The Transition from Classroom to Office

By Mehreen Mushtak Nazarali

Walking in and seeing new faces being all nervous and excited! At that point in time, we did not even know what mixed nerves were. Yes! It was the first day of grade school. As we walk in and embrace the surroundings, try to familiarize the new faces and the look forward to the day that lies ahead. We soon get used to it and make tons of friends, and the seven-year journey comes to an end. Then comes a new school, maybe with the same people or perhaps new ones. This cycle goes on and on in life.

Fast forward to 15 years later, when you set foot into your new office all ready to start off your dream career. You’ve definitely thought this day through a million times in your mind; having a wonderful induction and introduction, then being introduced to a team with whom you will work and learn from and probably being given some first day perks. Let me burst your bubble. It won’t go that way. Well, maybe some of it may be there, but not everything you imagined. Don’t worry about it. Every transition takes a while and getting used to and adapting to the new people and lifestyle can be a tedious and daunting process. The key to this however, is, try talking to the people around you, it really helps. Also prayer is crucial, as it helps boost your confidence. After all, you’ve just talked to your Creator – what better way is there to calm the nerves down.

You may also feel alien to something you’ve been passionate about and feel that you knew so much; you will never feel ready for the corporate life until you don’t step in to it. The transition from the classroom to the office will definitely take a while and each time you try, you may fall. You need to get up, and try harder again. It’s not enough to come into work and say “use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to motivate staff”, but if you suggest that, then also put how you are going to use it and when will you apply it, and how many people would fall under each category, and not forgetting the ‘budget’. Remember, once you graduate, learning does not stop there, it just ends one chapter to start another one, and as the Holy Prophet has emphasized on the concept of learning from cradle to grave, so don’t be afraid each time you try something new, as all of it is a learning phase.

Welcome to the real world! As scary as this may sound, it is the most interesting. You will grow the most and learn much more skills here than you were able to learn throughout the years you spent in classrooms and lecture halls. This transition however, is way smoother than it would have ever been because of the ever changing education system that makes an active effort in preparing individuals for the real world. From instilling the art of critical thinking to learning from case studies and actual business scenarios. These are all the small steps that we take from early years, which help, in the big leap. Furthermore, it becomes so much easier with self-discipline, which we definitely, definitely build through Islamic values and principles.

I hope this calms the nerves for anyone looking to start or soon starting a new job. Embrace all the challenges on the way and treat them as growing points. It may be easy for some and hard for others, likewise, growth is a life-long journey and only happens when we are ready to take in new things. Take every new leap in life with an open mind.

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