15 May 2015 11:37:44 IST

Just out of college and looking for your first job?

This article just might help you get that break

Here are a few tips to get you started on your job hunt:

Know your job/organisation well, but before that, 'know yourself well' .

By this, I don't mean professional or domain skills, but life skills – your competitive advantage, your attitude or outlook to life that's innate in you, the stuff that you're made of. Are you flexible or rigid? Are you result-oriented or research-oriented?

For instance, are you a multi-tasking go-getter or one who prefers to do one thing at a time and are not in a hurry? In other words, are you impatient and in a hurry or someone who can be patient through the result-achieving process?

You need to understand your strengths and flaws as both qualities contribute to your success. Some of your extreme negatives may have a counter-positive effect: impatience leads to a sense of urgency to achieve results faster and for the best part we really work hard to get those results. But the same impatience can be very frustrating when team/partners/colleagues don't perform at the speed you would like them to and this leads to conflict.

So, before you start working, find out what works for you.

Adapt/change yourself to suit organisational needs, but (now this one is tricky) 'avoid changing your core-self'

You have a core-self that is intrinsic to you which comprises your values, ethics, integrity, moral fibre, etc. Right from your first job, remain steadfast in what you believe. Today’s young generation and B-School pass-outs are sharp, highly talented , well read , tech-savvy, bright individuals with strong personalities and have all the right attributes to choose and follow a career path with a sense of deep conviction in their capabilities.

If you are wrong you will learn over time. But if you are right, by changing yourself at the outset you will get somewhere where you don’t belong. Remember, beliefs can chart your success story only if you really believe. Be receptive, adapt and remain flexible. I have seen many young, talented individuals grappling with their careers as they jettisoned their belief systems right at the beginning; And today, they are not sure where they belong.

Learn how, not necessarily what. Learn to answer, but don’t forget to question as well. To master your territory, you have got to find your ground, dig in and fight.

Key success factors include right attitude, hard work, continuous learning, adaptability and initiative But before that, your attitude towards YOU is the most important factor in your first job.

Your attitude towards yourself, the way you treat yourself and the work you do. Give importance to yourself, your skills, and your self-worth.

I am assuming that you have worked hard and invested 20+ years of your life learning. So, regardless of whatever you do, it must have your signature style, your unique hallmark. Simply put, it has to be outstanding.

You are the 'X' factor here, the way you execute is key and the delivery should complement and enhance your brand. It is stamped and signed by YOU. So you see how important you are here – it has to be world-class, most thought-through, researched and well executed assignment with exceptional outcome.

Why? Again, because it is done by YOU. You are at the very crux and you need to take pride in what you do. Make it a habit to put a stamp of extraordinary impact on the job you do. And why is it so critical? Because it is YOUR handiwork and YOU are not an ordinary, average individual.

Brand 'YOU' is work-in-progress which is made up of your belief systems and your signature style.