With a sigh of relief, you will step away from the rigors of college and savor that euphoric feeling of completion, but even before graduation you felt the rising uncertainty of what will happen next. While you are certainly excited about starting your professional career, you certainly feel the urge to get things off to a great start. If this sounds like your situation, have no fear. Barclay Simpson is here with some sound advice.  

We invited the founder of House of Holland, Henry Holland to speak as part of our campaign. Henry was able to impart with us his personal experiences as a college graduate in the professional world. Henry told a relatable tale of rising through the entrepreneurial ladder and discovering new industries. This information is vital to many others facing the next step in their own careers.  

To help graduates make the transition from the academic to professional realms, Milkround has teamed with Henry Holland to provide some important advice. This series of tips can help you understand the most important differences between the office and the classroom.  

Be Proactive and Communicative in Defining Goals 

Be effective in your works through clearly defining your goals proactively with your managers. Once you have settled into your role and understood your responsibilities, you should make it a point to meet with your manager to discuss your goals and agree upon realistic expectations. Discussing a plan for short- and long-term goals will show a willingness to have your progression in the company guided by senior colleagues.  Make sure your plans include a list of plans and objectives that will need to be completed by specific dates. Finally make sure you are honest with yourself and your superiors when you are producing this list. This will result in fewer misunderstandings and avoid unnecessary performance appraisals.  

 Positive Attitude is Everything 

It would be far more time and energy efficient to impress your boss with your positive attitude and eagerness, rather than your capacity to work long hours. It is always important to make a good impression at your new place of employment. But this has led over 71% of graduates to work long hours in an effort to impress the boss. Nevertheless, management is far more impressed by a positive attitude and initiative in action over your willingness to stay late and work longer hours.  Remember it is the quality of your work that will be the determining factor not your long hours.  

Balance Work and Home Life 

Remember how difficult it was to make the right balance between your studies and your time with friends and family in college? It took almost every waking minute of our lives. Well, unfortunately things are not going to get any easier when you enter your professional career. Work can be very stressful and demanding on your life and time. This makes it even more important for you to take time to get away from it all and enjoy your free time. According to the 1,000 college graduates we interviewed, more than 55% admitted they were concerned they would not be able to balance their personal and professional lives after graduation. But many students fail to understand that most employers are very understanding of this need for balance. More than 56% of employers feel that graduates focus too much on work and need to learn to take a break — so, take some time to enjoy yourself.  

Get to Know Your Colleagues  

One of the major differences between the college environment and the office is the need for interaction. To succeed in the professional realm, it will be important to connect with your colleagues and learn to work well together. It will be important to introduce yourself well to the other people in the company. 61% of employers said that graduates that integrate themselves well with the organization from the beginning are the most beneficial type. You can do this by volunteering for tasks, working on various projects and taking every opportunity you can to meet new people and gain their insights on the workings of your company. This will provide that broader perspective of the company that everyone helps everything to run a bit smoother.  


It is only natural to feel awed and impressed by the professional realm and this causes many graduates to curl into their shell and only listen. 67% feel that their input and insights on the workings of the company will not be important, redundant or simply ignored, but this is not true at all. Employers want to see employees who are not afraid to bring value to the organization.   

This contribution can be made in many ways. By revealing your personality, projecting your positive opinions, demonstrating skills and showing you are prepared to offer your skills and mental process to the efforts you will show your value and your right to be counted will be seen by all. This is something that employees value highly as it is an indication of a sound investment.

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