Trading Your Backpack for a Briefcase

Schneider Downs

By Jack Macioce

The transition from an educational environment to a work environment creates a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety. This transition can be characterized simply as a lifestyle change. There are several key issues that arise during the transition from the life as a student to the life as a productive employee. To prepare for a smooth transition, you must understand and begin to prepare for these issues before they occur. This article will address the more prevalent issues, focusing on the core fundamentals rather than dinner etiquette and business attire (those are easy).

One of the biggest issues facing recent graduates (myself included) is time management. In school, we were used to creating our own schedule; however, the option to schedule an accounting class at 4:00 doesn’t exist anymore. What is typically known as the “daily grind” is probably one of the biggest issues to overcome. To help prepare for this, students should consider scheduling at least one class in the morning. College will not teach you a bedtime, so you have to prepare yourself.

Another big issue is professionalism. This issue really encompasses behavior and attitude. One of the best habits to acquire when entering the workplace is to take time to observe, learn and fully understand your environment. Taking the time to learn and understand will allow you to figure out where you fit in and where you hope to be in the future. Furthermore, be confident; however, you must be careful not to appear arrogant. Get involved, but be cautious not to overwhelm yourself with activities.

Time management and professionalism coincide with each other. The better you manage your time, the more professional you will act. If you are trying too hard to impress your boss by staying late and working weekends, you’ll eventually burn out, which will lead you to being agitated, bitter, boring and tired. This part of your life will not be easy, but with realistic expectations, a positive attitude, and the ability to adapt, you’ll be able to be both successful and happy on the job.




Schneider Downs provides accountingtax, wealth management, technology and business advisory services through innovative thought leaders who deliver the expertise to meet the individual needs of each client. Our offices are located in Pittsburgh, PA and Columbus, OH. 

This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax-related matter.

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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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