Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do what I must.
- Obi Wan Kanobi
- StarWars III - Revenge of the Sith
Behavioral Guide to Joining a New Company
|For most of us mortals, joining a new company means getting to a respectable position as soon as possible. I use the word “mortal” because we are average people who have an engineering or post-graduate degree and are working for a respectable salary. That makes up for the majority of the young working people – at least here in Pune. So, the point here is that most of us are not from IIT, IIM or scholars capable of being employed by the likes of Google or Microsoft research. That leaves us with two choices. The first choice is that we work with a company or companies and look to grow ourselves as far as we can. The second choice is, well, we open our own business or company.|
Now, if we have decided to work in a company towards our ambitions then it is overly important to be a “team player”. Most of us know what that means, but, I recently realized that some people just don’t get it. Maybe they think that they are smarter than the rest or that the rules do no apply to them. Or, maybe they are confident of getting employment at the blink of their eye. Whatever the reason maybe, this kind of temperament is not good for a person. In my opinion, if anybody has a superiority complex, they must try and equal themselves to those select few who work in the research wing of large corporations. This does not imply that researchers (or those who hold high positions) need not be team players. It just means that their attitudes are tolerable – considering the fact they have worked hard to get to that position in the first place.
For the rest of us, there is no reason for not being a “team player”, especially when one joins a new company. Most of us just love to hate our seniors and management at all levels. Let this thing be understood – a senior is always at a better position than us. This is particularly difficult for those people to understand who have 4+ years of experience, because, let’s face it – even that person is a senior of some sort. In a new company, one has to play safe. Don’t start by disagreeing with your seniors. Test the waters before diving in. Observe the work culture. For a successful tenure in a company, it is important to absorb a company’s work culture and work accordingly. If one does not like the work culture then they always have an option to “move on”. However, be careful – moving on too much is a sign of inflexibility, which is another word for not being a team player.
Here are a few simple points to get started in a new company:
- Do not start by checking e-mails or going online to chat with friends. The first phase is to “observe” the work culture. Remember, the company pays you to work.
- If the company provides documents, manuals or processes about work culture or project then spend time reading them carefully.
- First month in a new place is always difficult. Make contact and establish friendships with colleagues. Striking a conversation about assigned work is the safest bet.
- While in the observation phase, do what a senior desires of you (related to work) and do it quickly while maintaining quality. Do not give a senior any chance to point at you.
- If you have doubts, talk to your senior and keep the conversation short. Try learning the right thing by observation rather than by asking questions. Believe me, this ability of a person always helps. However, be careful about not doing the wrong thing.
- Play safe until the first achievement in the project. An achievement is marked by a senior’s appreciation – higher the achievement, the better it is.
- Finally, the rule to being successful is the person’s own “Judgment”. Better judgment yields better payoffs. One can refine judgments by considering facts gathered after keen observation.
So, you must be able to judge for yourself when it is time to start taking liberties. Remember that liberties are only a means of re-motivation. It is not a substitute for work.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
at 2:15 AM.