Surviving in Corporate America seems to me, a very challenging task for many people. While this seems like a trivial topic to discuss (since I get the feeling that most people are acutely aware of their idiocies and therefore reluctant to admit downfalls), I like to hear myself speak – or type – and said discussing will now be shared with the blogging world.
Corporate Survival Tips:
- Have a Mentor: I am admitting that I don’t have contact with mine anymore; however, in a few years I learned tons from him. Mainly important things that you would not necessarily think of: how to stand, sip water during a meeting (internal not counting), it is okay to lean against the back of your chair during a meeting – just sit up straight!, if you are nervous for any reason, keep your hands in your lap (especially if you are like me and tend to get amped on caffeine and tap the table or play with your pen / pencil until it goes flying across the room or you have to crawl under the table to get it), make eye contact, don’t play with your hair too much – and if you do just pull it back, smile and be friendly (even if its painful), don’t be afraid to ask questions…I think you get the point.
I highly doubt he even realizes he taught me all these things (although a few were quite obvious: “stop playing with your pen!!!!!!!!”), but a mentor is, in my book, highly recommended as a go-to person for silly questions and a great way to talk out what’s on your mind with no judgments.
- Befriend the Custodial / Maintenance / Mail / Cafeteria Staff: These people know the inside scoop. They know who is talking about whom, who let off the stink bomb in the bathroom, where to find anyone at any given time, where the best snacks are hidden and lunch recommendations and most importantly they will share supplies with you. I will be the first to admit that a huge office building is slightly harder to accomplish this task; however, being able to get your hands on a spray bottle to clean your desk is highly important (my shout-out to Kyle gets inserted here).
The inside people really are on the inside of everything, and being nice can get you very far – especially as a newbie who tends to have an extremely terrible sense of direction.
- Don’t Spaz in the Middle of the Hallway: Spazzing out is okay; but it is important to remember to move to the side of the hallway or step into a stairwell. I have quickly learned that those who spaz tend to become very alarmed when you try to step around their frantic e-mail they are typing in the center of the hallway. These are also the people who are physically unable to turn corners properly, thus slamming straight into the person who is capable of walking inAmerica normally and the people who push open the bathroom door as hard as possible (proving some sort of point?) and again, become extremely alarmed when someone is on the other side of the door. This seems to only happen in large buildings with many large, shared spaces.
My tip: DON’T DO THIS!!!!
- Practice Phone Etiquette: This one goes both ways. If you are on the phone in close quarters (cubicle world), speak quietly while you are on the phone. Also, if you are not on the phone, chances are someone else is on the phone so keep your banter to a low level. If you respect others, they will respect you (golden rule, anyone?!?!?!)
Directly to rude cubicle woman: Stop asking us to be quiet while you are on the phone, you sleep during your conference calls – we see you. J
- Be Nice to the Executive Assistant / Secretary / Receptionist: Whoever answers the phone will be able to locate whoever you are looking for, where their office (or person) is located and answer almost any question/s you may have.
I could very possibly banter on about this for many more paragraphs, but I do like to keep my posts short and sweet!
(This, readers, is an excellent time for comments!)