Your First Job: Not An End To All

4 minutes
Hi, I am Alekhya. I graduated from IIT Guwahati five years back and am currently working with IBM Software Labs. Being from IIT I do understand the sheer anxiety that the campus placements can bring to the students. As, someone who too was a part of all the madness that goes through, here are a few insights I would want to share. Hope it lightens you a-bit.
Graphic by: Ankita Gautam
Many IITans face the problem of not getting a job. I can speak about this better, as we had our placements during the worst phase one can imagine- the recession time. It was that time, I have seen many of our batch mates not getting placed. Hold on, here is another truth – it is a common scenario across the batches, though not known to people outside due to the misleading publicity in media about IITs and their salaries. There is a lot of hype created about the placement scenario in IITs, but rarely someone gives a realistic picture of it. Only the students appearing for the interviews understand the exact picture.
The most pulling down factor during the placement season is peer pressure. I got placed on 9th day of the placement season. By that time, many of my friends in our hostel, who were my batch mates were placed. That created an immense pressure in me initially, to get placed in any company. At that point of time, I even thought of applying for Analytics jobs though my subject of interest is computer science. But somehow I resisted myself from doing that as I was very clear that it is not my area of interest. It’s just a little patience and confidence that helped me move ahead with my interview successfully.
There are many companies that don’t come for campus placements and are looking for talented people from IITs. Don’t hesitate in applying off-campus for jobs. One of my friends, who got a good software job during placement, unfortunately received a regret letter from the company later in March, saying that they will not be able to go with the offer due to recession. He then applied for off-campus jobs and got a good one with a few months delay.
Salary should not be a major criterion for the first job. Once we prove ourselves in any company, we will be valued across the industry and that helps us in career growth. One of my friends who joined for 4L initially was able to earn 12L in 2 years of time span by working hard and developing good skill sets. It’s just a matter of time and developing good skills that builds our career.
Start-ups provide good opportunities for freshers to learn and grow very fast in the industry. Now more and more startups are coming up in our country where the chances of growth and learning are high. Working in start-ups helps us understand the ins and outs of the business and it gives us good experience to start something on our own in future too.
First job doesn’t decide our destiny in this dynamic environment. There are a lot of people around unhappy with their first jobs and looking out for better ones. There are plenty of options available in different fields. So, try to understand your area of interest first (Core/IT/Analytics/Arts etc) and develop skills accordingly. Once you develop right skills, you will land up in your dream job.
Understand all your interests, strengths, weaknesses and don’t leave out any opportunity. Patience is the key, don’t lose your motivation. You have already come a long way by achieving a seat at IIT. It is just one more step in your life. Be calm and give your best. Your first job is only your first step towards a new world. You will still have many steps ahead, which you can build on.
All the best!


Alekhya Telekicheria is Software Engineer in IBM Software Labs, India. She has done her BTech, Computer Science from IIT Guwahati. She enjoys discovering logic behind various things in life. She loves reading articles related to brain, genetics and human psychology.