Skip directly to content

20 Things Learned from My 20 Years Working in Corporate America

on Tue, 04/12/2016 - 13:42

1.     Become known as a problem solver. Deliver the hard work, slacking will not get you anywhere. Replace, “I’ll do my best” with “I’ll take care of it” or “I’ll handle it” or “You can count on me”.  Make sure as many people as possible, in addition to your boss, knows you are a problem solver. Let those that might be your boss in the future know you are a problem solver.

2.     Moving sideways can help you climb the corporate ladder.  When it comes to hireability Breadth of knowledge, experience and skills trumps depth. Accepting a new project or role where there is little or no pay increase will still pay off in the long run. Constantly be looking for ways to expand your career skill-set.

3.     Teamwork is King.

4.     Don’t sit by yourself or with your co-workers at a networking event.

5.     Don’t underestimate the power of social networking.

6.     Risk rejection and you just might shine.

7.     People of all levels appreciate kindness.  Tell your higher up what they are doing right.

8.     Take a break and move around. Walk around the block or building. Move and take in some fresh air if possible.

9.     Put people down and they won’t look up to you.

10.There is power and healing in admitting when you messed up. Learn, grow, move on and move up.

11.Stay up to date with your industry by reading trade magazines, trade blogs, attending webinars and conferences.

12.Great leaders are effective communicators that are able to convey both verbally and in writing a clear vision of the company goals. Great leaders know how to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing. Leaders motivate and inspire as well as lead the way by example.

13.When it is time to move on exiting gracefully is always a good idea. Exiting gracefully from a bad situation is especially important.

14.Never be afraid to leave an organization if you are not getting anywhere inside it.

15.If you’re not flexible you’ll be broken.  Learn to go with the flow.  Projects will stop on a dime, requirements and needs can change daily, computers will crash, bad team members will come and go.  How you deal with difficult situations is far more important and lasting than the situation itself.

16.Don’t depend on the company to invest in you. If there is a new skill or certification that would enhance your career first approach your company to see if they will pay for you to acquire the skill, education or certification.  If you do not receive corporate financial backing look into acquiring the skills with your own time and funding. 

17.Regarding pay increases, if you don’t ask you probably won’t ever receive.

18.Whether interviewing internally or externally prepare for the interview by researching the company, role and interviewers. Constantly be updating your resume. Write down your key skills and major accomplishments.  Prepare a list of questions including, “What will I need to do to be successful in this role?”

19.Dress professionally.  Look around you and see what are the people wearing that you aspire to be.  Do you want to move into upper management, then see what upper management is wearing and dress in a similar fashion.  How you dress conveys so much information about a person.

20.Laugh. Whether it be on the job or off find ways to laugh and enjoy life.