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How to get a good job - Part 3 – Making a go of it In the first part of this series we looked at preparing your CV and covering letter to get you into an interview. In the second we briefly discussed the interview itself. So let's assume that you've done well, and that you are “in”! Now what? My observation is that there are two kinds of worthwhile jobs. First there are jobs that are expected to change you. Typically they are “entry-level”, or training jobs, and the company's idea is that the experience you'll get will develop your skills and prepare you for something better. The second kind of job is generally at a higher level, and the idea is that you will change the job. You'll be more effective, find better ways of doing things, come up with innovations. Finally there are jobs that aren't really worthwhile, unless all you want is quiet obscurity. You are hired to do an established job, and nothing more is expected of you. This is the kind of job that starts to look like a “saving” opportunity when the next recession comes along. I'd avoid jobs like this unless you are desperate, with a family to support, and your highest priority is simply income. Let's assume you've secured a “worthwhile” job. What's your optimum strategy to make sure you make the most of the opportunity? In the “development” job- the one that's supposed to change you and give you experience- the most important thing is to be seen to be getting the experience! Do the job well. Report up the management line regularly, and as soon as you feel you've mastered the job ask your supervisor if you can do more. Seek wider responsibilities. And above all don't let yourself be forgotten. Eighteen months is generally ample time in a development job; you'll have learned the majority of things the position has to offer, and you'll be starting to repeat yourself. So now you are in a higher level position. You are expected to demonstrate your ability to change things and make them better. Your first month in the job is critical. You'll be learning about what the job is for, and meeting the people you will need to be working with. It's your opportunity to ask questions and build up a critical analysis of what's going on. Think about the fundamentals; why is the job there at all? Are there better ways of meeting the objectives of the job? Are the people with whom you'll be interacting of the right quality? Try, during your first month, to imagine a management consultant's report on your organisation. What would they say about productivity, cost savings, increasing efficiency? Build up a plan for change and discuss it up the line. Don't promise too much. When you get agreement, then implement your plan. Don't rest there- think about your next possible career move and try to make sure that you are seen as qualified and ready for it. Finally, watch your language! If you have to use English, and you are not a native speaker, you need to make continual efforts to improve your fluency. If you need to write reports in English, get them checked by native speakers. If you are lucky enough to live in Jakarta, there's a friendly group of expats at Aim (kursus bahasa inggris)who can help you with speaking, and with writing, and who can proof-check those really important reports and letters.

Getting a good job - part 3 - making a go of it  

The final installment in this series of articles explores a few tips to help you succeed in your new job