As great a feeling as it is to complete college and finally be done with early morning lectures and attendance worries, the more daunting task that shortly follows is getting a job. Any working person will tell you that the level of confusion and anxiety one feels when looking for their first job is off the charts and it’s only but natural to feel that way.
Many of us tend to realise halfway through our course that what we’re currently studying is probably ‘not’ something we want to do for the rest of our lives and that makes it all the more confusing as you’re left with that damned question of ‘so now what do I do?’.
A few things you should keep in mind when looking for your first job are:
- Always keep an eye out for the work culture and what it stands for. Whether it will keep you motivated enough to make you keep wanting to go back to office every morning. The main reason people start getting fed up of their jobs is because they start finding it mundane and boring and this is where the work culture comes in to save the day.
- Secondly, the company you pick as well as the designation you’re offered must align with your interests. For example, if you don’t see yourself as someone staring at a screen all day, do not opt for a desk job.
- Thirdly, pick an organisation where your voice is heard regardless of your position or designation. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your voice not being heard especially when you know you’re right.
- Lastly, try and pick an organisation that isn’t knee deep in hierarchy where most good work ends up getting lost in the various processes.
That being said, we at 91springboard are growing aggressively, which means so is our team. Our Campus Recruitment Drive kickstarts soon and we’ll be going to colleges across the country in order to find new talent to add to our ever-growing team.
So, in order to make this cumbersome decision for you easier, we’ve gathered a few of our springboarders who were in the same boat as all of you college peeps not so long ago and asked them to tell us about their journey at 91springboard thus far.
Here’s what they had to say (we didn’t put a gun to their head, we promise). We hope these snippets and anecdotes will help you in some way to clear your head and focus on what really matters when looking out for your first job (we’re nice like that).
Why did you pick 91springboard to kickstart your career? What was the deciding factor that convinced you that this would be the right place for you?
Varsha: When I first googled 91springboard after hearing they’re visiting my college, DTU, I realized that this would be an amazing opportunity because 91springboard is full of startups, 600 and counting. Since I’ve always been keen on learning about the workings of the Indian startup ecosystem, I thought what better way to do that than by joining 91springboard.
This place would allow me to better understand startups and how they function as well as help me build a network of contacts amongst them. The other deciding factor was the profile which was being offered to me (Community Manager). I always wanted to have a job that was very different from the regular analyst/coding ones offered in the campus placements. I have never liked a desk job that would require me being glued to a computer screen all day. The CM profile offers you the chance to interact with a variety of people on an everyday basis and helping them solve various problems. After joining I promptly realised there’s no place I’d rather be!
How would you rate your overall experience at 91springboard thus far?
Ayush: Being fresh out of an engineering school, 91springboard was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to me. I was interning with 91springboard for two years and happen to know 91springboard since its formative days. Over these two years, I’ve worked in multiple fields and gained insights about the company and the industry it is in. It’s been quite a journey from starting off as an amateur juggling across various ppt’s and excel sheets to being able to understand the industry and being able to add value through my own viewpoints and opinions.
Sakshi: 91springboard turned out to be a very warm and welcoming environment for a fresher like me. It’s awfully surprising (in the best way possible) to see the founders of a company being involved at such a grassroot level. The kind of freedom you’re given on the work front at this place is downright amazing, if you know how to be responsible about it, of course!
You’re given free reign to be as creative as you like and what’s absolutely encouraging is that no matter which position you’re at, or how much experience you’ve got, if your suggestions and opinions make sense, they get heard! So far, I’ve been lucky enough to have the right kind of people guiding me and most importantly encouraging me to ask why and why not.
What are your views about the work culture at 91springboard?
Aman: The culture is what sets 91springboard apart. You can reach out to anyone, be it the founders for anything you might have in mind. You are never punished for the mistakes you commit but instead helped and guided so that you do not repeat those mistakes in the future (unless and until it’s a really stupid one). For example, one of our new member teams was facing issues establishing and evaluating their company culture, as their endeavour was to develop an open and responsible culture just like 91springboard. My team had a chat with them on the same to better understand what we could do to help them. I then emailed Varun Chawla (our co-founder) about the same as he was the best person to be consulted. The result; the team, Varun and I had a 30 minute video call on the topic which proved very useful to them. It’s very encouraging to see co-founders being so easy to reach out to and available for even the little things that matter. This is probably the best manifestation of our culture.
Sakshi: I’ve seen it with my own eyes, founders of the company helping clean up with a broom the night before the launch of a new hub. It’s a great learning and example for people in your organisation to showcase the culture that is present in 91springboard. You have the freedom to question things, you’re not made to feel that your opinion doesn’t matter, and most importantly you know why you’re doing something. When I joined, the first hand experience of the culture that thrives here was the one week induction. From explaining what are the values here, to actually seeing those values instituted in people. In which other job do you get to take breaks from work and fight it out with your own customers at the foosball table? We’ve even slept at our workplace numerous times (willingly, of course). We party on weekdays, but come to work on time the next day. It’s all about balancing work and fun.
In terms of the company, culture, work and responsibility, have your expectations been different from the reality?
Sakshi: No, in fact I had my reservations about whether this company will actually have the work culture they were boasting so much about and boy, was I proven wrong! People here are approachable, we actually do things to help people/members without any profit motive, right down to referring leads to another coworking space if we don’t match their requirement. You can take up as much responsibility as you’re willing to take, as long as you’re ready to completely own that task.
I am 5 months old in the organisation, but I still have the freedom to decide who’s a good cultural fit for the navi mumbai community and deny them membership based on that judgement.
Work is a lot more and varied in nature than what was my perception from the job description. It’s not just about conducting events, or doing 20+ events in a month. This job encourages you to think why you’re doing a particular thing rather than mechanically doing something that your bosses ask you to do. I’ve been pushed to ask why and why not a lot more than what I used to earlier. (They probably regret it now :P)
What has been the one toughest challenge you’ve encountered since you’ve joined and how have you gone about solving it?
Varsha: Getting back home on time! I’d love to say that this is because I’m working till 10pm seven days a week but I must say there’s a hell of a lot of parties happening here! However, trust me when I say, this is one place that thrives on the concept of work hard and party harder.
Sakshi: As a community, Navi Mumbai’s startup ecosystem is still evolving, It’s a lot more challenging to get more quality people to attend events here, or for that matter, to even get good events organised. The same goes for building the community. So what we did was try new ways to market our events and keep an eye out for the tiny things that helped make a difference to the numbers. For example, we got a standup comedian for Big Bad Startup Bash (BBSB), hence changing the marketing strategy and wrapping it up differently to people. The other challenge was hosting more events. So, we conducted a search within our member community and were able to pull off some great events lead by our in-house experts. Engaging this community was especially hard, but we pulled it off with some creativity. The result of these efforts are that we now have impromptu member trips, and we don’t have to drag people down to unwinds, in fact we have members running their own unwinds.
How have you managed to create a good work-life balance?
Aman: This is slightly different in my case as I shifted to Bangalore just three months ago and knew nobody here. The 91sb team in Bangalore has become my family, friends and everything. So much so that we work till 9-10pm, (sometimes even 2am, that too on Sundays), party together, go for road trips, comedy shows, dinners etc. So I don’t know if you call this work-life balance or not but whatever it is, I love it!
Sakshi: I haven’t. I hang out with people from work even after work hours and sleep on the bean bags at the hub from time to time. But hey, I’m not complaining!
Ayush: The work-life balance is amazing and my teammates have become my second family. 91springboard has brought together a family of high achievers who work hard and really know how to party! It’s a pleasure to be part of this bunch.
What in your opinion, is the best part about working at 91springboard?
Varsha: The stress free environment. Your reporting managers and even the founders are nothing short of being your buddies. There’s so much to learn from everyone here and everyone here loves sharing their knowledge. There’s no competition among the employees and everyone works how they should, as a team. It’s one place I look forward to come to every single day and the last thing it seems like is a boring mundane job. You needn’t worry about sucking up to people for a promotion here. If you work is good, you’re guaranteed to be recognised and rewarded for it!
Sakshi: The freedom to take up things on your own and not worry about upsetting hierarchy. I’ve seen my college friends working at different organisations and the series of approvals they need to seek before beginning any process. Here at 91springboard, you are given free reign to conceptualise any new event or idea you may have. This place doesn’t stifle your creativity, but you have to learn how to overcome processes and take out the time to figure that out. You have to learn to take full ownership of things and be your own taskmaster.
As we mentioned earlier, we’re always on the lookout to add bright young individuals to our ever-growing team. So, if you think 91springboard sounds like your kind of workplace do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you at the earliest.