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Expectations from your first boss

What can you expect from your first employer

The first job is an extension of your education, because when you complete your education, you know ‘how to write an exam’ or even ‘how to communicate’, but you do not know ‘how to work’.

You learn about professional work ethics in your first job. Your first employer provides the ‘classroom’ for your learning, and your first boss is your ‘guru’. So your approach to your first job should be based on the above philosophy.

Any good employer will provide the following to a fresher.

Role induction: It’s every employee’s right to be inducted/trained for the job role. Some companies provide exhaustive induction. But the majority of companies provide limited induction training. So you have to get the best out of this limited induction.

Performance expectation: You should expect the employer to tell you about how your performance will be measured. The key Result Areas (KRAs) and Key Performance Indices (KPIs) must be explained to you.

Resource allocation: Your employer must provide you with basic resources to do your job. If you need a computer/laptop, the employer must provide this. If your job requires extensive travelling within the city, you can expect the employer to help you get a vehicle loan, and pay the petrol and maintenance cost for official travel. You should be reimbursed travel and board and lodging costs if you travel out of town.

Opportunity to learn and contribute: Your employer should give you opportunities to learn and contribute. Surely it will stretch your time and you must be prepared for it. For example, the company may conduct ‘computer classes’ on ‘advanced Excel programming’. You should be allowed to participate but the classes may be held on a holiday, so you have to forego the holiday and stretch yourself.

Similarly, if you are willing to be part of a special task force-as an understudy and help, then the employer should welcome you to contribute, provided you also perform in your assigned job.

No penalty for mistakes: When you do the job for the first time, you cannot get it right and you will make mistakes. The employer should not penalize you for that. It is important to realize the difference between mistakes and carelessness. No employer will tolerate carelessness. Even mistakes cannot be repeated and you must learn from them.

Challenging and strict targets: Your first job is the foundation of your career, and hence, expect it to be the ‘toughest’. Super career performers always succeed because their first job was demanding and challenging. You are also young and energetic, and hence, you can put in extra-long hours at work. You are also expected to do many things at the same time (multi-tasking). Once you succeed at your first tough job, all subsequent jobs appear to be easy.

A good example is the Indian Army. After training, an officer is put into tough environments and expected to take on big challenges as a lieutenant or captain. Long hours at work are very common. This toughens the officer for his/her career success in the army.

What you cannot expect from your first employer

A nine-to-five job: Such jobs exist only in the Government service. Even there, things are changing. In the private sector, it is a minimum of twelve hours daily, six days a week. Be prepared. Therefore, stay close to your workplace so that travel time is minimal.

High compensation: If you are a learner, shouldn’t you pay? In college, you paid the fees. So whatever the employer pays, receive it as a gift or bonus. You can expect your employer to pay a ‘fair’ salary proportionate to your contribution. As a learner, your contribution is limited and so the salary will be limited- to cover your living expenses. Do not expect the first employer to pay for your lavish lifestyle- pubs, partying, etc. If you get high salaries, be prepared that your employer will expect high services in return. If you do not achieve the given targets, you may lose the job.

So my advice is, expect a basic salary of 10000 to 15000 if you are a graduate (BA/BSc/Bcom); and a basic of 15000 to 20000 if you are an MBA (with some knowledge of management). Beyond this, it is a bonus.

Instant growth: Many MBA’s and graduates feel that they deserve a promotion because ‘others’ in the department are getting promoted. Growth will come later. Focus initially on learning and excelling in the job. In fact, if you get promoted, your responsibility and targets will grow and you may not be ready for the higher role. In my world, ‘slow and steady’ wins the race.

Pampering/mentoring: The employer and your boss have many more things to do than ‘managing’ you. You have to function on your own and take the initiative. Don’t hang around in the corner and wait for people to invite you to participate. Very few organizations ‘mentor’ fresh employees; for example, the Big Five consulting companies have a ‘mentor’ for every fresh employee. But this is very rare and a huge bonus.

Author: T. Muralidharan
Name of publication: Telangana Today
Date published on: 23/04/2018
published in: Hyderabad
Tags: Employability

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