Letter to a graduate

My brother just finished his final semester. I wanted to tell him some things, and this is what I ended up giving him.

Dear brother,
Congratulations. You have successfully completed your student life. The real world awaits - and it is about as unforgiving as the lecturers you had to ward on good days, and about a million times worse on bad ones. I know you have seen quite a bit already, but I felt I should let you know what I've found out the hard way.

The first few years of your work life are the best - you have energy to go on and on. Make full use of it. Never say no to anything that remotely sounds fun. Yes, you will be tired - but you have the rest of your life to recuperate. And you can't do the same things 5 years down the line.

Eat well. And on time. This is very important, so that you have enough energy to work hard and play harder.

Get some exercise. I know you will, but don't ever stop because 'you had a hard day at work'. Non negotiable.

Don't listen to anyone at work for the first few days. Start by observing them. Find out the ones who finish their jobs efficiently and try to learn from them. The ones who talk a lot are usually the ones who stay late only to show that they are 'committed', and do nothing much of worth.

See how your boss dresses. Try to emulate him. Its better to invest in clothes that show you take your job seriously.

Get a pair of comfortable shoes too. Don't be stingy; you will spend at least 10 hours a day in them, they better be good.

Don't be late for the first few months and don't leave office before others. If you have nothing to do, ask others to give you something to do. The basic rule of thumb - if anyone senior is busy working, you should be picking his brain. Reach before everyone, get your work done, help others finish theirs, and leave only when there is nothing or no one left.

Keep your room clean. Its fine to have everything thrown around when you are a student, but trust me - the sight of an untidy room will make your blood boil after you've worked for what seems like an eternity.

Try not to show your anger. And never, ever talk or write an email when you're upset. There are plenty of arseholes in the corporate world who are neither worth your time or energy. Ignore them. At least, try to.

Once you get your salary, try to save at least 20% of it. You might need to fall back on something when things go wrong. If they don't - great. You can get that fancy phone, or go anywhere you want on a vacation.

Finally, try not to entertain the idea of finding a significant other. If it happens, great - but don't spend your time on it. Being in a relationship is like a full time job; you need to invest emotionally and will not be able to put in much thought at work. You have a very short window to establish yourself and find out what kind of work will make you happy. We spend nearly, or more than, half of our time awake at work. It better be something you enjoy doing. And if you already have someone, make sure that person knows your priorities. She will understand your need to make a mark, and she will wait if she has confidence in your abilities. If not, let her go and call me. I'll clear my schedule and keep a bottle of Jack Daniels ready. On the rocks.

If you've read this far, then you definitely have the patience to nullify some points I've mentioned above. That, brother, is one of the most important virtues you need to nurture - everyone around us is in a hurry, and they will appreciate it if you just show enough patience. Who knows, you might even figure out stuff they missed because they were in a hurry. Just observe at first, take all the information in, consider all scenarios, and if something still doesn't make sense - question.

And don't stop until you find the answer.

Yours always.


Soumya said...

More than a week of silence? :)

Kris Nayak said...

No excuses, ma'am. I've been sloppy. But wait for a few more days - I'm going to fill this blog up in no time.

And thanks a lot for the interest - never thought anybody would want to read what I write :)

Soumya said...

The interest is purely selfish ;) Most of ur posts help me fill in certain perspectives in my life :)

Kris Nayak said...

Thanks for the words. Now that I know I have an audience-I am no longer going to slack. Will be back in a few hours, with a post ready for your perusal :)