In the previous article we delved into how the corporate world is changing Campus to Corporate, Part 1: 10 changes at work that are going to affect you; in this article let us explore how you may choose to utilise the time from the day you get your job offer till the day you start your first job.
Congratulations! Now you have the job offer in hand, all your hard work has paid off and you are all set to start your journey to fulfil your dream.
It is, indeed, the time to celebrate – you’ve finished your studies, no more exams, no more pressure to secure a good grade and… you have a job in hand!
You will soon be sucked into the corporate world for god knows how many years – 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or maybe even more. So this probably is a great time to enjoy your free time.
Indeed you should, and at the same time it might be prudent to start preparing for your next steps. Why, you ask? You should be prepared because…
- Often, the first impression at the workplace has a high impact on people’s minds
- Often, you are judged from the day you enter the corporate world
- Often, perceptions are long-lasting and play a big role in corporate world
- Some organisations expect a lot from you as soon as you cross the first few weeks.
As the pressure to deliver mounts, many youngsters try to quit within the first three months of joining a new job. Mainly because they had not prepared themselves for the transition.
The more prepared you are, the higher your chances to succeed in the early days.
Here are a few tips that might be useful for you to explore along with the time you spend celebrating landing a job. However, do remember that every organisation is different, every one of your situations is different, and hence what has worked for some, may not work for you; evaluate well before following any of these tips.
- Bridge the gap: No one knows more than you the skill gap you have vis-a-vis what is needed for the role. For example, it can be about basic skills like Advanced Excel, PowerPoint, or maybe language requirements for your job like Python, Java, or maybe project management certifications like Prince2, or maybe skills like communication, storytelling or it can be anything else – these are just some examples. You know you may need them as you step into the role; trust me you will not have much time to learn them well once you start your new job. There are enough online courses to help you, why not utilise this time to bridge the gap, or at least some of it?
- Start building a network: It is always easier to walk into an environment where you know some people. In the digital world, you can start building your relationships though different platforms, e.g inviting employees from the organisation you will be joining, through LinkedIn, can be an easy way to start connecting. Connecting with them and speaking to them, you will become aware of the organisation, its culture, its ways of working. It’s a great way to make an inroad into the organisation even before the organisation is ready to welcome you formally.
- Connect with your supervisor: This is a good way to show your commitment. If you are aware of your supervisor/ manager, you may choose to connect with him or her and ask how you can prepare yourself during this time. Most people appreciate an eager-to-learn employee.
- Accelerate your learning about your organisation: I am sure you worked hard to know about the organisation when you went for the interview. Ask yourself, is that enough? If not, invest this time to know about the organisation, its financials, its products, its work culture. The good news is in today’s world of information deluge, you will find most of the information readily and widely available. If not, you may decide to ask your future manager, or the HR; I am sure if not confidential, they won’t mind sharing things with you.
- Expand your knowledge beyond your organisation: Knowledge is appreciated by everyone and knowing about your industry beyond your organisation, especially your competition, even before you are into the organisation is priceless. There is enough information available on the Net, why not start exploring that?
- Get your home workplace ready: In the digital world, unless your job is purely customer-facing or supply chain-driven like manufacturing, warehousing, chances are that you will be engaged in hybrid working. So, planning out your “home office” will be essential. This will help you and your family to adjust to the future need, and will help you in the transition.
- Celebrate: You have earned it, after many years of hard work. Hence, please do not miss a single moment to celebrate your first job. For some, celebration is about partying with friends while for others it may be a trip to a favourite place or maybe just staying home reading a book or watching a movie. It is up to you to decide, but do celebrate your success. This may certainly help you to be in a positive frame of mind as you start your work life in a few weeks/ months.
At the end, I would like to say it is all about starting to think like an employee from the moment you accept the offer. This might help you reset your mind and be mentally closer to the organisation than your batchmates. Thus, on Day 1 as you start your job, you won’t feel like an alien coming to a new space, you will feel it’s your organisation and that you have been a part of it for many weeks already.
In the next article, we will talk about – your first 120 days!
Partha Sarathi Basu has worked in leadership positions at Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, IFB group, Tata group, Spicejet and AkzoNobel. He is currently associated with a leading consulting firm apart from being a leadership coach. He is the author of five books based on his corporate and life experiences. A die-hard Calcuttan, he now lives in Amsterdam.