A point to prove

It’s been a month or more that I am working full time after my graduate studies. As a new hire and especially coming straight out of the school you always try to be the “yes” man in the company. Be (hyper) active and try to make contribution wherever possible and somehow create a “say” in the company. Yes, I did the same for my first job four years back by being over concentrated and involved, trying to somehow impress my boss. But is it a good strategy especially in the long run? I was thinking over this issue and tried to simulate the pros and cons of such “unnatural” behavior.
Firstly if you are really cleaver and sharp, people will know your worth right away. You don’t have to take this “extra” effort to prove the point. The way you speak, express ideas or analyze a problem convey it all.
Secondly, you increase the baseline expectations and commitment level by such over capacity behavior. Remember, everyone including your boss expects you to work above or at least at the high level you set right at the start. As time progresses if you don’t deliver what you promised will decrease your credibility. This is shown in case 1. The commitment level set is much higher than the average delivery performance capacity. In this case due to the initial noise one can deliver above the mark but eventually your performance falls down to your “average” capacity which is much lower than the commitment level. Commitment level can only increase or remain constant but cannot decrease.

You should “Never over commit but always over deliver”. This mantra seems very trivial but really makes a marked difference.
Thirdly, making the initial noise in company can leave a bad impression. You may be perceived as an arrogant and the “over” smart type guy. This hinders your peer-peer communication, good-will and ultimately team dynamics.

The case 2 depicts a scenario where your performance is nearby the expectation/commitment level. This scenario is better than case 1 but not the best one if you are looking for a quick career progress.

Case 3 is the optimum. Here you deliver more than the expectation or commitment. Also there is a positive constant increase in the commitment level and your delivery level. Thus there is progress in your performance and responsibility.
So to summarize, it’s always better to take time to set the foot in the company. Understand the work, dynamics, and culture before you start making a “position”. Especially if you are student right out of the school you should “withhold” your excitement.

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