We all have first job memories because it also determines our career trajectory. First job defines us as individuals on the path of professionalism, it makes us stronger, it also teaches us new things and new ways of doing them. It is best to have some guidance before we start our career journey from a great leader.
Here is the first job experience of Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India and SAARC.
What is the biggest lesson that you learnt in your first job?
Graduating with Computer Science and Engineering, I initially wanted to work in the field of software development. However, due to the lack of opportunities back then, I took up a job at Godrej as a Customer Support and Technical Assistant on a contractual basis where I was absorbed as a permanent employee after the initial four months. One of the biggest lessons I learnt during this phase was flexibility. Flexibility to work relentlessly without inhibitions and patience lays the foundation of the professional growth of an individual.
What would have happened had the pandemic struck while you were starting your career? How would you have tackled things in your stride?
The unprecedented pandemic has indeed changed the dynamics of the work model and posed a challenge to young professionals starting their careers. However, I believe every situation can open a plethora of new opportunities. Had I been in their place, I would have accepted the circumstances and would have prepared myself to battle any challenge thrown at me with optimism. I would have sat for as many interviews as possible and utilised this time to expand my skill sets through different online courses.
One interview tip that you find extremely useful and relevant over the years.
One interview tip that I find extremely useful and have practiced it in my career, is to be prepared and diligently practice communication skills every day. Before going for any interviews, conduct a thorough research on the organisation, their vision and mission. Knowledge aids in boosting self-confidence during interviews and also steer the conversation without any fumbles or awkward silences.
What are the 3 main soft skills that a fresher must possess to ace jobs?
One must possess discipline, communication skills, and passion in what they do. Discipline not only inculcates the value of punctuality but also helps in maintaining a healthy work life balance. Communication skills enable a professional to actively listen, comprehend, respond in the most effective manner and communicate through effective body language. All professionals must also believe in their work and should be passionate about it.
How has the pandemic shaped/changed the work culture?
The pandemic has altered the standard norms of work models and work culture. Remote working or hybrid work models have come to define the new working style in today’s world. Though this new way of working prevents physical employee bonding sessions, it has also brought out many positive facets of life. People have started taking more ownership of tasks and leadership has evolved to become more creative and unconventional. With the increasing use of platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, I also see a great scope for effective collaboration with proactive communication during work.
Your perspective on the changing work culture over the past decade.
Digital transformation has taken over the traditional ways of work and also given us easier access to the data available. Different platforms have opened up a 360-degree communication channel which has quickened the communication processes. Enterprises are becoming more adaptable to keep up with the new work dynamics and actively working towards promoting a culture of inclusivity and equality while enhancing the diversity quotient. We are also seeing companies becoming more aligned to their CSR and sustainability goals and considers it as a key to measure success.
One book that you would recommend to the freshers that can help.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a must read for all professionals.