Updated: May 11, 2020
This is what we will suggest (not advice):
Think for yourself : At the age of 25, you will have the invisible peer pressure to comply and act like everyone is. Being a new joinee in the company, who are you to question the seniors? It will be much easier to accept what you are told, since those telling you know “what they are talking about”.
If something does not make sense for you, ask about it. Maybe there is a reason for doing things certain way, maybe its just an easy way. Either way, think for yourself. This will create a branding of you.
Don’t restrict to your domain : While at 25, you will be required to deliver based on your core trade, don’t stick to it. You will hit a glass ceiling in your career if you stick to your core technical skills. After the first 8–10yrs, it will be your horizontal and macro understanding of the business which will take you higher.
Deliver the best of work that is expected of you as an employee. But, visualize yourself as a business partner. If you behave like an employee, you will be branded an efficient/good employee. If you behave like a business partner, leaders will come to you asking about problems way above your pay grade.
NETWORK: At 25, you should already have a network spanning industries and functions. While most of them might be your college friends, keep in touch with them. Take you emotions and personal feelings about them out of the equation. Offer to help, in any which ways, you can. Learn about their character and keep in touch. Once in a company, make sure to network across all the departments and levels. Use the company events to network, not to get drunk on the free booze.
Take every opportunity to volunteer outside your regular work (based on your long term career goals). Support senior leaders and ask for their mentorship and guidance. Look for meetups/industry events in your professional circle, current industry or future industry you want to be part of. Look for events where you can learn about new technologies or opportunities.
Workplace is a workplace : At 25, it is easy to get carried away emotionally, building friendships and realtionships in your workplace. If you do this, be aware that it might get messy in the future. You might be better than others, more deserving than others, rising faster than others. Colleagues (not friends), might not participate in your happiness the same way as you expect.
Have different circles, which are mutually exclusive to each other. Do not get too close to colleagues. If you do, remember to really know their character. I burnt my fingers when I referred an ex-colleague desperately looking for a job and he ended up getting fired due to multiple reasons.
Right priorities : at 25, you might aim to conquer the corporate world, aiming to be the CxO level in 5–10years. For this, keeping 10–12hrs office (in addition to daily commute), sacrificing health and meals is the worst way to achieve professional goals. In fact, all the CEOs and founders I worked with, have a daily routine, with fanatical focus on morning exercise, sleep timing and duration and food. They also have an active social life, which keeps them objective about their daily work.
While working hard and succeeding is critical, have a wholistic view. Hanging out with colleagues is nice, but not everyday. Family, health and good relations is all you have when things are not going so well.
While this might sound like a lot of words, I live by these rules. Unfortunately, no one told me these when I was 25, but that does not mean one can not learn.
Though from a finance background, Arun attended a Pharma conference over the weekend of 13th Oct , 2019 (not sticking only to his domain). The ticket price was 1,000 EUR for a Corporate, but he went there on a complimentary ticket (power of network) as he knew the conference head and another important person working with him.
It always helps to have a mentor, who has worked and lived in Germany for some of the best brands. For personal consultation with Arun Mahajan, book a time with him.