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Fresh Graduates, here is why money should not be a top priority when job hunting

Muhammad Ali Shahzad Written by Muhammad Ali Shahzad · 2 min read>

I proactively started to apply in numerous organizations relevant to my skills and expertise two months before my graduation. The aim was to get a job the very day I graduate. Having a typical mentality of a fresh graduate, I had two basic attractions

  1. Package offered by potential employer
  2. What projects the company had

I started off working happily with a startup company, the package was above market and work was exceptional. Despite the fact that company had no clear operational policies, I felt happy because the culture was good and my learning curve was high.

I successfully completed a couple of projects and a big multinational company came up with an offer that was hard to refuse. Projects they were going to engage me in were of my particular interest.

After a year working with the startup, I accepted the offer made by that organization without keenly considering culture and boss I was going to work for. I went to another city for training, within 15 minutes of my communication with my boss I realized the culture was pathetic. His words were “we can find talent very easily, you gotta work hard or we can find other people to fill your position.”

I wrote my resignation and sent it to domain head on the 23rd day of my joining. I was so fed up that only thing I had on my mind was to get out of that place, I had no further plans and no job in hand, I was asked to stay and immediately transferred to my hometown. I worked there with dedication, I spent 10-15 hours in the office working, but the overall political culture never encouraged me to ground my feet into the organization. Developed Projects were taken away, promotions and bonuses were not given, all because of political rifts between higher management.

Close to completion of a year I started hunting for the job once more because I was fed up with the worst corporate politics and long working hours.

This time while searching for a job my approach was totally different. In my list of preferences, an organizational culture was on top and then second was the work life balance. I was willing to compromise on the overall package offered by the company if it provided the above two “necessities”.

I was offered job by 4 companies out of 6 for which I interviewed, despite better packages offered I preferred a company which offered great culture and work life balance as told by current employees and reviews on Glassdoor (employers and potential employees should both take Glassdoor reviews seriously). I am glad I made the right choice.

Even after joining I received a couple of offers with better packages, but great managers, helpful colleagues and interesting projects made me stay. I see this job as a career.

There is a lesson for fresh graduates and the employers both.

Here is how I can summarize my two years experience for fresh graduates. While choosing a company when you are fresh out of university or college, most important is culture, he culture of organizations builds your self-esteem or breaks it. It can turn you into a leader or worthless XYZ.

To the employers my humble advice is.

  1. You don’t need to offer exceptional above market packages to make employees stay with you. You need to provide family-oriented culture.
  2. Employees leave due to continuous late working hours. If you promise 8 hours, try to stick to it. Employees understand the situations when it is absolutely required to spend more hours. But late sittings should never be a part of your organizational culture.
  3. When politics enters an organization good employees leave.
  4. Don’t use the term Open Environment liberally if your environment is not truly open. By the way, open environment is an absolute necessity in this era.
  5. These days everyone gets to be “A Manager”. Choose managers wisely because they are mentors. The manager should be someone with experience and maturity. Manager’s only duty is not to ensure successful completion of the project, his duty is to mentor his subordinates and help them grow and achieve. A manager should understand that if his team grows he will grow with them!

I truly wish that things get better and organizations start to focus on their culture rather than cost deductions and other less important issues.

This story originally appeared at LinkedIn here and the featured image was taken from here.

Written by Muhammad Ali Shahzad
My journey with Elixir is pleasant in terms of learning & organization level development. Then I worked with Bol for one year and now I am working with Elixir Technologies. Profile