IntroductionIrrespective of whatever position a person gets in his or her career and enters into the first job, there are some vital things that one has to accept as a given. He or she needs to really understand corporate realities. There can hardly be any doubt that only such realities, when totally accepted, as a matter of fact, can lead to career success.
Be that as it may, you need to a) Immerse yourself in the company's culture b) Accept the rule that boss is always right c) Do not be a jumping jack d) Don't give importance to mere salary and e) Do not work against company goals.
Immerse yourself in the company's cultureTake this as priority number one. Anywhere in the world, you will always find a culture that will dominate the entire organization. Essentially, such a culture that is made out of norms, beliefs, and practices. It will be informal for the most part of the whole thing. Yet, there will also be certain formal practices. For example, there are organizations where the CEO would address the employees at various plants and in the offices once in six months or even every quarter.
You just need to immerse yourself in such a culture. If you do not like it, you have to just quit. You cannot be part of the organization that gives you all the bread and butter that means so much and yet criticize it. No management, anywhere in the world, will appreciate such behavior. You have to understand that managements are always very powerful. When you immerse yourself in the culture and also contribute to organizational goals, you will always be safe. Your contribution will always be recognized. Get going and understand the elements of the culture. Everyone will appreciate your working long hours. However, if you work extra hours and add value, there is every possibility that you will be appreciated.
Accept the rule that boss is always rightA very famous management consultant from Mumbai had this extremely good quote that is a big lesson for all time to come. There are two rules. The first rule is that the boss is always right. The second rule is even better. It simply says, " if you have any doubt, refer to rule one". This is exactly the reality. Every single boss is so powerful. Whether you like it or not, this is the reality that you should learn to accept. You cannot afford to sit and relax. You cannot work against the boss, but with him. The best method of working with the boss is to understand what he really wants and then start working towards the same. If there are some mannerisms dear to his or her heart, get that done.
To give one simple example, a particular boss had the habit of writing down the silliest of things that he would do. It would even include making a phone call to an employee and remind him about some pending work. Many subordinates who did not like such behavior thought that he is eccentric. However, those who fell in line and imitated him with a small notebook in hand, taking down details of the minutest of jobs that he would give them, were always rewarded and those who resisted or were even critical of the boss's behavior were either reprimanded or insulted. If you have such a boss, you would rather fall in line and accept his way of doing things. Try to learn from such experiences.
Do not be a jumping jackBetween the age of 22 and 37 or 38, you could jump a maximum of three jobs. Not more than three in any case. Remember, you will add no value by going in for similar jobs. If you get a slot where your learning curve is positively less, you should join such an organization. You cannot afford to miss such opportunities. Do not jump jobs in a hurry. Look at the opportunities to learn and never ever go to another job with similar profiles. For example, if you are a mechanical engineer and have five years of maintenance experience if you posted in a new factory where you also have a production role, grab such an opportunity. Look out for value-addition.
Don't give importance to mere salaryThis is linked to the previous point. Many youngsters fall into this trap. Even for a very small amount of an increase of just forty thousand per annum increase in salary, they will jump and then find themselves in dead-end jobs. Do not do this mistake. When you change your job, you should have a holistic picture and not one based on mere salary or perks. This is not visionary thinking at all. You should change only if you are sure that the role or roles in the new organization will enable you to think aloud and do creative work. That is, allow you the space to grow and prove your credentials. It is just not true that only money makes any difference.
The days of real value-addition are in. Just understand the new rules of the game and then move on with every single opportunity in your career.
Do not work against company goalsAny attempt to gather people against any single policy of the company is not at all encouraged and appreciated anywhere in the world. Any attempt to criticize any policy for whatever reason is always not only not appreciated, those who make such criticism are those who will either be shunted out or moved on to insignificant roles. The world is full of new opportunities and those who work within the organizational framework, with due respect for the organizational practices are always appreciated.
Do not at any time, criticize the management for any small or big mistake. Even if you see the organization doing some mistake, just do your job. Do not try to gossip in a group. This is one particular practice that is never appreciated. Remember, there is no ideal organization anywhere in the world. Even in the USA. For, every organization and its management would decide on some priority or the other, based on some understanding of their strengths and the opportunities that present themselves at some point in time. Just do your work and get on with it.
ConclusionBased on certain real-world experiences and observations, some pragmatic advice, as applicable to any fresher, has been discussed in some detail in the aforesaid paragraphs. These are general guidelines and the context in which these are anchored will vary from case to case. Any fresher will then have to make the necessary adjustments to move on in the right direction in his or her career at any point in time.
The author has given all the important points to be followed by a person just entering a career in a very simple way. Even though I an not an HR professional, I believed in the same points during my career and practised the same.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. This rule is applicable to our career also. When you change the jobs frequently you will not get a positive understanding of the importance of the culture and how one should stick to the culture of the organization. So changing jobs very frequently is never desirable. The employer also will hesitate to give a posting to you thinking that you may get out very quickly.
Dr Abdul Kalam said, " Love your job but not the company". This is true. But as long as you are in a company you should be loyal to the company. If you feel that the company is not good, you can just look for an alternative and shift the job but never talk bad about the company as long as you are there in that and never cheat the company by giving the secrets of the company to the competitors. Try to know and implement the nature of the company but never be an odd man out.
Boss is always correct. We should believe this. Don't confront the boss. But never become a yes master. Try to make your point clear to the boss but leave the decision to the boss. Once the decision is taken go with that. Don't try to express your unhappiness again and again. Changing the boss's mentality is difficult. Instead of that go to a new boss. One thing you should remember is that a known devil is better than an unknown god.