A young aspiring professional recently approached me to seek some guidance at work. He was a bit agitated because he had more questions than answers to what he saw and felt on happenings around him at his workplace. I think this is quite a common phenomenon amongst the youth today.
When a young professional starts his career after completing his education from a good university, he or she gives their best to grow faster than others in the organisation they join. They are willing to work hard and also contribute beyond what is expected from them. Their attitude to work is ” work hard and party harder”. I envy them for this attitude since I believe this lays the foundation for them in their career. It also helps them to strike a good balance between work and personal life.
This young man told me that he was happy to work hard and extend his contributions much beyond what is expected of him. However, what irritates him is when he sees other colleagues at work, who in his perception or qualified less but get paid almost equal if not more than him. What irks him more is that these colleagues do not work hard nor do they contribute as much as he does. I think this is a fair issue to be concerned with.
After listening to the frustrations and anger of this young guy, I shared some axioms of organisations and how performance is measured in them. The first premise is that your pedigree is only useful at the time of joining an organisation. After you enter the precincts of an organisation, it does not matter where you have studied from. What matters is what you bring to the table. If a person brings more value to the table than you, then that person would be assessed as a better contributor irrespective of which university he or she has come from.
The second axiom in organisations is that you need to prove your worth without comparing yourself to others. Many a time individuals tend to compare themselves with other co workers and make a judgement for themselves. Instead, individuals should be encouraged to talk to their managers about their goals, their aspirations, their development, their achievements and their rewards. The moment we are able to de link ourselves from the rest of the colleagues, the feeling of disproportionate contributions of others and their rewards will not affect us and our motivation. It is our duty to focus on our performance and trust the judgement and fairness of our manager whose job it is to compare and contrast our performance with our peers.
The third and the most important axiom for a young aspiring professionals to follow is to excel in whatever they do. If you are the best in what you do, you can never be ignored by anyone in the organisation, least your boss. Sometimes, you may feel let down but patience and perseverance is the key to excel. It may even be a good idea to strive to better yourself with every passing day in your career. It is good to be competitive with yourself rather than others and be clear on what you want to achieve in your career. This focus and quest for excellence will enable you to have inspiring conversations with your boss and thereby will lead to self confidence and success.
We need to strive to be like the “Pole star” in the sky, which shines in darkness irrespective of millions of others stars which are present. The mantra could be “How do I outshine myself every day and shine like a pole star amongst my peers?”
S Ramesh Shankar