Here are the first job experiences of Ramesh Kalanje, Vice President, Centre of Excellence, Commvault.
What is the biggest lesson from your first job?
The biggest lesson I learnt in my first job was to speak up. It was a bit unnerving in the beginning to share my thoughts. However, my manager impressed upon me that every team member’s opinion matters and I must contribute. This gave me the boost to bring my knowledge, ideas, and unique perspectives to the table.
What would have happened had the pandemic struck while you were starting your career?
The pandemic would have been difficult no matter which time we were in. Probably, we would have been in a slower job growth market, where the opportunities may have been far and few. I would have invested time in upskilling and adding more abilities and proficiencies, expanding my learning and knowledge through new skills. I would have stayed positive because reflecting on the last time this happened over 100 years ago, my great grandparents made it through the last pandemic quite efficiently and we would too!
One interview tip that you find extremely useful and relevant over the years.
Practice, practice, practice! Success is in the preparation – so set aside time to run through questions and scenarios to strengthen your skills, build confidence, and plan the interview better.
What are the 3 main soft skills that a fresher must possess to ace jobs?
Today, soft skills are as important as the technical skills for any profile. A fresher must have a strong hold on communication, adaptability, and problem solving. Communication is key as it helps people to succeed in the workplace. I think one should learn how to communicate not only verbally but also how to get your ideas across – whether it is an email, a presentation, or a face-to-face meeting. Most employers look to hire a candidate who is not afraid of new challenges and is a learner, with a desire to solve problems.
How has the pandemic shaped/changed the work culture?
The pandemic upended our assumptions about traditional work model and has been a catalyst to cultural transformation at work. Today, the value proposition of shifting to a hybrid workspace model where employees can balance working from office and home is higher. As we define the new normal, organisations are looking at a modernised workplace to ensure that the employee transition to a hybrid workspace is smooth and easy.
Your perspective on the changing work culture over the past decade.
The work cultures have transformed significantly over the past years and more so in the pandemic. Gone are the days where few benefits or high salaries were the key aspect for finding/staying in a job. Today, people want to work for organisations that have empathetic leaders at the helm. They no longer want to be treated like a ‘resource’, they want to feel supported, cared for and included.
One of the most noteworthy change that I’ve seen is the increased focus on collaboration over competition across the industry. Thanks to the innovation and technology that has greatly enhanced collaboration activities. The workforce has become more globally distributed, which to everyone’s surprise, has worked rather seamlessly instead of causing disruptions, to execute various capabilities of an organisation. With smarter communication tools by our side, especially for instant messaging and information sharing, the world is closer than ever before.
One book that you would recommend to the freshers that can help.
‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. This is Dale’s first book and a timeless bestseller. First published over 90 years back, this book is packed with advice still relevant for the modern age. It is a simple read and consists of 30 principles to build a robust foundation for a successful life.