“Whether the source of transition is an external change or your own inner development, the transition always starts with an ending. To become something else, you have to stop being what you are now; to start doing things a new way, you have to end the way you are doing them now; and to develop a new attitude or outlook, you have to let go of the old one you have now.”

William Bridges, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes

After getting up close and personal with change over the last two years, most of us understand and expect change to be a constant part of life and career.  But, the transition from university to the world of work is more significant than our society recognizes.  As you celebrate your accomplishments in university, and the new adventure you’re about to begin, give yourself time to go through what is one of the biggest transitions in your life. To help you kick it off, we’ve pulled together 5 of our expert career advice articles for you to refer to as you leave university, look for a job, and move to build life and work on your terms.

Most importantly, realize this is a transition. You’re ending your academic life, at least for now.  Take a moment to appreciate and say goodbye to its rhythms, its approach to ‘grading’ your performance, and its built-in on-demand social and intellectual network and community. All of these elements, and more, will look much different in your future life.

Rhythm of Life

Life after university has no set rhythm. So, you will need to take control experiment with, and create a rhythm that works for you from the beginning or risk someone else doing so (e.g. your employer). This includes managing your learning and development and making sure that you keep moving towards whatever goals you’ve set.

How Performance is Assessed

Performance operates much differently in the work world.  Rather than a letter grade for a good effort on a single assignment or exam, performance becomes an ongoing, often subjective, appraisal of many aspects of you. Although performance criteria are set by your boss or employer, you can learn to have a say in both how and what you’re appraised on AND hold your boss and employer to account for their performance as well. (We’ve even written an entire article on that!)

Building Community

Community – that incredibly powerful social and intellectual support system that’s built-in to schooling – well, that also becomes something you must continue to foster.  Keeping up with old friendships, as people move and start their lives, and forging new ones. And, finding a new intellectual home, be it at work, or through professional organizations, for example.

You might consider joining ExponentialChangemakers, a new private global network for women in their early careers who aim to change the world.*  We advance women in their early careers and the strategic priorities of the organizations they inhabit women. We strengthen their career skills, ensure their success and progression in the workplace, enhance their influence and connect them to one another.

ExponentialChangemakers platform and community is inclusive, welcomes and values each member, their ideas and contributions. It is a space of continuous growth where you have the opportunity to hear (first-hand) others’ experiences, “faux pas” and their journeys towards meeting their purposes and ambitions.

Member, London, U.K.

In the meantime, we’ve pulled together 5 of our expert career advice articles for you to refer to as you leave university and move to build life and work on your terms:

5 Articles in Support of Your Post-Graduation Life & Job Search

*People who identify as women—cis, trans, as well as nonbinary individuals—are eligible to join. We understand that gender is a spectrum; our aim is to create an intentionally inclusive community.