In this series of posts I want to address our young professionals directly. These are just a number of small tips that can help you go a long way if you keep them in mind. Whether you choose to take these to heart is up to you, I am just trying to help.
The first is a simple one: Your profession is a 24-hour job.
If you choose a certain line of career, it is not just a job you do in some office in the day, it becomes an extension of your personality. You should expect to be ‘on call’ at any place, at any time.
As such, your career is helping you build a certain perspective of the world — a finance person would start looking at everything in cost-benefit terms, an economist in supply-demand, an engineer in abstract modelling.
Life in companies does not give you well-defined sets of problems like you get in college. It is usually problems with many missing variables, trade-offs, unknowns. Based on your total knowledge and your total experience, you and the company can work together to set a path for finding solutions and achieving results.
Thus in essence, being an ‘accountant’ or ‘engineer’ does not mean that you have read enough books and know enough terms that you can do what you are asked to do. It means that you should now be able to harness your knowledge as a whole to make ‘actionable’ recommendations in situations that relate to you.
Thus your perspective can be valuable to a company, and good-companies-to-work-for will do their best to understand those perspectives. However, if they are relying on you to present solutions based on your specific perspective, knowledge and experience, you will succeed if you take your job to be more than just ‘what someone wants me to do in order to get paid’
This is a simple perspective but keeping it in mind is important. The perspective will help the people you work with start to rely on you. It will certainly help you get out of the trenches and be recognized as a person doing more than just his assigned work to help the company.