It requires great effort and time to get Graduated from an institution right? Does the effort ends here? On Graduating from a collage we reach an important milestone of life, a transition phase where we need to make an important career decision by choosing the right career option from the available set of opportunities.
Now again a question arises what to do next?
As we all know that the job market is highly competitive, dynamic and is already flooded with experienced workforce and in order to survive this pressure we need to be more focused, flexible and prepared to face the challenges that are upcoming with every new opportunity and career choices we make.
For a fresh candidate there exist a lot of troubles that are unique and cannot be avoided. While pursuing the degree all our focus is centred towards our academic performance and by the time we adjust to the environment in our higher education, it’s time to enter the new phase that is the transition phase where we need to shift our focus to an entirely new arena and that is our career. After entering this stage we find that we are not so much prepared to face the hurdles that consistently pop up with every new attempt or choice we make.
The best way to face the challenges is to be more flexible and alert. It is very essential for the beginner to be a quick learner and to adapt to the new situation that demands more attention and a disciplined lifestyle.
The first and foremost challenge faced by the candidate in job market is getting hired by an organization. Although we had always expected this event to happen while in our collage days and were guided by our college in this regard however college cannot prepare us for everything.
In order to be successful we cannot only rely upon our existing knowledge. Hence we have to ensure that we are flexible enough to adapt to the new demanding situation and learn from every new challenge we take and every people we meet in our career and personal life.
Many college graduates do complain about their low preparation in certain areas like:
Balancing Career with Personal life
Achieving the perfect work-life balance is really a big deal for a collage pass-out. As most of the college graduates move to distant places to begin their career, it is observed that their day-to-day work takes toll on their personal life and it becomes nearly impossible to manage both ends in an efficient way.
As we enter the career growth phase both personal life as well as our professional life demands more attention and finding a balance between both becomes a challenging task.
The best possible ways to handle this challenging situation are as follows:
- Set your priorities: In order to appropriately prioritize various tasks, step back and assess where you are investing most of your time and energy. Focus on things that rank higher in the priority list or are more essential than the rest and discard certain things that are not needed or can be postponed.
- "Do not try to please everybody": Learn to say "No". Many in early days of their career develop a fear of losing their career growth or family life and as a result they end up trying to please everyone whether a boss or someone in personal life.
- Schedule your day-to-day activities: This is the best way to manage multiple things in life. Plan your tasks and try doing one thing at a time. You can always manage some time to do those activities that are essential or you like doing them. For example, telecommunicating with family or friends, playing volleyball, etc. can help release stress.
In collage days students learn to plan the daily expenses, manage with insufficient resources, save pocket money, pay tuition fees, room rent, food etc. Although students learn the basics about budgeting during their on-going education process especially when they stay away from home but most of the students, however, find it difficult to manage all their expenses with ease. Once they move out of their home or collage to start their career at various places then the process becomes even more difficult as they realize that the fund available is not sufficient enough to manage the preliminary expenses that mount up at every step with every new attempt they make.
The expenses are tremendous which includes cost of living such as food, shelter, transportation, etc. Not only the expenses heap up but also the student loan comes due during this period. As a result many of the graduates decide to alter their career plan to overcome this pressure.
The best way to handle this situation is to take guidelines from parents about managing resources as they can help you make better planning with the available resources, it is also quite essential to keep good relations with your collage seniors as they can guide you better in terms of overcoming career hurdles and other challenges associated with starting your career. While reviewing their experiences and comparing it with your present situation, you can manage your fund in more efficient manner.
Dealing with people
This seems to be one of the most difficult tasks to a collage graduate. Dealing with friends, relatives, teachers are a bit different as compared to dealing with people at workplace. In professional life you may face people who are difficult to deal with.
Difficult people come in every variety and no workplace is without them. The best way to handle different people at workplace is to observe them and try to get clues by the way things happen. As we grow up in our career we come across various personalities and learn to deal with them efficiently with progression in time.
As a beginner it is absolutely fine to commit small mistakes or to lack answers to questions at workplace so there is nothing to worry about. The only thing that creates a difference is to have zeal to gain more knowledge and it is also necessary to learn from every small mistake that you commit.
Remember being a beginner what matters more to your boss is your professionalism at workplace, your punctuality, your zeal to learn and your interpersonal skills which develops as we interact with various people at workplace be it our peers or boss.
It is also very important to understand your boss and find out your organisation's policies and devote some time in finding out measures to improve your performance.
The ultimate test of management is performance. The young managers find this as the toughest part in their career especially the beginners who have just joined an organization. Performance management is a crucial part in career which needs to be taken care. If managed in a proper way then it can create our success stories and promise high career growth.
Now-a-days organizations take effective measures to manage the input of the workforce in order to ensure better performance and as a reason training programmes are organised by various companies from time to time. More emphasis is put in training the beginners to develop a better understanding of the management and their expectation from the position and to improve their performance.
One should understand that performance management is not a one-sided process and the training programmes alone cannot develop a person. Hence apart from the training sessions the beginners should also invest some time in setting goals, thoroughly observing the system they are associated with and should focus on the problem that is persisting. It is also very essential to discuss critical matters with peers and boss or with team members before reaching a conclusion.
Before proceeding to solve a problem it is important to find answers to some questions like:
Is there any problem? What is the problem all about? Is it a problem or an opportunity?
In order to solve a problem it is necessary to identify the problem then thinking about various methods to solve it.
It is very important to develop problem solving skills since it helps us to get rid of the troubles that have occurred or that might occur in near future which means problem can not only be solved after it has occurred but also it can be solved pro-actively.
In our career we face lot of problems small or big and they demand our attention. But in order to be successful in solving a problem we need to first of all identify the right problem that really needs our attention else we may end up putting too much effort to a problem that not even exists.
Every problem needs a solution hence to be successful in identifying and solving a problem we need to first of all recognise it followed by defining it and then search for alternative solution. This in turn requires effective decision making. Once we have selected a satisfactory solution from the available set of alternatives then it is time to act upon it.
The process does not end here. After having implemented the solution we have to again evaluate the same to ensure that the problem has been solved in a right manner and the solution has really worked well.
Change management is a vital factor in both organizational as well as individual perspective. Although change is a constant process and we are quite familiar with it, however we are not so much prepared for it every-time. Change can be both favourable and unfavourable. It might lead to a situation which is more complex or it might be rewarding and blissful. However most of us find it inevitable and sometimes shocking.
Being a beginner it is not possible to predict the changes that might occur in future as a result we sometimes feel annoyed and stressful and find it difficult to welcome the change. Whether we like it or not but as soon we join an organization we start experiencing major changes occurring in our personal as well as professional sphere, some changes are rapid while others are slow. We find it difficult enough to adjust to those changes in a successful way.
While working in an organization we meet many people, get new assignments, etc. and at the same time we have to manage other aspects related to our personal matters. Although we learn adjusting to all these changes with progression in time but sometimes it becomes very difficult to adjust to the changes that are rapidly taking place without even getting notified.
The best ways to face the changes are:
- First of all accept the idea of change
- To admit the fact that the knowledge we posses is not sufficient enough and we need to work upon it by putting more effort in our projects and constantly learning from every small events occurring in workplace.
- Open your mind to change and be flexible.
- Belief that the changes are rewarding.
- Belief that you can adjust to the change.
Sometimes questions about team-work are asked to college pass-outs at the time of interview. Some face difficulty in answering them while others come-up with satisfactory response and get selected by the firm. What next? The real difficulty is faced when tasks are assigned with a deadline but we should also understand that when managed properly, teamwork is a better way to work!
Teamwork is vital for success of an individual and a company as a whole. It is a bonding that encourages growth, increases knowledge and makes a person trustworthy. While working in a team we not only get a platform to showcase our skills and uniqueness but also learn many things from the other members working in the team. Being in a team we get associated with people with whom we can share our thoughts, discuss problems and come up with solutions more easily.
In order to obtain quality output every member in a team are assigned task according to their skills and interests and every team demand equal contribution from each members.
Every member in a team posses different qualities and do differ in their opinion and method of working hence we should be competitive as well as flexible enough and should never hesitate to praise the effort put by other members. Getting appreciated for the effort motivates a team member to work even harder and come up with better solutions.
Each and every day we face multiple situations where we have to come-up with a decision, as a result we have already learned the basics of making decision by time we start our career. However making decision is not as easy as it used to be in our school or college days and we realise this as soon as we enter our career phase.
Decision making is a regular process which involves lot of thinking and analysing skills which develops with time but the problem is, we cannot wait or postpone our decisions for future. Effective decision making is very important in all stages of our career and personal life.
In our workplace it is very important to recognise problems and opportunities and for this we have to observe the events and analyse the situation persisting and then set goals.
The decision making is considered effective only when it is backed with a solution that is effective, acceptable and can be implemented in the defined timeframe and budget.
Following are the steps involved in decision making:
- Setting goals
- Identifying a problem or an opportunity
- Gathering information: To come up with an effective decision we have to study the existing situation and gather information.
- Identifying an alternative: We can use the gathered information in a creative way to identify the options available.
- Evaluate alternatives: In this phase we have to define the criteria to evaluate the alternatives depending upon the problem and then compare each and rank them.
- Select the best suited alternative: After evaluating the available alternatives choose the one that is preferred over other or that ranks higher.
- Take action: This is one of the most important phases in decision making since it is the implementation of the decision that generates result.
- Review the decision made: Decision making process is not complete till we test the outcome with the set goals. If the objective is met or problem is solved successfully then the decision is considered as the right one else the steps are repeated.