The Stepping Stone

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How difficult can it be to adjust to a new job after graduation? We have all the skills the job profile asks for and even more. We are young, full of energy and excitement, ready to tackle anything that is thrown at us. What could we possibly need to be aware of before joining this fast paced industry?

We asked these questions to Mr. Sakshi Gopal Agarwal, B.Tech batch of 2014. With 2 job offers on his plate towards the end of his engineering, he had to decide between joining a company with big guns and deep pockets or a startup that would provide him the opportunity to grow like no other. He decided to opt for the latter and joined CommonFloor this July. He believes that the industry is something that none of us truly understand before we join one, and has decided to share with us some very important pointers we should take care of as we dream and prepare to be a part of it.

  • You need to update yourself day by day, hour by hour, second by second too. You must challenge all the tasks as the day you stop doing that, you stop growing, and given the rate at which technology is evolving, you might very soon be an obsolete entity.
  • Groom your communication and aptitude skills. Professional communication, both written and verbal, hold very important positions in a job. There will be no exam at the end each term. Its how well you perform and how well you communicate that decide your progress.
  • Adjusting to a new place is a difficult and daunting task. Be prepared to struggle in the initial days, especially if there happens to be a language barrier.
  • You must learn professional etiquettes. The kind of relationship you have with your colleagues is very different from what you have with our friends in college. You must know the difference.
  • Change of attitude. There is no place for the "chalta hai" attitude in a job. Sub-standard performance is not welcome and not appreciated. Learn this before anyone has to tell you to.
  • Competitions get more serious. While in college, you only have to prove your mettle during the exams, or interviews. But in a job, you are being evaluated every day. Be prepared for this.
  • You dont get to choose your peers. Most of us live our lives being judgmental of people and being picky about who we talk to. But this behaviour is childish and cannot be continued once you join a job. You must be mature enough to respect differences and leave petty judgements aside.
  • Deadlines need to be dealt with seriously. No matter how well you think you could finish it in the last moments, always aim to complete the task in advance. There will be a lot of obstacles that will need to be handled and procrastination should not be one of them. Leave it at home.
  • Guard your reputation. I cannot stress enough on the importance of this point. It is easy to get away with embarassments in school/college but not in the industry. Any foolish move will become an indelible part of your record.

While this paints a grim picture of what the industry looks like, this is not the whole picture. You will be amazed by the brilliance of people you will meet and the techonology you work on. You will get to build and work on things that have fascinated you since childhood. You get a chance to grow into the person you have looked up to in college. And nothing beats the satisfaction you attain when you see a product you worked on helping someone in their lives. Its our own little way of giving back to the world.