As an undergraduate and postgraduate student or a young professional have you ever wondered if you were really 'Ready' and 'Relevant' for the corporate world? Try to search for the answer to this fundamental question.
In most cases, one stays in a quandary about what 'Ready' and 'Relevant' actually means in terms of a job and corporate life.
Let's start with what it takes to be 'Corporate Ready'?
Hit the ground RUNNING: Today's corporate world and industry demand that you are productive on Day 1 of your job. This means that your business school and/or undergraduate course has created the perfect working machine. This goes beyond traditional soft skills and communication skills which are typically part of any career mentoring and coaching advice that one will receive from college professors and faculty. Delivering on Day 1 of the job means knowing how corporate IT systems work, how CRM systems work, how power structures and created and managed in an organization, how everyday decision making happens. Have you given this a thought?
Corporatized for today's world: With handsome pay packages and salary offers that companies are providing to both freshers and lateral hires to be well versed with the corporate setup. If you walk into your job and are quickly not asking the right questions around who are your stakeholders and what are your key deliverables, KRAs and KPIs, you will be very quickly branded as a low to medium performer. A lot of companies and managers have lost the patience of onboarding young talent through various tips and tricks of corporate life. They expect you to be smart, problem solvers with strong attention to detail and the ability to follow and build business processes.
Industry Awareness: In the information age, simply providing data is not enough. Google and other online platforms like micro degrees and courses provide a lot of information but hardly any insights. In fact, all the fuss about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) is because it provides systems to generate insights from data and then taken relevant data-backed and insights-driven decisions. Therefore, one must be on top of industry trends and the latest movements on individual companies and their competitive positions in the market. The recommendation is to complete both an Industry Analysis and Company Analysis of at least 2 industries and 5 companies that you envision in your future.
Now let's shift our focus to making you 'Industry Relevant'?
Right Mix of Skills: The corporate world has very high expectations of key corporate skills that are key to a long and successful career. The skills include but not limited to Self Awareness, Self Motivation, Time Management, Goal Setting, Analytical Mindset, Structured Communication, Logical Thinking, Ability to conduct Primary Research, Throughness of your Secondary Research, Problem Solving, Decisive Decision Making, Teamwork, Leadership, Interpersonal abilities, Networking, Presentation and Storytelling ability. Have you got your skill matrix complete and practice the skills to get the competency right. We can help you build these skills through focused module-based programs, connect with us here.
Longish Career Outlook: Corporates do not expect you to work with them for 5 to 10 years, but most companies expect you to have a meaningful contribution over a 2 to 3 year working period where you can move between different roles and drive tangible business results. Before you start to prepare for a new job or starting hunting new roles in the market because you feel bored or saturated with your current profile, think twice - Have you achieved what you wanted to do with this role, team, and company. If not, stick and deliver until the end, the results will come. The corporate world values meaningful tenure in both growing and declining companies and industries.
MBAtrek has designed a special 1-year #CareerPlanning program where we work jointly with young professionals and recent graduates to help them navigate and succeed in their corporate life.
Ability to Collaborate and Lead: These are now hygiene factors when it comes to hiring high potential and quality talent. One must understand that leadership and collaboration is not about driving a team of 25, 50 or 100 people at a time. Leadership and collaboration can happen even if you have a team of 3, better still even when you are on your own in an Individual Contributor role capacity. You are required to work closely, coordinate and partner with multiple departments, internal and external stakeholders to get the job done.
In summary, it is critical one doesn't get fixated with the traditional approaches and thinking of "how to be successful in my career", "soft skills are not so important" and "I just need to work on my communication skills". Remember IQ (Intelligence Quotient) can make you a great inventor and product genius, however, EQ (Emotional Quotient) is what will make you a CEO.
Abhishek Srivastava (LinkedIn Profile)
The writer of this blog is the co-founder and CEO of MBAtrek and extremely passionate about mentoring and coaching young professionals. He has worked in multiple MNCs like Apple, Accenture and Schneider Electric and a seasoned strategy and business professional with extensive experience across diverse industry sectors (oil and gas, telecom, metals and mining, consumer goods, chemicals, power generation. Abhishek is an MBA from the Indian School of Business and has a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech, USA (Recipient of Outstanding Masters Student) and a Bachelors in Environmental Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, India.