by Victor-Andreas März

With the term “Transition Strategy”, I specifically refer to the planned tasks performed throughout the year of your graduation, and your eventual joining of the productive workforce as a young professional. The goal of this article is to explain to you timelines and point out some important facts that you might not be aware of if you haven’t given your transition strategy much thought yet.

Up to the most recent article we have discussed how important it is to be focused throughout your studies and aim towards a goal that you identified and shaped throughout your studies. By now, imagine being in the last year of your studies and that you have already commenced engaging in researching potential employers, writing job applications, being invited to job interviews, employment exhibitions and assessment centres in the pursuit of lining up the right jobs. You should now be ready to develop a transition strategy for when you leave university.

Let’s look at such a transition strategy from a 30,000 feet perspective. Imagine that you have a timeframe of, let’s say, twelve months to prepare for your transition. If that is the case, you should start writing first job applications in months one, two and three; attend job interviews in the next 6 months and negotiate (if you can) your job role, responsibilities, salary, fringe benefits and starting date in month 10. That leaves you the last two months of your studies to focus on your thesis (if you write one) or any final examinations.

You might think that twelve months time is vastly exaggerated. And yes – if you know exactly what job you are after, it probably is. However, if you are not very experienced or have still doubts about what you would like to do, the suggested twelve months transition strategy is probably good for you. Also take into account that you don’t know how long it will take for a selected employer to react to your application (it can takes months). Trust me that finding the job of your dreams is not the easiest or quickest task to perform and you have to start looking for it early – get a feel of the market, different employers, geographic locations, maybe even different countries.

The benefit of starting early is that you will have a lot more choice, experience, comparative knowledge and you are more likely to sign a job offer prior to the completion of your studies. This will give you something most graduates only dream of during the last months of their studies - peace of mind and the ability to purely focus on their studies.

In my experience, studying in Germany, Poland, the USA and in Australia, most students get quite anxious and nervous towards the end of their studies, especially if they don’t know what they are going to do after they graduate. By preparing yourself for this change and developing a transition strategy for those last, but crucial, months of your education, you can minimise or even eliminate this distracting feeling.

As the last 2-3 months of your studies tend to be extremely dense in regards to workload, it i s a good idea to plan in some good and long vacation after your studies. As you most likely will have only a limited amount of annual leave once you commence work, try to make this vacation a special one. Don’t be afraid to take two or even three months off – it is most probably going to be your last chance to do so for quite some time.

Depending on where your job is going to be located, geographically speaking, you might even plan in some time to search for appropriate accommodation, organising travel, moving houses, translations, photocopies of important documents (such as transcripts/ diplomas), and so on. You should also check visa requirements, local tax regulations, the local law, etc. if you are about to go abroad for a job. 

This was the last of the six articles in the series “Live your Dreams”. All articles can be found on my personal webpage in the “publications” section. Please feel free to visit my page: Also should you have any feedback, ideas or questions of any sort, please write me on

Live Your Dreams
The Introduction

Live Your Dreams
Develop a Strategy for Your Studies

Live Your Dreams
Gain Practical Experience Early

Live Your Dreams
Learn How to Read Job Descriptions

Live Your Dreams
Line Up the Right Jobs

Live Your Dreams
Develop a Transition Strategy

Live Your Dreams
Avoid the Young Applicants' Common Mistakes