All of us look forward to our first job in our life. We eagerly await the completion of our formal education in school/college to enter the corporate life. We want to stand on our own feet and live out our dreams in life.
While this journey is indeed exciting, we have to prepare ourselves to be successful in this phase of our life. What are the changes which one has to encounter when you leave the college premises and enter the corporate world?
A. Forget your pedigree at the compound wall of the corporate : While your pedigree may help you enter the corporate world, it will not make any impact after you are in there. What makes a difference is your performance and the value you bring to the table.
B. Unlearn, learn and re-learn : Unlike the academic world, the corporate sphere changes very fast. We need to learn to unlearn, learn and re-learn at a hectic pace not only to survive but to thrive in the corporate world.
C. Excel : Excellence is a journey and it is never ending in a corporate world. You have to be the best in whatever you do and then nobody can ignore you. Kindly remember that this world is much more competitive than the academic world and you may not always get a second chance.
D. Ambition : Dream big and you will be able to realize your dreams some day. It may not happen in the time frame you have set for yourself but if you do not give up, it will definitely materialise.
E. Morals : It is always a dilemma in your mind if ethics have any value in corporate life. You may have seen millionaires making money the wrong way. You may be tempted to take short cuts and realize your dreams. Just remember to listen to your conscience every single time and you will do no wrong. It is better to be happy and hold your head high rather than be rich and evade the taxman or the police all the time.
F. Stand alone : It is natural for you to compare your self with others working with you. You may wonder why you get paid less as compared to someone else working with you. You may think the other person is less qualified or has irrelevant experience. It is not worth comparing yourself with others and feeling bad about it. You need to learn to be like the pole star comparing yourself with yourself and shining so brightly that nobody on earth can ever miss your sight.
G. Commitment : One may get away by submitting your assignment late in college once in a while. However, in the organisational context, living up to your commitments is the key to success. Your relative value is always determined by your personal credibility.
H. Punctuality : Self discipline is expected in corporate life. Nobody will remind you to be on time. You set your standards by being on time all the time. Your reputation is determined by your punctuality. It is good to remember that your discipline is displayed when nobody watches you.
I. Mobility: In today’s globalised business environment, one need’s to be truly globally mobile to be successful. We should be willing to pack up our bags and go anywhere in the world to launch a global career in any organisation.
J. Team work : Unlike the college daya, where one could get away with individual excellence, team work is the key to success in organizations. One needs to learn to work in team and collaborate and cooperate to leverage on the strengths of each team member.
Now, let us look at the emotions and feelings we may experience as we enter the corporate world and how do we deal with them :
I. Happy and excited : The enthusiasm and joy has to be sustained and persevered. We may not always get what we want but by sheer hard work and determination we can lay our own career path in the organisation.
II. Fear : The lurking fear of not being good enough will confront us. Our ability to be humble, grounded and willingness to unlearn, learn and re learn will help us get over fear.
III. Unhappiness : Not getting the location of your choice may make you unhappy. But our ability to adapt and make the best use of every opportunity will help us excel.
IV. Anxiety : Everything appears new and unknown. How to ask and whom to ask is a constant question in our mind. Simply asking and being innocent will help you always find your way.
V. Intimidating : The induction programme may be intimidating and you may find your self lost in a big organisation. Kindly remember all of us joined some day and today it is your turn. There is nothing to worry as you will come to know of everything as days pass by.
VI. Nervousness: The fear of the unknown and the realisation that time will run out fast may make you restless. As long you realize that learning is a life long journey, please remember that everyone in the organisation will be keen to help you.
VII. Curiosity : You are not sure when to speak and when to listen. You are curious when to ask questions and whom to ask. There is no right or wrong answers. As long as you are authentic, you need not worry about anything or anybody in the organisation.
Some things to look forward to :
A. First salary : The thrill of getting your first salary in life is unbelievable
B. Own office desk: When you reach office on the first day and get your own desk to sit, it is a matter of pride.
C. Corporate credit card: On getting your corporate credit card, you feel as if you have arrived in life.
D. Colleagues / friends – It feels nice to have new friends and colleagues at work and learn from them
E. Visiting card : Your first visiting card gives you respect and credibility
F. Independence : As we stand on our own feet, we become self reliant
All in all, moving from campus to corporate is like transitioning from bachelorhood to married life. Unlike your spouse in married life, you will have colleagues in the organisation. It is our ability to adapt and learn from them, which will make us successful.
The nervousness of the student transitioning into the corporate world can be seen in the photo above.
Wish you all the best.
S Ramesh Shankar