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The Hong Kong Hunter: Three important things to remember when you start a new job

In some of my previous columns, I have shared techniques and personal experiences to help you succeed in job interviews. For this article, I will shift the focus onto the real working environment and list three key things you must be aware of when you start at a new bank, especially earlier on in your career.

Good grades count for nothing once you’ve got the job

There is no doubt in my mind that smart people generally have an early advantage in getting a job, but it is equally worth noting that a handsome number of employees do outstanding work without going to a tier-one university or having perfect exam scores.

In my early life as a junior equity analyst, I came across colleagues with excellent resumes who performed poorly at work. Beyond your academic results, good communication and people skills are heavily valued by many employers, as are an eagerness to succeed and an ability to learn quickly.

Focus on your future, not your salary

I have seen some junior employees ask for higher-than-expected salary rises during their first year of work. But realistically, it’s only executives at the top of the pay-scale pyramid who can get away with doing this.

My friend in the HR department of a bank once told me: “Don’t overestimate what you deserve because each company has a budget for hiring people at different levels.” All in all, I think it is more important to learn and get the necessary skills before bargaining for more money.

Your first 100 days could make or break you

The first 100 days in your job isn’t necessarily a honeymoon because no one gives special treatment to new, inexperienced staff. In fact, this period is crucial to determining whether or not you even have a future in your firm. You will start to build creditworthiness, and make a positive or negative impression on both your boss and peers.

“Everyone expects a first-class work attitude and no careless mistakes,” a fund manger told me recently. Making a good early impression is important, especially when you are new to the industry: don’t ruin your chances through a lack of professionalism.

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