Corporate Advices

Navigating through the corporate world for a few years now, I have recently realized that I have gathered some habits and rules that I follow in order to work in the best conditions. I will not talk about anything ground-breaking for most of you, but my advice might come handy to young professionals. 

The first advice I can give you is to start and finish on time.

Your employer “rents” out your skills and your brain for a certain period during the day, which are stated in your employment contract.

Just like I would not have worked an extra hour for free when I was a young babysitter at 16 years old, I do not want to stay an extra hour or two in my current job for free.

When I was a manager, I expected my team to leave on time. If you are unable to achieve your tasks during your working hours, please have a look at it. Is it caused by a poor organisation or is the workload too important for you to manage despite your hard work? If it’s the first option, please ask tips to your colleagues and your manager. If the issue is caused by a workload issue, your management needs a real overview of the workload to evaluate the headcount required for your department.

Regarding the issue with over workload / under staffing, usually the employee will feel obligated to stay longer to go though the tasks. If you are constantly staying late, your employer might not feel the need to hire more people as you are nice enough to do it without extra pay. You will fall in a rabbit hole as once you have started it will be extremely difficult for you to stop. Of course, the occassional 15 extra minutes once in a blue moon doesn’t apply here.

My second advice: if you have nothing nice to say, please don’t say anything.

In the corporate world, a reputation takes years to build and 10 secondes to destroy. I have seen reputation fall down not because of a mistake in the job itself but only because of someone’s attitude or saying something they regretted later. I would recommend to keep the negative opinions you may have about the company or certain coworkers to yourself. What I rather do is to say nice things… over people’s back. How nice it is for my collegues to hear nice things they heared about them from a third person! It creates a nice atmosphere with the work enviromment and allow people to come to me more easily, as much for a nice chat than requesting to work with me on a particluar project. As you spend a large part of days working, it is crucial to work in a positive atmosphere.

Keep in mind that this is not primary school: you are not here to make friends. Of course work is a great tool to meet new people but you have to keep in mind that all these people are not going to be your friends and that’s alright. You don’t have to be friends, you only have to work together or side-by-side, in the best condition possible.

Last advice: don’t hesitate to ask for guidance.

Any manager will tell you: they will rather walk you through a task rather than help you fix the mistakes. During your training, you will be expected to take notes and use them later on the job to fully understand your company processes. I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention during your training. Sometimes, a new scenario will come to you. Feel free to ask your collegues or or your manager to make sure you are taking the right steps to get the job done. Your manager will enjoy your sense of dilligence if you do so.

Sometimes a new process might seem out of touch or irrelevant to your position/industry/systems. If you come across this kind of issue, always prove your point with examples and an alternative option. No one will change a whole process just because someone said that “it was not good enough”.

I hope my little advices above will help you to work with the best mindset possible and allow to show how a valuable you are for your company.

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