Student no more. Consultant all the more.And all of a sudden, there you are. Glad to be closing the school doors behind you, but at the same somewhat anxious about what will come. Will I be able to land the right job? At the right company? So many unknowns. Here’s my rearview mirror report.
1. Guard your work-life balanceI admit, it was a bit of a shock to the system, going from student to consultant. Getting up early every day, working full days all week long and traveling to customers wherever they are, is quite different. But luckily, I got assigned to a concrete project right away. Having something tangible to do and being amongst colleagues definitely helped to smoothen the transition.
From day one, there was also room for flexibility. Whenever I wanted to work from one of our Delaware offices or I had a training, I could do so (of course, after discussing this with the customer). That, in combination with an interesting and instructive job, with lots of variety, soon made me forget the ‘good-olden’ days as a student.
3. Don’t be a number, be part of a familySure, there are layers within Delaware, but everyone addresses everyone else by their first name. Honestly, I think Patrick would be puzzled if you were to approach him with ‘Mr. Managing Director’.
If you have a great employer, it feels a bit like being part of a family. That’s a box that Delaware can definitely tick off.
4. Your colleagues to the rescue
Despite all the good care, as a starter, work can sometimes feel like drowning slowly. That’s how I felt when I started to take on a new SAP module. It’s great to know that your colleagues have your back. When a colleague throws you a lifebuoy at exactly the right time, you feel all the more confident to tackle the next challenge. And you just know that – should you see one of your (younger) colleagues struggle like you did – you too will throw him a lifebuoy. I guess that’s how our company culture is built.
Starting to work is always a bit a leap of faith. During the interviews, you try to present yourself as good as you can. Your future employer does the same towards you. I’m glad to say, 1 year later, that what I expected to find came largely true. On top of that, it’s also comforting to know that should the job at some point become less my thing, my employer is open to discuss a switch to somewhere else within the organization.