Stepping into the Corporate World
Not very long ago, I took my first step into the corporate world. My first job, first salary and the beginning of my independence. It made me feel powerful. However, as my journey proceeded I started realising how true was the statement made by Spiderman that ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ In the transition from campus to corporate, a fresher has a big challenge to adapt to the change, the travel is from semesters and exams to deadlines and performance appraisals.
College life is mostly care-free, mass bunking, skipping lessons, spending more time in cafeteria than in class and still making your grades. You have teachers who are focused on enhancing your learning quotient. However, the corporate world as someone rightly stated, is ‘a new syndrome that man has coined for himself which brings with it, a whole new lifestyle and existence.’ Unlike college, in an organisation, you are not only expected to be on time, attend meetings, take decisions, but also understand team based working to deliver on time with acceptable quality.
This journey from campus to corporate is not a walk in the park as some might believe. This requires a total shift in perspective and behaviour. It is like you are moving out of your shell and stepping into a world full of uncertainties, where you always need to be keen-eyed and quick-witted. You will need to be proactive rather than reactive. After a quick brief you will be asked to swim on your own in the ocean of the corporate world and it is you who will have to find your way to climb the ladder of success. You will be expected to demonstrate that you have the ability to learn and perform more to the satisfaction of your superiors. The more you deliver, the more is expected out of you.
Is it difficult to manage these challenges ‘successfully’? ….. Maybe
Is it impossible? ….. Absolutely NOT
Here are a few pointers that will help you conquer this fort called ‘Corporate’:
Understand your organisation well
For a recruit, the most important task is to be a good cultural fit for the organisation. You need to imbibe the culture of the organisation, its values and the vision of that organisation in order to have a better grasp of your roles and responsibilities towards achieving the organisational goals.
Accept the change in priorities
While your college life is all about “I, ME and MYSELF”, in the office, your organisation comes first. Organisational success becomes your priority and how you can contribute in achieving it. However, aligning your career goals with that of the organisation will prove to be a win-win for both you and the company.
Establish a professional persona
The way you conduct yourself at work can determine how others will treat you. Professional image is created from a number of elements, including the way you dress, the competency level of your work, showing up on time and how you treat the people around you. Combining these elements to create a positive and professional reputation for yourself can be advantageous to your career, in both the short and long term.
Civility always attracts them. By them I mean your colleagues, manager and all others working with you. Whether at the water cooler or while waiting for an elevator, act in a friendly manner and be interested in what others have to say.
Be a problem solver
The employee who doesn’t let small problems interfere with getting the job done is appreciated for his/her professional attitude. Challenges occur in every office; whether a machine breaks down at a crucial moment, there is a delay in product delivery or overtime is required to finish a project, facing the problem with a positive attitude will likely be noticed by the management.
Increase your visibility
Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals is a key benefit of networking because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of. Similarly, offering helpful ideas to a contact is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker.
Self-confidence plays a very vital role in this transition. You need to have faith in your ability to perform the job assigned to you. It is YOU who has to create your image in the team as a competent member, because nobody likes a weak link in their team.
Just believe in yourself and this transition will be smooth for you!