Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fitting into your first job

The result of the competition in my earlier blogpost is declared! Please go to the comments page of that post, and check it out.

Congratulations! You have the much-coveted start to your career. You have earned your first job in the great sounding branded corporation. It's time for you to make your mark in the world now.

But be cautious! It's a landscape littered with landmines. Yes! LANDMINES that can blow you up anytime. Unless you really pay attention to things that matter. Things that truly matter.

When a young professional joins the world of work for the fisrt time, she hardly knows the dynamics of the system. She does not know how the elements link up with each other, and how one thing in one part of the world can adversely affect someone somewhere else. As Shakespeare said "My salad days when I was green in judgement".

Three things to consider about the organisation and external environment when you start (and these apply to most I know of) :

  1. You have been

    given the job by the employer, and the primary thing he is interested in is productive output that benefits his company. Full stop.
  2. The other members in the organisation have no particular interest in furthering your interests. They are there to take care of themselves, and yes, the customers!
  3. Your organisation is interfacing with the external world, which requires it to be agile, and flexible. It doesn't exist in isolation.
It is important to understand these things, when you get started. It can substantially streamline your expectations about the kind of rewards and returns you can expect on a daily basis from the workplace.

Now, dear first-time Worker, here's a useful checklist of To-Dos :
  • Things can change fast. The job role assigned to you when you started can get redefined, when the company needs a different kind of output. So be flexible. Don't make faces when your supervisor (boss) suddenly asks you to do something new.
  • Always try to see the bigger picture. Your personal output adds up to someone else's, and someone else's, and it all adds up to something really big that benefits some customer somewhere. So realise the value of giving quality output.
  • Don't expect too much from others. You may be a very gentle and soft-hearted person, but there is no guarantee that your co-workers too will be. Take it as it comes. Learn to stay cheerful and smiling.
  • If it starts getting too tough, go to the washroom and cry. Then wash your face and start working.
  • Be ready to do ANY KIND of work, on a daily basis. That includes standing at the photocopy machine and doing the copying and stapling yourself.
  • Be enthusiastic and cheerful as much as possible. People expect that of you. A too serious young person is difficult to believe. However, don't overdo the enthusiasm part of it. Restrain yourself just that bit!
  • Co-workers can get nasty at times. They may not respond to your emotions, may over-respond to your emotions, or may make fun of you when not around. Don't be too bothered.
  • Don't criticise anyone. Stay quiet.
  • Don't overpraise anyone. Stay in control.
  • If you are already looking for a new job, don't use the office computer. Every movement may be tracked.
  • Don't make favourite groups. Don't be seen around with just one or two specific co-workers. It's a really bad idea. It makes others wonder what's cooking.
  • Don't take non-sense at all. Observe carefully, and then react if there is any major non-sense that comes your way.
What carries value, and what does not, during your first job :
  1. Genuine output carries a lot of value. What's the actual work you do, the REAL OUTPUT means a lot.
  2. Empty talk can impress people for a while, but only for a while, and then you will be the butt of ridicule.
  3. Kowtowing, bootlicking and pampering has limited value, for a limited time.
  4. Genuine loyalty to the brand and customers means a lot to your employer. Display that in abundance.
  5. Honest conduct carries tremendous value.
I wish you all the best, first-timer. With some experience, you will be able to check each point I mentioned here. It will be nice to hear from all readers how much they agree or disagree with this post!


Akshay Kothari said...

Respected Sir,
Dream world is very differnt from the real world.Your points prove that its better to keep the feets on the ground and perform best with the work given.Success is a very slow process and it comes after lot of pains and frustation.
Thanks for that reality check.
Proton Akshay

Floating around... said...

Thank you Sir for sharing your view & insights into henceforth untouched issue by most educationist & corporate leaders. Thanks again, the advice given, will be very helpful !

Prasad Nehete said...

Dear Sir,

I always like your post because of its crystal clear message.I could take with me some guidelines that are as follows:

1)Finish the task assigned to you with smile and by adding maximum value.

2)Result will show the quality of your work.

3)Be humble in whatever you do.

Thank you Sir for this blog post.

Warm Regards,
Prasad Nehete
Fall 09

Alok Rathi said...

Good Morning Sir,
This post covers all most all aspects for fitting into first job.
I need to think and act upon these points.
Thanks for sharing your views.

nipun said...

excellent material for the starters...
thank u sir...

Anishka said...

Thank you Sir,
This blogpost was like a drive down the memory lane as these were the points which my boss explained to me when I joined his department knowing I was fresher.
With his inputs it became easy for me to adjust and be a contributor.

I faced similar issues then, and today, each moment of my 2 years of work exp. stands testimony of every word written here in the blogpost...

I totally agree with the facts mentioned.Thank you Sir

Anishka (Fall 08)

Test said...

Anishka - as someone with Work Experience, you surely know! :-)

Nipun, Alok - thanks for reading and commenting!

Prasad, Pavan, Akshay - good that you took some meaningful stuff from this one. Keep reading :-)

Mahek Dhoot said...

Respected sir ,

Employers want employees who fit in their organizations culture and enthusiastically embrace it.Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but at the end we will be judged by only one thing,the result.

Many people worry so much about managing their careers, but rarely spend half that much energy managing their lives. I want to make my life,not just my job,the best it can be. The rest will work out itself.

Thank you sir for the real eye opener facts.

(Fall 09)

kaizen said...

Respected Sir,
I am very much agreed to all your points. thank you for giving such wonderful insight about corporate world.

Warm Regards,
Vishal Bhandari
Fall 09

Shiv Premani said...

Hi Sir,

Thanks for the post...

I don't agree on the title "Fitting into your first job" as I have experienced ( unfortunately ) that many of the experienced people need these tips ....

I believe that many of us need to take some learning from this.

Anurag Khandekar said...

Respected Sir,
As it is clearly mentioned in the blog that as a fresher we have to adjust ourselves as per the conditions prevalent in that particular organization. The learning's from this post are:
1) Always do the assigned task with total devotion & honesty irrespective of the quality & quantity of work assigned.
2) Always maintain a smile in the face of adversities, as they will reduce their intensity.
3) Remain vigilant in every situation as callousness might lead to problems.
4) Don't vacillate from your primary objective of learning and implementing, so as to create a rock solid foundation in the beginning.
I would like to Thank you Sir for sharing such a great learning, Sir i would like to point out one typographic mistake in first line of the third paragraph "fisrt".

Warm Regards,
Anurag Khandekar

pankaj gangwani said...

hello Sir,
I totally agree with your post
and I have made a note of all these things because very soon we will be going for our first job.I am really sure that this post of yours will help in the corporate world and to sustain as well.

Thank you
Pankaj Gangwani
Spring 09

Anonymous said...

Respected Sir
Your blogposts often remind me of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. Although there is no connection between the two, yet, in one sense I see a similarity - 'immense wisdom expressed in simplest form.'
This blogpost brought the echoes from the past years at work - the experiences, the observations and the lessons learnt. Talking about the present, at PROTON, I work consistently on the points you quoted, as a student, but, with a mental make up of an employee. I prefer not to deep-freeze the things and use them later after thawing.

Sometimes I succeed, at other times I do not but it goes on, as before pressing the foot firmly, one has to keep on building a solid ground - The 'Basics' of everything.

Thank you Sir for sharing your knowledge, experiences and ruminations with us from time to time.
Thank you for reading.

Sincere regards
Proton Nidhi Agarwal

keyur joshi said...

Respected Sir,

Thank you for your valuable post. I had done training in Switching Department in Reliance Communication-Ahmedabad. The points you have mentioned are quite true as per my experience.

However, the point that you have mentioned(If you are already looking for a new job, don't use the office computer. Every movement may be tracked.) is quite contradictory. As Over there, our most of the employees who were looking for a job, applying from their desktop computer itself!!

However, rest of all the points are true.

Sir, May we have some new technical stuff related blogs too??? As, this century is full of new technology and inventions related to it and we as future MBAs need to know it to use it effectively.

Once again, Thank you for your effective and "EXPERIENCED" thoughts!!

Thank you,
Keyur Joshi.

Unknown Voice said...

Sir, how much grades matter to a employer? Will you consider grades as an employer more than his/her capabilities? Thanks for all your concern Sir, its so nice to have at every step.

Anonymous said...

Respected Sir,
This was a great blog by you SIR ACTUALLY ALL ARE GREAT. actually these are the real truth of after getting first job no one there to help and never try to get help also because, what is the reason behind there help we did not know at that point of time. So try to believe on ourself and try to do best that shows in your work and its productivity.
THANK YOU SIR to give us great learning.

With regards
PROTON Vikas Jaithlia

dolphin said...

Respected Sir,
This blogpost gave a deep insight of do's/dont's what we as a fresher often take for granted.
Sir, the learnings will really keep us awake on/off work.
As,"It's a landscape littered with landmines."
Thank you Sir.

Dheeraj Jain(fall 09)

Test said...

Dheeraj, Vikas, Keyur, Nidhi, Pankaj, Anurag, Shiv, Vishal, Mehak - thanks for reading, enjoying and commenting!

Sonika - grades do matter. Employers will take a hard look at that. And of course, they will factor into account everything else you have written on your resume as well.

Neha Fatehchandani said...

Hi Sir,
Thank you for letting us know the importance of soft skills in "Professional life", these questions were always in my mind whose answers i have got in this wonderful post. To be successful it is not just important to work productively, but attitude always plays a major role.
The development of soft skills leads to overall grooming that resonates with the corporate behavior. It is also helpful in creating adaptability in work culture.
Sir, I would also like to ask a question i.e. how can one have control on his/her emotions at work place.
Further i would like to confer my thanks to you for enlightening me on the same.

Proton Neha Fatehchandani

Unknown said...

respected sir,
thank you for giving such a exposure regardng how to get fit in the first job and how to come from them
one thing i want to ask when their will be a session conducted by you on enterpreneurship.

saurabh bansal
fall 09

Kunal said...

respected sir,

thank you for giving such valuable insights.

the blog was great.

the best part was "If it starts getting too tough, go to the washroom and cry"

crying is very helpful as rightly said " Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart do not know how to laugh either."

Kunal R. Pursnani
Fall 09 intake

Kunal said...

respected sir,

thank you for sharing such valuable insights.

the blog was great.

the best part was "If it starts getting too tough, go to the washroom and cry"

crying at times is very useful as rightly said " Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart do not know how to laugh either"

Kunal Pursnani
Fall 09 intake

Anonymous said...

thank you

VRN_07 said...

respected sir,

Its snapshot of real world. There are three things (as i got)from your insightful blog post.i would like to keep in mind following guidelines;

1. stay with environment.

2. take it as it comes.

3. long term approach.

thank you sir for sharing your experience with us.


varun (09)

Saurabh Soni said...

Sir, Very apt post..Much needed one for the students :-)..Just would like to add few more:-

1)Make the most of your first year as an MT coz you are exposed to various departments & the learning can be very big..

2)Do not refrain from getting into ground work..Rightly said by someone - 'One must know where the shoe hurts'..

3)Young Managers get into some good habit like reading & overall become very inquisitive ( in a positive manner)during MBA but this somehow reduces as they land into their jobs.I know so many students from a reputed college (where Yoga is compulsary) who were very fit during the 2 yr stint in college coz of yoga but just chuck the habit as they land into a job..So one should keep a check on this and continue good habits..

4) Young Trainees should refrain from statements like - "Time hee nahee milta hai" & get into the habit of "time nikalte hain" after they get into the jobs..I still feel time management as a subject needs very high importance in Indian education system..

5)Financial Management - Your pay cheques need to be managed..Financial Management is crucial..Another area for students to ponder upon..


Test said...

Saurabh - thanks for the great value-addition to the blog! Yes, you are right about the time management thing. And in fact, I wrote this post in response to a suggestion by you 2 months earlier :-)

Varun, Kunal, Saurabh, Neha - thanks for reading and commenting!

Once again, congrats to entire PROTON family for selection of our student to DELOITTE ! Great show

Unknown said...

Thank you so much sir for showing the real picture of corporate world.But one point I will to add is that some points which you suggest that we are going to face as a fresher in the organisation,I am facing right now in college which I will taken as my learning part after reading your blog.

PROTON Gaurav Mangal(spring09)

Manmeet Arora said...

Hello Sir
Nice insight !
The five points mentioned for the first timers is a moth feshner for existing ones too !

Gautam Gunjaria said...

Respected Sir,

The wisdom nuggets which you shared in this blog will really build a strong base for us while entering the real world. Its simple the stronger the foundation the longer we survive.
We just need to come out of all the rosy illusions, and get going.

Warm regards,
Gautam Gunjaria
Fall-09 intake

Unknown said...

Good Morning sir,
Thank you so much for such a wonderful insights,the Dos that you mentioned in this blog,are the answers of my questions, which I was searching for the time I joined PROTON.and now I hope with these great insights i will do my best in my WIP as well as in my first job.
Thank you once again sir.

sanjay said...

Hi Sir,
Insightful blog post, each and every point suffice in today's corporate life. Many people though are going under stressful life but are unable to bring get rid of it. The point which you mentioned about crying works very well to begin the work all over again with concentration. People also have a habit of making groups and restricting them to the group which restricts their growth. THese things do put people under red light. Flexibility to work on any new assignment also holds better than sticking to one profile.

Many times success comes and the people start back biting. The things which people must do is to avoid any such things and concentrate on the projects. The organizations are also compensating us to do something productive.

But is it not that somewhere we will be responsible for getting the job though the conditions out in the market are bad?