Corporate Life Does and Don’ts
A couple of years ago, while attending a conference, I’ve heard this as an opening phrase: “I’m recovering from a corporation and trying to return to the human race”.
It struck a chord.
I too wanted to return to that, after more than 8 years of corporate life.
You can take the man out of the corporation, but sometimes you can’t take the corporation out of the man. Especially after a longer period of time.
Corporate life is a one of kind ecosystem.
It’s a fast-paced environment in which you have to play by the rules and learn your lessons along the way.
The birth of many races, 2 moons, and conflict.
Whether you’re just starting your corporate path or are starting to feel overwhelmed by it all, here are some lessons I’ve gathered along the years to make you successful and keep you sane.
1). Be discreet about your personal life
Keep a low profile when it comes to your private life.
Stay friendly and open-minded, but don’t give out too many details.
I wouldn’t go so far as to state that everything you say can and will be used against you, but try to keep the details for yourself and share the general stuff.
Let your professional results make the talking.
2). Your coworkers are not your friends
Not all of them, at least.
You might be lucky enough to work with amazing people from which you can learn and have good and bad days together.
Be cautious about jumping to conclusions, being excessively candid in sharing your personal opinions or trusting someone blindly.
Take the needed amount of time to observe personalities, behaviors and already established relationships.
Don’t assume everybody is your friend just because they’re nice to you.
Everybody has a personal interest to some extent and being the new guy around makes it harder to spot at the beginning.
Look for patterns and see how people react in different situations. They’ll show you what they’re made of if you’re paying attention.
Just like anything else in life, your best bet is to take in the good from people and leave them with the bad.
3). Play the game
If you think that positive feedback, results, and promotions will magically sit on your lap, you’ve got another thing coming.
Don’t take things personally and be sure to follow the playbook if you want to get ahead.
Let’s say you are entitled to a promotion, after all those years of hard work.
Instead of it being offered to you, you’re facing a surprisingly new procedure regarding internal recruitment for that upper position.
Rather than going after it with a negative attitude and full of resentment, play the game. If they need you to jump through hoops, do it.
Do it better than anyone else and leave them no choice but to promote you. After that, ask for a raise.
Understand the rules of the game and apply them to your benefit.
Be prepared, do your homework, anticipate bumps along the way.
If you want to get noticed, work harder and better than anyone else. Prepare the topics for every meeting, add your input and a personal touch. This way, nobody can take credit for your results.
Go the extra mile and it will pay off.
4). Be kind
There will be times when you’re not sure why you’re fighting your coworkers given you have the same end goal.
You’ll face egos, deadlines, burned out periods and a whole array of human emotions poured in an email.
Sometimes, you’ll want to cast an evil spell and let it loose in your reply.
You might want to take a breather before and regroup.
Snapping back at your colleagues brings nothing good.
Even if you are right, let them see the good side of you. You never know what that person has to deal with or what other problems he might have.