning& change.
  7. Accept failures as part of life.  Failures are stepping stones to success.
  8. Have confidence.
  9. Channelize your energy to the job, have the right intent.
  10. Get rid of inhibitions, explore ideas.
  11. Build your network even as a student. This will help you tremendously in many areas.
  12. Build robust communication skills & soft skills.
  13. Be concise and precise in all your official mails
  14. Do not use short forms,
  15. Do not use SMS language,
  16. Do not use Capital Letters unless it is an abbreviation
  17. Edit all the emails you write.  One could make grammar mistakes, typing mistakes.
  18. Be clear of the words which are used.  For example, were, where or wear – Word would not pick up this mistake.  So be very conscious of what you are intending to convey.

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