When I see young people starting their corporate careers, I always recall the word “Honeymoon”. This is how my first few months were put in front of me.
I can still recall my first day into the company, joining along with 70 other newbies. We had to report at the Learning Centre of that organization at sharp 9 AM. Mesmerized by the big hall, high-tech establishments, and all new faces, we all were eagerly waiting for someone to address our endless curiosities. The first person you expect to meet in any organization is always from Human Resources. And there she was, standing near the podium, with a big smile and sheer confidence on her face, which was evident from the very first few sentences she said.
“Good morning everyone. You have now become a very important part of this great organization. Every right decision you take is going to mold this company into a greater one,” HR said.
At that very moment, I could feel the blood rushing through my veins and imagine myself on the very top of my career in the coming years.
“First 3 months will be like a Honeymoon Period for you, which you will be enjoying a lot. You will have no work to do and learn a lot,” HR said.
What else could be better for a fresh graduate than to earn money without work? The same uniform we all were wearing, was contradicting the statement she said. Are we not supposed to be free and wear whatever we want while enjoying our so-called honeymoon period? But there was a different definition of honeymoon, which I learned a little later and will talk about it at the end. Young lads into corporates are like the newborn babies on earth, unaware of the new terms and challenges in this fascinating world. We only believe what is said, and put in front of us until we have firsthand experience. At the same time, we thrive for professional success from the moment we step into the corporate.
There is a social definition of success, and to achieve that, we aspire to graduate from the top tier college, to get recruited by a specific company to take up a selected job profile. If we fail at any of this, there is a disappointment attached to it. Schools and universities do not prepare us for the life. Our education system is designed in a way that we focus mainly on the rewards (Salary & Job Title) while forgetting about the response, which is why saving bank takes over the knowledge bank once we are out in the corporate world. It is a bitter truth that we tend to ignore and affects us in the longer run. We focus only on what we like to hear or see.
However, there is always a better measure for success which involves many other factors apart from salary and job title. Many of us follow a very simple approach while working. We say “Yes”. No doubt, it burdens us with more work but more importantly, it gives us new work and learnings, and in that process, the opportunities to explore things which we might actually like doing. ‘Liking what you do’, take care of your mental health and physical health which is important for the long run. Another important aspect of this process is how you spend your free time. The productivity you can generate in your free time often carries over into the success of your professional endeavors, and you can bet that successful people use their free time for much more than relaxing on the couch. It can be anything from exercising, reading, networking, volunteering, spending time with family, etc. If you achieve success by doing what you like and replacing some of your less productive habits with ones with better benefits then it makes you happy as well. But, if you get there only by working a grinding job that pays well with a good job title but makes you miserable, then you need to ask yourself whether you want to be on that hamster wheel or figure out what you really like to be doing.
After an hour session with HR, followed by 15 minutes of high tea, all of us were happy talking about no work and get a salary for the next 3 months. I did not observe anyone talking about the ‘learn a lot’ statement from HR. Our mind was mainly focused on the outcome and not on the process.
When you are new in any field, people expect the least for some time, which is advantageous only if you use that time wisely. You have the least responsibilities and maximum time to learn in that period and do not have to worry much about the work deadlines and the deliverables up to a certain extent. However, the moment you stop learning, it starts narrowing down the opportunities, which might come in the future. Moreover, I do not intend to restrict your learning into the same field, but it should never ever stop.
Our Brain and Learning!
Learning is a physical process in which new knowledge is represented by new brain cell connections. Specific exercise routines, optimal sleep structure, and silencing the mind can all strengthen these connections. Nature and nurture affect the learning brain. People have different genetic predispositions, but experience continuously shapes our brain structure and modifies behavior. We intuitively understand the knowledge employees need to acquire new knowledge that optimizes the value of their unique contribution to the business. What is less obvious, but of great importance, is that the knowledge builds the foundation for creative and innovative thinking processes in our brains. (Source: td.org)
Our brains continuously draw on this knowledge base to create simple solutions to complex problems. Knowledge provides the building blocks for innovation, which is the number one priority for many enterprises. For this reason alone, employees wanting to be more innovative (and, thereby, increasing the value of their contribution to the company) should explore every opportunity to add to their knowledge base. And since we live in a fast-paced world with ever-increasing sensory overload, we need well-designed and structured learning opportunities to make the best use of the limited time available to us to build new knowledge.
So, joining a corporate is similar to joining your hand with a new partner in life, where you get to explore more about the other and learn. You might have good or bad experiences but it will always offer some learning in the process.
Keep Learning. Cheers!
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