Corporate America is a funny place that isn’t really that easy to figure out, especially when you’re the new kid in town. It doesn’t matter if you are fresh out of college or transitioning to a new role, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your future while doing an awesome job at work. I’ve come up with a few tips that I hope help you navigate your workplace and change your career for the better!
There’s a reason why something or someone makes you uncomfortable.
Follow your gut about this stuff. Usually, when something goes against your own moral or ethical standards, it’s not good! I have been in a few different situations where managers have made me feel threatened or asked me to do things against company policy. Pushing your own boundaries is fine, but feeling so uncomfortable that you’re nervous or scared to go to work is NOT. This is when you go to your HR department and find your advocate.
You do not have to be friends with everyone!
In fact, it’s better off that you aren’t. The entire company doesn’t need to know about your personal life. Work best friends are totally a thing, and sometimes those people become lifelong friends, but not everyone will, or should. Drink too much over the weekend? Don’t tell your boss, they don’t need to know.
Try not to take things personally, especially office politics.
This is one of my least favorite things about work. Who likes who and making sure people’s feelings aren’t hurt because of a tiny decision makes me feel like I am right back in high school. No thanks.
Good or bad, but definitely the good. If you get a compliment from a customer or a coworker, file that away and flag it so that when it comes time for your review, you can add that it. Positive reinforcement is rare, so enjoy it when it comes your way. The same thing goes for anything that you may need to keep in case you have to show your work or prove that you did exactly what you were supposed to do.
Respect yourself in your job so others will also have a reason to respect you and the job you are doing. Do your job and do it well, but also respect the jobs of other people. You are not the most important person there and neither are they but the respect you carry for each other will go much further than you think.
Don’t write things down if you don’t want someone else to see them.
I feel like this should be a wide spread public service announcement for employees everywhere. Don’t talk crap about people using your company email or company property. DO NOT DO THAT. Seriously.
Pick your battles!
My mom has been drilling this into my head as long as I can remember and I’m just now getting around to paying attention. You can argue every point and you still won’t be right, no matter how correct you actually are. You have to figure out if proving your point is actually going to be worth it. You will always think it’s worth it, but how much will it change the current situation?
Start off each day as a new adventure.
Every day is different, right? Well, the same should go for work. Do your best to have fun, to learn new things and better yourself and your situation. If you can lift people up while you do you, even better.
Leave the drama at the door.
Even when you don’t like someone, just leave it. It’s not worth your time or energy and it will only make your life at work harder and unnecessarily stressful. When you walk in the door of your office/job, leave your personal life there. Sometimes it is beyond difficult, but you have to try your hardest not to let your real life crash into your work life like the Kool-Aid man.
Mind your own.
Don’t worry about what other people are doing unless you are their manager or it is directly affecting your job. Do your job and do it well. The more you worry about other people, the harder it will be for you to do your job to your fullest capacity. I speak from experience, do your thin,g and don’t worry about the rest.
A lot of what I’ve said kind of seems like a major drag and that working in Corporate America blows. It doesn’t. At least, most of the time it doesn’t. Once you find a good fit, you can do so much, but sometimes that takes a few tries. You may find a job you love, but the place is awful. That’s where you just have swallow your pride, do things to help your resume and make sure you don’t let your management steamroll you.
When you’re just starting out, it’s really hard not to take things personally, or think that you have to accept that one person treats you terribly. You don’t. Ever. Remember your worth and value and you’ll be good to go.
What are your tricks of the trade?