Your first job post after your MBA, what to expect?

first job after mbaThese months are the most trying months for MBA aspirants. If the pressure was not enough, you will also get information on placement offers made by various companies at your favorite B School campuses.

For many aspirants, the whole rigmarole of the process, the Group Discussion, endless rounds of Personal Interview and of course the busy schedule during the two rigorous years indicates a leisurely life ahead.

Well, here’s to belling the cat-both literally and figuratively. Things will become only harder, you will be more hard pressed for time than you ever were the moment you finish your MBA.

Our graduation courses hardly prepare us for a life after formal education. It is important to keep our expectations in check post completing the MBA. Most of us are expecting (and rightly so!) a cushioned, comfortable first job once we pass out. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The moment you land in your first job on the first day, reality will set in. It has to, otherwise when it does set in, it will be too late. So, here goes.

Firstly your colleagues, rather your new colleagues at work will be wide mix of people from various backgrounds, including educational qualifications and work experience. You can expect to be looked at and inspected at by the existing employees on your first day at work. And yes, you will be grilled by the others on your salary and pay package, since MBA grads invariably get a different package from other candidates.

Be very careful while divulging your salary details, primarily because it’s something which your employer regards as confidential and secondly because it is too much of a personal information to divulge.

Your first job post your MBA will also lead you to face an unlikely and least expected behavior-jealousy at workplace. You will be hounded by naysayers who will try their best to put down the company and well, you.

There will be people who will pass snide remarks against your boss, be very careful not to respond to any such malicious remarks. Remember, you will probably be one of the younger members in the organization, and you will be expected to catch up to the experience of your colleagues in very little time.

Don’t get disheartened though, workplace friendships will be the ones which last a long time and will prove to be handy even when you decide to move on. Tips, and help provided by your colleagues will help you tide over the initial work pressure and load.

Often, the new recruits are given the dreariest of jobs and often the maximum volume of jobs and targets. Invariably, the new recruits will also be loaded with extra work from colleagues and coworkers and yes initially you will be hard pressed to refuse them. But, you will have to learn to say no- and therein is your second learning-saying no politely to work which doesn’t concern you is an important skill which will stand you in good stead in your professional life.

Every organization places a premium not on the marks you got or how well you performed in the Group Discussion (or the personal interview for that matter), but instead on personal integrity. Never ever add fictional references or make up past work experience just to bulk up the resume’.

Organizations, especially the ones in financial sector do a thorough background check of the candidate and the details given in the resume’.

Continuing on the topic, there will be times when you will be faced with a dilemma involving ethics-whether to lie to a customer, whether to misreport figures, just to save the day. You might see some colleagues resorting to such means, but you should probably make the choice in your first job itself-the choice to never ever use such means to escape problems in short run. Believe me, the ability to sleep soundly without the fear of any future recriminations is worth the little hard work and extra effort.

Always remember, people will be asked to leave from companies not because sales targets or targets any other were not achieved. But they will certainly be asked to leave once it’s a question of integrity-there is no compromise on such matters.

Your first job, while giving you experience in dealing with people, customers and peers will also teach you a thing or two about personal finance. Remember, the money you save in your initial years is the one which will stand you in good stead throughout your life.

Ultimately your personality and your outlook will be a sum of all your experiences, interactions with colleagues and peers.

Make sure your first job has all the essential elements with right amounts of hard tackles and fouls thrown in. Because, life as they say, is not fair, and even more so, in your job, you can expect a fair share of disappointments at having been passed over for promotions,

Your first job will make you constantly unlearn your formal education tenets, challenge widely held myths, help you form new bonds and friendships. Aside from teaching how to handle impossible deadlines and targets, valuable tools like time management, people management will be of much use to you.

Just as the famous food critic in Ratatouille -Antoine Ego calls for “Perspective” when asked what is to be served, your first job will provide you with a fresh perspective on the skills you currently have, the skills you would like to equip yourself with, and hot manage multiple responsibilities and roles.

Possibly the best learning will come from interacting and managing the most difficult resource of all-People. You will realize its not technology or the marketing budget, but the people whom you work with, colleagues, juniors and superiors who make or break a successful venture.

Ultimately, your quest for learning will be a continuous one, and every new job will teach you something new and give you something to cherish. While you should take something of value from every job, do not carry any excess baggage, learn to shed unpleasant experiences and instances while moving on!


Contributed by Sunil Iyer ( Class of 2008, IBS GURGAON )

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