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Great Job Or Good Career

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If you are just setting out to get your first job, remember the most important success mantra - build a career and not simply angle for a great job, Says Our Career counselor

Every year thousands of students complete their education and begin their hunt for a job. At this stage, they encounter a strange problem, the expectations from family and friends is so huge that most of them try their best to get into a job as quickly as possible. Since they do not give it a good thought in the beginning they have plenty of problems in their career later. The other problem begins when they enter the organisation. In their pursuit to create an impression either they over do things or under play themselves and in both situations they do not achieve success.

Here are a few tips which will help you build a sound career, not just a job.

Don't be in a hurry

Never be in a hurry to take up a job, especially if it is your first job. Look around, meet people, and go for a few interviews to evaluate what the industry has to offer. Now, sit back and ask yourself what kind of a job you really want. You will always have an advantage if you pick a job that you enjoy. Your focus should be on a career and not just the job.

Great job or great salary?

The eternal dilemma! Many people evaluate themselves on the basis of how much they earn on their first job and give little importance to the role they will play in that job. Such people are rarely satisfied with their work in the long run. Gather as much information as possible about the job that you are being offered. Be very clear about the job profile before you agree to work for someone. It is always important that you work with a great team and a great boss because these are the people who will shape your future. The size of the company does not matter, what really matters is the corporate culture, work atmosphere and opportunity for growth. Money follows good performers, and it will come to you as well. So, for now concentrate on getting a good job, if good money comes along then treat that as a bonus.

Put in long hours

The first job is an opportunity to learn, to make mistakes and to experiment at the cost of the employer. Organisations do not have a choice of not hiring freshers, if they need to stay in business they have to recruit fresh graduates. So, their objective is to train you as quickly as possible and make you productive from their business point of view. Thus the time you take to grasp and master things become important.

In this context, you have a good chance to create a positive image for yourself. Work hard and be sincere in everything that you do. Work for long hours and learn as much as you can. The faster you learn to do a job, the more your team and your boss notice you.

Be open to criticism

In the first few months of your first job you will have to work with existing team members, those who have been around for some time in the organisation. You may have to work on some of the ongoing projects or become a member of a new project. It is only natural that you will take time to do things right. Sometimes you will try your own methods to execute a job and may fail. Sometime you may do basic things wrong and suddenly you will find that people get critical about things. You will find yourself on the receiving end more often than not. Do not get discouraged or de-motivated with such feedback. This happens to almost all people in all industries. The best way to deal with such situation is by accepting your mistake without justifying yourself. Also, express your commitment to perform the job well the next time. Convince people that you are really keen to learn and perform.

Concentrate on quality   

Every boss loves quality. Because he has seen the world and he knows that only quality sells. He obviously wants everyone in his company to do quality work. Sometimes his over-emphasis on this aspect may create undue stress on you. But do not get him wrong. In fact, you must be very careful while doing your job and make sure you deliver results. Your performance can improve drastically by asking questions for clarification, if you have a point of view discuss it with your boss, take his concurrence on things before you execute a job. Always crosscheck and run through what you have done before you meet your boss with updates. There is always a tendency that your boss will look out for mistakes and if he finds some, then you will rarely get credit for the good work that you would have done. So be careful about every small thing.

Do not get influenced   

Everyone in the team will have an opinion about everybody else. That is human nature and no one can change it. However, it is very dangerous when you get influenced by a fellow employee's opinion and judge other people. This can create a lot of biases and it may hinder your work. So, take your own time and evaluate people on how they treat you. Even if you believe that some one is negative or has some weaknesses, you must still try to stay positive and bring out the best out in them.

In my experience, I have found that youngsters who work hard and create a strong foundation in the first two years of their career taste lots of success in the long run. Money, promotion, recognition comes only when we do not chase them. They come to us when we stay focused and committed to our work.

Good luck and have a great career!

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