rThe key to surviving in Corporate America is staying true to you. Have confidence and remember your end goal. It can be easy to feel like just another rat in the race, but keep in mind the value you bring to the organization and at times make sure to remind them or this as well.
There is a time and place for everything in life, and gossip, crying, and attitudes do not belong in the workplace, under any circumstance. Yes, I know it may sound harsh, but you have to know I mean well. The last thing an employer wants to see is your inability to deal with a difficult situation. It may not be about the situation, rather how you deliver, how you handle other people stressing you out, and keep your composure.
Rule #1- If you don’t know the answer, just say “I’m not sure on the specifics; however, I will get back to you on that”.
Let’s say someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, remember this rule. If ever there is a time when you should definitely NOT make something up, this would be one of them! Making something up only make you look incompetent and less trust worthy.
Rule #2- Learn the art of the schmooze.
I once was in a meeting with a higher level executive and had a co-worker comment on the Mercedes that this executive drove and how when she gets to be at her level, she hopes to own one as well. I would not recommend that be your opening line, try to go with something less materialistic and more about that person’s career. Asking how long they have been with the company, their career path, and about their easy wins and struggles were, may be a better topic.
Rule #3- When you’re at work, be AT work.
Some days, I find it so easy to be daydreaming in meetings and dozing out when it feels like I’ve hit a brick wall mid conversation.(usually at 2 right before my afternoon coffee run). These are the moments that I find, I miss the most information and I missed my opportunity to give my input. You only have a certain amount of hours to do your job and showcase your talent; seize as many opportunities as possible! Which brings me back, to the line from Hitch, where he’s telling Albert Brennaman,“When you’re in the room, be in the room”? Speak up and let your thoughts be heard out loud.
Rule #4 – Remember YOU can only control YOU
I work for a fast paced competitive company where fortunately, we have seen a lot of growth, meaning a lot of promotions. The best way to function in a space where there is a lot of movement and competitiveness is to WORRY ONLY ABOUT YOU. Be selfish. You need to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and learn capitalize on them. Knowing your strengths and how to use them will take you to newer heights. Knowing your weaknesses and improving your skills in these areas, is what is going to take you even further. This is where you find someone who is an expert at your weakness, and learn from them. Or at least find someone who has the same weakness and learn how they have overcome them.
Rule #5- Set up One-on-Ones
Get out there, let people know who you are and get to know them. This is just another form of networking within a larger company; however setting up one-on-ones allows you to get direct feedback from people who are of influence. Choose people who are currently sitting in the position you want, managers, or Senior Leaders. The key to a successful meeting is making sure you have a purpose going in. Your purpose can be simple, such as finding out how they have been successful in the organization, or how they have maintained the work-life balance.