Let’s face it. It’s not easy surviving in corporate America. Regardless of whether it’s your first professional position working for a corporation or the fourth, the same rules apply.
As you know, there are always lessons to you can learn for a better experience working in corporate America.
Surviving In Corporate America
In this article, we have some excellent tips to maximize your experiences for the corporate beast. Based on experience, you’ll discover there are things you can do to survive and prosper in corporate America.
Now bear this in mind, it doesn’t have to be a huge company either – if your company has 6 employees or 600, the rules of the game are the same!
Each one of us has a different back-story of work history. Some decide to stay home and work raising children and tending to their families. In contrast, others choose to put the parenting on the back-burner and commit to achieving their degrees and develop a strong foothold in their professional careers.
Whichever way you choose, eventually, you will have to deal with the rules of the corporate shuffle. More so, that’s where things get tough. Some lessons were we learn the hard way, while others made through observations. But either way, some personal mistakes we make can be job threatening, and that’s aside from the professional ones.
My back-story: Before meeting my husband, I had only completed one year of college and left school to marry and start a family. Twenty or so years later, I knew I needed a new direction. I had yearned for a higher education degree all of my life and knew I had to listen to that calling. I enrolled in college and completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Shortly after, I landed my first corporate position almost directly after the completion of my degrees. At that point, I went into a new and exciting chapter of my life. You can read more about my background here.
Below, you’ll find 5 ways you too can prosper and grow while working in corporate America.
1 – Keep Your Personal Information Personal
We all want to feel like we belong, and developing allies at work is essential for fruitful teamwork. But, but there is a vast difference between making secure connections with your peers and crossing the line into confessing your woes to co-workers.
More importantly, it would be best if you never talked about the details of your personal life at work. Even if a co-worker starts confiding in you and starts sharing too much information, resist the temptation to reciprocate. Everything you say can and will come back against you, especially in times of a crisis.
A co-worker will quickly jump on an opportunity of telling your boss that your finances are a mess, or that you and your hubby are having marital issues. You run the risk having that information shared company-wide as well. Simply stated, it’s best to keep your personal life out of your professional one.
2 – The Nature Of Gossip In Corporate America
Overall, we all know gossiping is inevitable in our personal and professional lives. Interestingly, why do we keep engaging in it when we all see the negative impact it produces? Gossiping is natural to our human nature, but we evolve, and habits change.
Fortunately, you don’t have to participate in gossip in corporate America or anywhere! Remember this; if they talk about them, they will talk about you too!
At work, gossip is especially deadly. Gossiping will break down the social support at work you worked so hard to achieve. When faced with it, I found that staying silent and nodding works exceptionally well. I also quickly bail out of the conversation with an “Oh, darn, I forgot I have to return a call,” trick.
Do anything you can not to get actively involved in it. In our personal lives, gossiping can often be harmless and even good for a few laughs, but in our professional experiences, you have to ask yourself, is it worth losing your job over?
3 – If You Wear It, They Will Talk About It.
Professional attire should always remain professional. Regardless of what you wear, I can guarantee someone will comment on it. Always be mindful of what you are wearing when you step out the door to work, of course, but also remember that even when you are wearing a very professional outfit, someone will talk about it.
There are certain things at work you will have to put your ego aside and not let upset you, and this is one of them. More so, if you know you look professionally dressed, don’t sweat the small stuff. Additionally, this relates to the gossipy nature of folks, so don’t participate in it and move on.
4 – No One Likes A Complainer: Think it but don’t say – that was my survival mantra for work. Whether I didn’t feel great or had a huge amount of work to catch up on, I hardly ever complained to anyone. This goes for trusted coworkers as well. Cynical you say? Well, yes maybe, but if you want to survive at work it should be your mantra too.
The working environment is dog-eat-dog no doubt and you, unfortunately, have to be on the defensive at all times. I can remember the one time I complained openly about a project deadline at work and later that day my manager called me and asked if I had any concerns I would like to discuss regarding the project.
Yes, negativity can spread that quickly at work. Coworkers think for some odd reason that putting you in a negative light will help boost their short road to success.
4 – No One Likes A Complainer
When I worked in corporate America, I knew it was OK to think about it and not say it. That’s how I got by successfully every day, and you can do it too.
I made a point to complain to anyone, even my closest co-workers. Also, try not to trust too many coworkers. Cynical, you say? Well, yes, maybe, but if you want to survive at work, it should be your mantra too.
The working environment in corporate America can feel tough at times. And unfortunately, it’s a good idea to remain calm and collected. I can remember the one time I complained openly about a project deadline at work.
Later that day, my manager called me and asked if I had any concerns I wanted to discuss regarding the project. Complaining doesn’t pay and spreads like wildfire!
Bottom line, try your best not to complain at work. Corporate America standards can feel strict, but it’s for a good reason. Image a work environment with everyone sharing emotions and feelings all day. I know I wouldn’t want to work there.
5 – Bring Your Lunch But Not Your Ego
Your ego has no place at work. I know that sounds impossibly difficult, but corporations don’t like egos – they want worker bees. Remember, you are a part of the collective, much like the Borg in Star Trek. Your ego has no place there. More so, this is another example of “think it doesn’t say it.”
More importantly, if something hurts your feelings, don’t express it. Feelings and work don’t make a good cocktail. Sharing feelings is for home and friends. Wait to share them with your family and friends – not your coworkers. The same goes for boasting.
Also, make a point not to boast about the compliments from your managers. Your coworkers will indeed become resentful, and there go the allies you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
In conclusion, I hope you were able to glean some important tips about working in corporate America. We can all learn lessons about improving our work environments and sharing these tips with our coworkers as well.
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