It's the Attitude, Stupid!

Congratulations on your first job! So you cleared the selection process; cracked some tests maybe, shone through a group discussion possibly, and impressed and charmed your way through the interviews. Well done!

You’ve been assessed and found suitable for the job on offer. No more evaluations, no more assessments. Right?

Wrong! Let’s get one thing straight. This is just the beginning of your evaluation. What you’ve achieved (and by no means is it trivial) is to convince your future employer that you have potential. However, from day one in your first job, you will be continuously assessed on what you deliver.

For whatever it’s worth, taking the liberty to share a cheat sheet that may help in ensuring that promise does translate to delivery in the first couple of years in your career. And be warned that it’s all in the attitude…

Cheat 1
Sumadhur was undoubtedly brilliant. Armed with a degree from India’s best engineering school, he was given complex tasks in line with his academic record and promise.

However, very soon, his manager realised that he was not able to complete most of his tasks. The manager tried to find probable reasons behind such repeated failures. Soon, he realised that Sumadhur was not open to data, insights or feedback that conflicted with his own assumptions and beliefs.

Tell yourself at least once each day: “I do not know anything. I am here to learn and apply.”

Cheat 2
Abhinav had completed just 6 months in his first job, but had been upset for a while. His friends earned twice as much as him, despite working fewer hours than he did. They seemed to be having a rollicking time! Abhinav started looking around and got a 50% higher offer. He took the offer up with glee. Not only was the pay better, but the work was less demanding and had relaxed deadlines. Life could not be better…

Two years down the line, Abhinav started looking for yet another change, and yet another quantum leap in compensation. However, he found, to his dismay, that he was way out of depth and no company was willing to make him an offer.

Convince yourself that reward follows performance, and not the other way around.

Cheat 3
Kanu was very sharp. However, four years of hostel life had turned his biological clock upside down. When he did make it to office during normal working hours, he excelled in his tasks. Unfortunately, on most days, he simply could not.

Within six months, he was asked to leave.

Change your college habits to the extent required, so as to ensure that you are available (and awake!) when your work and / or team needs you to be.

Cheat 4
Manish was a star in college. He excelled in academics and was popular among students as well. Out of sheer habit, he continued behaving in a brash manner with his peers in the workplace.

He was counselled by his manager, but was unable to mend his ways in time and was asked to leave.

Accept the fact that you need to interact with people across age groups and cultures. You are not expected to like or respect one and all (after all, respect is earned!). However, you are expected to treat one and all with respect.

Arijit Dutta photo Arijit Dutta
Arijit started his career as a chip designer in Motorola (and subsequently Freescale Semiconductor). In his 8 year stint in the semiconductor industry, Arijit led critical design functions and methodology formulation for Motorola’s next generation chipsets and managed cross functional teams across locations. Arijit holds 3 patents in this domain. Next, Arijit turned an entrepreneur and ran a company that developed and sold internet platforms and content in chip design, mobile application and web development. He graduated in Engineering from IIT Bombay. Arijit is a martial arts and music enthusiast.