Saturday, May 17, 2008

Before Joining your first Job

Congrats! For getting selected to a reputed MNC! , by this time you might have accepted the offer! You have got JOB, feeling really great! Now it is time to look forward to meet the challenges at work place. Some one told “getting a job is easy, but surveying and budding in job is really difficult”. If you think you were the best in your class / college and you got a campus selection, colleagues around would have been best in their respective colleges.

You've spent approximately the last seventeen years sitting in a classroom absorbing bits of knowledge. Every now and then you were tested to see how well you remembered that information. Occasionally, you had to write assignments; sometimes quite an extensive one. You were given the task back in September. The paper wasn't due until December!
Suddenly you are out of the safe haven of the classroom, where you were tested on schedule, and deadlines were months away. You are thrust into the harsh reality of your first job. Deadlines are “tomorrow, at the latest.” There are no formal exams, but don't ever forget -- you are being tested; everyday. The results come, not in report cards, but in performance reviews.

Always remember to do your best; you are being watched. Why is your employer watching you? You may think it's a money thing. That is, of course, true; but it isn't the only reason. Your performance in the classroom impacted you alone, not your college, or even your professor. In contrast, your performance at work impacts the organization as a whole, your bosses, and even your co-workers. You are one spoke in the wheel that makes the organization run. If that spoke is broken, your employer will just go out and replace it.

Most of the corporate have huge learning investments, and you will receive comprehensive learning interventions on your initial days, at least for couple of months. This should help you in the transition from College to Cubical and of course you will get orientation on the required skills for your first project. Remember for any corporate their Training and Development unit is always a cost center; they have to make you billable as early as possible. The only expectation here will be how fast you learn and acquire the necessary skills. Every now and then your effectiveness in learning is measured using different tools and techniques. You are paid for learning! So learning is your responsibility. Never ever expect a college/school kind of teaching at corporate, most of the cases it is virtual / self learning with little hand holding with simulated project/ case studies. You have to adapt the learning style very fast. Now days corporate have stringent measures on learning effectiveness and most of them have a well defined exit policy.

Some Tips to Help You Succeed
· You will receive many information book lets /hand book /CD’s about company its policy & procedures. Take enough time to read these carefully, if any ambiguity persist contact right person.
· You will be getting access (user id , password, id card with security access etc.. ) to internal information sites like HR , Pay Role , Finance etc.. of your company, find out what information is available where. Find out your email address, be aware of Information security polices before you start sending and receiving mails.
· Find out how to address your boss, seniors and colleagues (sir/madam, first name etc..). You can very well ask them if they are comfortable with your way of addressing.
· Always arrive at work on time, if not a little early. Stick to your lunch hour/ break timings ... and if you are particularly busy, eat at your desk or come back early.
· Dress appropriately. If a dress code is given, follow it religiously other wise look around you to see how others are dressed; especially those who are further along on your career path.
· LISTEN--LISTEN--LISTEN...and OBSERVE. The best piece of advice I received from an employer was to listen and observe before jumping in to suggest changes.
· Stay away from office gossip. That is not to say don't pay attention to what you hear through the grapevine. That can be helpful. However don't contribute to it.
· Mind your manners. Don't forget what you learned as a child. “Please and thank you” should still be the magic words. Always knock before you enter. Although barging into your friend's dorm room may have been okay with him, barging into your reporting managers’ office is not okay. Have a descent behavior at cafeteria and other common areas. Respect others space.
· Most corporate have strict non smoking policies. Don’t’ give any one a chance to say please …
· Answer the telephone politely, even if the call is internal.
· Find a mentor. Look for someone on your career path who is willing to take you under her wing. Your own manager may not be a good idea, but someone else under his supervision may work well.
· Don't pretend to know things you don't. However, do your homework. Learn what you need to know.
· Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are assigned a project and are not sure how it should be completed, ask. It's better to ask before the project is due, than to have it delayed because it was done incorrectly.
· Always stick to deadlines. Bosses usually want projects completed on time. If there is any flexibility, they will let you know.
· Create a good impression , normally first impression is created by “ the way you look, the way you smell and the way you speak “
· Finally, pay close attention to corporate culture. Learn how things work within your company. Are relationships formal or friendly? Does everyone arrive early and stay late? Are lunch hours short or non-existent? Please forgive me for this cliche, but when in Rome...
All the best for an exciting and successful career! Let the mantra be “Grow and grow with ….”

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