Student to Professional Career


A student’s life in the college, his behavior, attire, attitude, mannerisms and communication style is quite different from that of a professional working in the corporate world.

So, when it is time for a student to make a transition from the college to the corporate world, it is a huge change for him.

It is important that a student should prepare himself well for this transition, so that the change happens smoothly and efficiently.



Reality Shock

Reality Shock for a student transitioning into a professional is the inconsistency he faces between the academic world and the corporate world.

This usually occurs in fresh graduates who enter their first job and they discover a work environment toward which they worked for several years and suddenly realize that they are not prepared.


Phases of Reality Shock

Honeymoon Phase:

  • Everything in the work world is just as the new graduate imagined.
  • This phase most often occurs during the orientation period.


Shock (Rejection) Phase:

The new employee comes into contact with the following:

  • Conflicting viewpoints.
  • Different ways of performing skills.
  • Lack of security of an expert available as a resource.
  • The new employee may feel frightened or may react by forming a cold, hard shell.


Inappropriate Approaches for Dealing with the Shock Phase

  • Native —The new employee adopts ways of least resistance and mimics other employees.
  • Runaway — The new employee finds the real world too difficult and leaves the profession.
  • Rutter — The new employee considers his job unimportant.
  • Burned out — The new employee bottles up conflict and is fatigued, depressed or angry.
  • Loner — The new employee adopts the attitude to “just do the job and keep your mouth shut”.
  • New employee on the block — The employee changes jobs frequently and is always the “new” employee who has to be taught.


Recovery Phase:

  • Novice employee begins to understand the new culture.
  • Novice employee experiences less anxiety, and healing begins.

Resolution Phase:

  • Novice employee adjusts to the new environment.
  • Work expectations are more easily met.
  • The employee has developed the ability to elicit change.



Importance of Communication

Communication is important because:

  • It is about how information is sent and received within firms.
  • It is crucial for working successfully with others.
  • It enables to maintain relationships.
  • It allows to accomplish tasks while working with both individuals and groups.
  • It motivates.
  • It helps to overcome obstacles.
  • It creates a comfortable, trustful and psychologically safe feeling.



Questioning Techniques

There are various questioning techniques that can be used in different situations. You have probably used all of these questioning techniques before but by consciously using the appropriate kind of questioning, you can gain the information, response or outcome that you want even more effectively.

Open Questions:

Open questions evoke longer answers. Open questions usually begin with what, why, how. Such a question asks the respondent for his or her knowledge, opinion or feelings.

Closed Question:

Closed questions generally evoke a single word or very short, factual answer.

Funnel Question:

Asking funnel questions involves starting with general questions, and then zooming in on a point in each answer. Then, you move on to asking more and more detail at each level. Hence, generally, when using funnel questioning, start with closed questions. As you progress through the funnel, start using more open questions.

Probing Question:

Probing questions are asked to find out more detail.  In such questions, use questions that include the word “exactly” to probe further. An effective way of probing is to use the 5 Whys method, which can help you quickly get to the root of a problem.

Leading Question:

Leading questions are asked to try to lead the respondent to your way of thinking.  It is important to note here that leading questions tend to be closed.

Rhetorical Question:

Rhetorical questions aren’t really questions at all. This is because they don’t expect an answer. They are really just statements phrased in question form. Usually, such questions are used because they are engaging for the listener – as they are drawn into agreeing.


Active Listening

One of the most important aspects of communication is listening. Listening well can have a major influence on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

However, it has been found through various studies that we remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear.

So, what is important is to become an “active listener”.

“Active listening” involves making a conscious effort to hear not only the words of the speaker but also to try to understand the complete message being sent.

Key Elements of Active Listening

Pay attention:

  • Pay your complete attention to the speaker and acknowledge the message.
  • Look at the speaker directly.
  • Do not get distracted from listening by environmental factors.
  • “Listen” to the speaker’s body language.
  • Refrain from side conversations when listening in a group setting.

Show that you are listening:

  • Show the speaker that you are listening by using your own body language and gestures.
  • Nod occasionally.
  • Smile and use other facial expressions.
  • Keep your posture open and inviting.
  • Use small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh to encourage the speaker to continue.


Provide feedback:

  • Paraphrase what is being said to reflect your understanding of what is being spoken.
  • Ask questions to clarify certain points .
  • Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically.

Defer judgment:

  • Allow the speaker to finish.
  • Do not interrupt the speaker with counter arguments.

Respond Appropriately:

  • Be frank, open, and honest in your response.
  • Put forth your opinions respectfully.
  • Treat the other person as you would like yourself to be treated by others.


Be a Team Player

A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who work towards a common goal.

It is important to be a good team player to become a good professional because:

  • A team helps in synergy; that is to attain a combined result which is much more than individual result.
  • A person can face challenges better while working together.
  • An individual need not possess all the skills.
  • Working in a team helps to divide the work and responsibilities among team members, hence it reduces pressure on the individual.

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