Monday, May 3, 2010

Power Tips for your first job

A huge change arrives the moment a student leaves college, and joins an organisation for a job. All templates that worked so wonderfully well till date, no longer exist. The comfort zone evaporates. Routines change.

I am not talking about internships, but full time jobs.

It takes conscious effort to settle in your new life. The corporate or business life. It won't happen automatically. And unless you are mentally prepared for it, the pain may be big.

To land yourself correctly in your first few weeks, months and years, here are my POWER TIPS.
  1. GET MENTALLY PREPARED - The time spent at college is usually memorable. We all tend to remember, recall and fondly share moments spent together at our college, all through our lives. As we move from college into the corporate world (or the world of business) it entails a huge shift in our lives. It's like taking birth all over again. Safely ensconced in our mother's womb, we could play brave, knowing well someone is there to protect us always. But once we are born, and the warmth of the cocoon no longer exists, we must first learn to cry. A similar experience awaits all who graduate from an institution/college and move into the corporate world. It's like moving out of the protected, warm and life-giving cocoon into the open world of uncertainties and turbulence. Surprisingly, a large percentage of graduating students (graduating from a UG college or a PG college or from any other institution) do not at all think about the life that's coming up. They assume it will be a linear extension of their present condition. It will not. It will be a step change. Everything that defined your comfort zone today, will evaporate overnight. So, start thinking about it. Prepare your mind to accept the new reality. Start imagining victories in the new life. Think of the happiness that will come to you as you move from "being a student" to "being a professional". And remember, if you behave like a joker, the world will treat you like a joker! So, start preapring mentally for a serious and successful stint ahead.
  2. FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR BOSSES - The one person who will largely define your entire existence in your first job (and many jobs later as well) is your immediate Boss. The person who you will report to directly. He/she will control almost everything you do, the work quality, and your immediate happiness. So, start finding out who that person is. What does he/she like and dislike. And start moulding yourself according to those values. It will make your journey very pleasant, and comparatively easier. So, if your boss smokes a lot, develop a tolerance for smoke. You need not start smoking yourself, but stop frowning and making faces when the smell hits your nose. If your boss is a cleanliness freak, keep yourself clean (nails, hair, appearance, clothing, shoes etc.) If your boss works late hours, develop your stamina to match his. There is nothing unethical or manipulative about this approach. Human beings work in team, and the novices have to adjust to the veterans' style of work. The world cannot be changed overnight. Your suggestions will be considered, but first spend some time at least! Recall your early childhood - you did a lot of things that your parents liked, as that fetched you rewards. Also, recall the plight of a newly married lady. As she lands in the new family, her entire schedule is changed, and there is almost zero scope for complaints. This is how corporate life works too. You are the new bride. Your boss is the family. If your boss finds working with you congenial, he/she is likely to want more of it. And you have a winning formula. A caveat - quality of work has no alternative. Do not misconstrue this advice as a recommendation for poor quality of work!
  3. LEAVE ADOLESCENCE BEHIND - Make a conscious effort to wean yourself away from the childish enthusiasm of your adolescence. That life is OVER. It's all gone, it's finished. It's a new life now. Your parents were funding you till now. You did not have to worry about the price of the next meal. You could show off in front of all your friends - treat them at a Barista or a CCD, all at your parents' expense. Funny! But now, it's all over. Your parents may still continue to fund you, but that's fairly stupid as a professional. You will not grow from within unless you feel the pressure of earning money for your lifestyle. It is only when we start realising this, that true efforts begin. So consciously drop the earlier skin off, and grow the new one. It will not be easy. But start soon.
  4. GRADUATE TO THE NEXT LEVEL ON SOCIAL MEDIA - It's clear that Facebook is as much a part of young people's lives as their mobile handsets. So let's learn to be good at it. Agreed, social media (Facebook, Orkut..) are wonderful tools. But they are dangerous as well. The simple rule is - once you join an organisation, STOP BLABBERING LIKE IDIOTS on social media. Stop posting stuff that's childish, stupid, inane, vacuous, unprofessional or blasphemous. Your employer is watching you. It is not like your college - the Professor had no choice. He could not pull you up, as you could cry and make faces. Here, as a professional in a company, you will get the boot. There is no way you can justify stupid postings on your Facebook walls. So start writing clean English. Stop using funky abbreviations A classic example can be - Lyf wnts mre alwz, why?????????? comfy dyz ovr, lyf suckz. As a professional, my advice is - stop doing this nonsense. Post it like a mature person, not a kid. A better way of posting this sentiment can be - Life demands so much of me. And I am happy to deliver. Success is my destination! A strange thing that you may discover about yourself is that you may be unable to post clean posts! Many people just can't post clean stuff. They are actually UNABLE to do it. Then the price will be quite steep. Remember, your social media presence is your readily-checkable and readable proof of character. As a rule - Always remember that the first person to read your social media posting will be your Boss. I do not intend to sound paranoid on this topic, but I am scared at the mere prospect of how foolish young people can actually be, in indulging in acts that leave clear trails behind, to be picked up by someone, anyone, anytime. And who gets hurt? Definitely not the Boss.
  5. STAY BACK MORE THAN OTHERS, VOLUNTEER MORE THAN OTHERS - How do you get noticed by your Boss? How do you ensure your presence is felt? Well, by doing so. Report early in the morning. If the official time is 9 am, be at your desk (if you are allotted one) by 8:50 am. Don't just sit there gawking like an idiot. Do something. Anything. Look busy. Get yourself some work. Ask for work. If you are free, and are unable to find any work, chances are your performance has not been liked by many. So ask for work. Volunteer for assignments, howsoever unpleasant. At the start of your career, an assignment that helps you learn is a favour that your boss does. So ask for more favours!
  6. ORIENT YOUR FAMILY, CHANGE YOUR FRIENDS - For your parents, you will always be a child. They will alway see their chunnu, bebo, laddoo or pintoo in you, even when you are 40 years of age. But you need to tell them that you are growing up and a lot of things they expected from you may not remain so, any more. You have to tell them to stop worrying if you took your lunch in time or not. They have to stop worrying when you reached home last night. They have to let you run your life now. It's very important. If your company is posting you to a different city, it's you who has to decide, and not your parents. Professional decisions must be made with a certain degree of professional detachment. It's important, else you will miss out on opportunities! My appeal to parents will also be the same - let the kids grow as much as they can, on their own. Chances are, they will do a good job of it. Coming to the topic of friends - do not try to hang onto the same old set of friends as a matter of compulsion. You will meet new people on the workplace, and must develop new relationships of trust and companionship. Who knows, something much better may be in store. Also, practically speaking, as old friends tend to go their own ways, trying to hang onto them may prove to be too much of a burden for them as well! So Chunnu beta, let destiny take its own course. Let the core group of really close friends stay on forever, and let others make way for new ones. This is how a mature process will work.
These power tips should help you cruise smoothly through your first job. I hope your first job lasts really long, and you contribute meaningfully to everyone around you.

I wanted the best from life
And strangely, life was cruel to me
This was till I saw a mirror
And the reality dawned in an instant
As I sow, so shall I reap.

Best wishes!
Thanks to my colleagues Prof Varun Gupta CEO Proton Indore and Dr Manas Fuloria for a series of discussions that led to the creation of this blog. Varun was very clear about the challenges young students face, and Dr Manas added his special spice to it.


Abhishek Verma said...

Dear Sandeep,

you advice as usual has got ample of gravity. youngesters really need to understand the importace of professionalism. they must imbibe the power of passion as their lifelong tenet.
abhishek verma


Respected Sir,
Good Morning!

Your every blog gives deep knowledge for our life and this blog,

"Power Tips for your first job"

is very easy to comprehend but at the same time full of great learnings.

Ankit Mandloi said...

Respected Sir, great post! The feel of earning by oneself, the effective use of social media and the professional apporach were the points that have touched my heart. I have got wonderful insights from the post and I am sure, after reading this insightful post, everybody will be able to do their best from the very first day into the corporate world.

Proton Ankit Mandloi

Test said...

Ankit - I really hope so. However, there is surely a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.

Rahul - Once again, I really hope so. But life has taught me that "Experience keeps a dear school, but many may choose to pay that price!"

Ashish, Abhishek - thanks a lot for reading and commenting.

Priyanshu Bhandari said...

I must say a very practical and realistic blogpost and I think these are the actual reasons why people find it difficult to stick to their jobs in their initial stage. Each and every point here has its own importance for us. I specially liked the first two sentences and the cute adjectives that you have used in the sixth point. Whatever our age would be our parents would always treat us the same.

Thank you for the insighful blog,

Priyanshu Bhandari

Ankit Mandloi said...

@Sandeep Sir- I do agree with you Sir! Knowing the path is half the way but by following the same path one can reach the destiny. I think Manas Sir is also giving the same idea from his latest blog post on "Acceptance vs. Striving".

Proton Ankit Mandloi

Unknown said...

Hello Sir,

Thanks a lot for these points. We hope that we can integrate these points in us so that our boss can differentiate between us and others.

We will do it Sir!


Satyawan Malhan said...

Respected sir,
One think I always remind in my mind, of Prof.Varun sir & now you sir that if you want to achieve/accomplish in your life come out from your comfort-zone. As change in life takes time, effort & patience. Sir I totally agree by your thought that we have to be mentally prepared first for any new task. Because positive approach encourage us to be more effective.All the six views are useful for a fresher in any organization.
And sir in the BOSS point I am not comfortable if we are productive.Is there any alternative to overcome this situation.

Shenky Agrawal said...

Respected Sir,
Really a very good reading blog sir i totally agree with all the points and that there is no short-cut to hard work.
Sir, but one thing we have to live our life also so college life is there to enjoy because after entering into corporate world no time for enjoyment so we have to fight with situation as it came because there is lot more to life.
PTzen Shenky Agrawal

Test said...

Shenky - not just the college life, your entire life should be enjoyed to the fullest. But results come only through sincere, focussed, hard work. So a balance needs to be struck. And the seeds of that balance are sown in your school and college days.

Satyawan - the BOSS wala point has several fine nuances to it. So I made a general statement. For a fresher, it is a great idea to follow what I said, as it eases one's way into the landing.

Mayank - I wish you all the best!

Ankit / Priyanshu - thanks for reading and commenting.

KD said...

Respected Sir, This blog post will definitely help us for our jobs. Sir this post is also valid for Summer Internship because in Internship I felt the same on first two days what have you written in you post.
Sir, I will take care for my job and I will try to improve those things which are creating hindrance in my employment.
Thank you Sir, for wonderful post.

proton Kartik Dave
PROTON Ahmedabad campus

Shoaib Qureshi said...

Dear Sir,

"Many people just can't post clean stuff. They are actually UNABLE to do it."

I felt this was the best part of the blog because it reminded me of some of my 'frnz'. Thank God, unlike them I now realize that the corporate has its eyes on Orkut & Facebook. All credit goes to you Sir, infact before joining PROTON I thought Facebook & Orkut was the place for the young to 'chill out'.

Shoaib Quresh

Ritesh Sharma said...


I joined job just after my 12th at that time I got 80 % but it was my inclination to work in corporate atmosphere.

My family also stood with my decision , it was really great experience to work with people from reputed institutes.

This blog is really deals with the requirement of "Professionalism" .

And one more thing I want to add that , there should less expectations or expectations should be equal to potential and work performance. So this will not lead to demoralize or negative thoughts.


Unknown said...

Dear Sir,
as usal your blog is giving good insight. It is definitely useful in our first job.

Sir, right now I am doing my internship at Linde Engineering baroda. Can you give some power points for internship.

Sir only thing which I am facing is, everyone over here is very very busy, and I dont have much work to do. Sir please guide me what should I do?

Vidhi Shah

Unknown said...

Hello Sir,

Thanks for such wonderful insights. Actually i beleive these insights will surely help me to succeed in my first job. And you are true that we all need to come out from our comfort zone and stretch our potentials to a great extent so as to perform upto our boss expectations. Really your's these nuggets of proffesionalism will help me to step up in my career while putting cautious steps.

Rahul Jain(fall 08)

Ankur said...

Respected sir,

I think today i got the biggest gift that i can get at these days.
I am a PT alumnus and just saw your Video On you tube(SP Jain) in one Video You mentioned name of this blog.
And why i am saying a big gift for me because i got my first job yesterday and from Monday i going to join.
Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experience with.
I am very much sure this few words will give me different platform to think and work.

And thanks again

Ankur Goyal

Anonymous said...

Really great insights at a very crucial time...
Now I am able to relate more and find these to be actually holding true. Now, I believe
"Boss is always RIGHT!!!"

Proton Pooja Mittal

Richa Rai said...

Respected Sir,

Thanks for sharing these wisdom nuggets. M.B.A. has completed but the process of delivering experiences is a never ending activity. We will definitely inculcate these learnings and do well in our professional life.

Richa Rai

Unknown said...

Hello Sir,

I can feel this blog because everything written in this is experiencing by me. My HR manager is quite happy with me and my next aim is to turn this "happy air" towards my immediate boss.
Hoping for the best result even from him( MY immediate boss).

Akash Paliwal

Unknown said...

Dear sir,
It was quite enlightening article. I am an ardent follower of your blogs. That's true that freshers need to know many things before they get down to corporate arena.

My question to you is why have you mentioned in this blogpost that this learnings are meant only for job and not internship? After all internship is also a short-term job or an exposure to what a fresher is going to get once s/he finishes their course.

Hoping your reply soon.

Vaibhav Butani

Unknown said...

Totally agree with Vaibhav ...

As I have already mentioned in my earlier post, please give us some power tips for internship.

Vidhi Shah

Unknown said...

Respected Sir,

I have been reading every blog of yours and this one specifically has touched me, It reminds me of another quote I slept and dreamt that life was Beauty, I woke and found that Life is Duty.The blog landed at the right place at the right time and helps me every time I get upset on the internship

Unknown said...

Dear Sir,

Can't express how much relieved I am feeling after reading this. There were so many questions in mind with nobody to answer them. Every time I would want to do something, I didn't had much confidence to do it thinking it may be wrong.

This blog was something I really needed at this point of time. It gave me the motivation which was lagging behind somewhere.

But there is one thing on which I would differ and could be because of lack of experience. I love holding back old memories and now also I try and make sure I keep in touch with maximum of my college friends and school friends. It is rejuvenating meeting old friends and you forget all your worries and tensions of work life. I am still not really ready to change my social group for my work life.

Once again thanks for choosing this topic for your blog. And please keep posting tips for your passed out students also. It really helps!

Juhi Jain

Unknown said...

Sandeep Sir,

All things are real. Thank you very much for your blog.

Sunil Bhaker

Unknown said...

Respected Sir,

Iam an alumni of PT 2003 MBA Batch (Indore). Iam Currently working as the Placement Officer with Padmashree Dr.D.Y.Patil Institute of Management Studies,Pune. Sir,in all my classes regarding personality development ,i tell the students about the thought provoking sentence that you had spoken in my class i.e "Are we living to become a number and name in birth register or are we creating something that 100 years down the line,the world will remember us for".You have led me and countless others on the path of REALISING OUR POTENTIAL.You are the best motivator, orator and the most charismatic personality that i have come across.


Meeta Walunjkar

Pal said...

Respected sir,
Thankyou sir for this blog.. it was needed for me. It is really difficult to know right things on right time.. but because of you , it became possible.

Pallavi Meshram