While corporations don’t have the sex appeal of startups, they employ a lot of us.
As the Washington Post has reported, 65% of the jobs created since 1990 have come from companies with more than 500 employees.
That invites a question: How does one navigate corporate life?
Here are the takeaways.
Focus on production, not effort.
Working an insane number of hours isn’t a ticket up the corporate ladder.
“Results are what matter,” warns user Nick Simon — it’s not about how “hard” of a worker you are.
“Putting in long hours doesn’t make you a good employee,” he adds. “It makes you an inefficient employee.”
For greater efficiency, consult Warren Buffett.
Don’t hate on people.
“Never ever speak foul about anybody behind their back,” said user Aveek Roy Chowdhury. “Even to the best of people. Even the walls have eyes and ears. They also have limbs to kick some sense into you!”
Put another way: You’re the master of what you don’t say, you’re the slave of what you do.
Study the people that succeed.
Management might earnestly proclaim that teamwork and dedication are what get you ahead.
But you’re more cunning than that.
“Look at the employees who are successful, who get the recognition, who rise quickly — they represent what the company is looking for,” says user Rob Pawlikowski. “What do they do that you can do?”
Keep improving, on purpose.
Psychologists have discovered lots about biases.
One of the biggest takeaways: We’re not very good at knowing what we’re not good at.
Thus the need to talk your boss.
“Take feedback from your supervisor on your soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork,” says Arif Nezami. “Your supervisor knows best your strengths and weaknesses. Know them and work towards them.”
The best venue for such a conversation? Mega VC Ben Horowitz recommends the one-on-one meeting.
Gather transferable skills.
You’re not going to be at this job forever.
Day to day, keep your next step in mind.
“The important thing for you is to learn skills that make you valuable for your next job,” says Nate Doromal. “Take some time everyday to learn something new and challenging. If you aren’t doing this, then you are at risk of becoming a dinosaur.”
To know what skills to develop, consider the eleven qualities Google desires.
“Make as many friends as possible,” says user Wisnu Nugroho. “They will always come in handy. Always.”
While some grumps will recommend that you isolate yourself from your peers, decades of organizational psych research suggests that continually growing quality relationships is required for advancing to the top.
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