What Are The Biggest Lessons You Have Learned In The Corporate World?
1. We all know this line, “Love your job, but don’t love your company.” It’s true. You may feel comfortable in your company but you can’t predict when company management will change policies and how it will affect you.
2. Have a backup plan (i.e. you should be able to get another job within 6 months after losing/leaving the current job).
3. Better to have more than one skill. E.g. if you are a Database Administrator, better to learn Windows or Unix administration also. In case the DBA market goes down, you have another skill and you can easily switch.
4. Automate your work so that you can have free time to read more and learn new things. If a work is repetitive, think how to automate it and do it. Don’t care if your boss or colleagues think you are sitting idle without any work. It matters whether the given work is done or not.
5. Be bold to speak to anyone (even to your CEO) about your views and ideas and don’t scare to correct and suggest if they are wrong. No company will fire you or degrade your cadre for suggestions.
6. Never use official email for anything other than work (don’t forward jokes/festival or new year greetings/birthday or anniversary wishes or any other stuff not related to work).
7. Never make personal calls in office, go out and speak. It will disturb others and they will know about your personal life. Read point 8.
8. Don’t speak/laugh louder in the cubicle. Mind others are working. Keep all non-work related chat/ jokes/laughs to lunch/tea break times.
9. Don’t give nicknames to colleagues and don’t call them with nicknames. They may not tell you directly but they will hate you inside. Always call them with the name they like.
10. Don’t drink/eat at desk. It will disturb others (smell, temptation etc). Go to lunch room and have it there.
11. Never use office internet for browsing for personal work. Use it only to get knowledge related to your work. Mind that proxy server records everything what you browse.
12. Never share your passwords even to your best friend you think. They may be good but sometimes situations make them to misuse.
14. Never call anyone Bhayya (brother), Behen (sister), Bhabhi (Sister-in-law) etc., with relations. They have a name and call it. Be professional.
15. If your office provides a mobile with a corporate SIM card, then only mention that number in your email signature. Don’t allow anyone to call on your personal mobile number.
16. If your office expects you to give support from Home, ask them to provide Laptop, Internet Connection, and VPN. Never tell you to have a laptop and internet connection at home and never use them for office use.
17. If your boss asks you to come and work on a holiday for some activity, go and work but ask for comp off or allowance for that day. Never do it for free. They will take you granted.
18. Allow people to be friendly with you but don’t allow them to cross limits and play jokes on you. Maintain the limits.
19. Whatever you learn keep sharing your knowledge with others. Send KT emails. Don’t create dependency on you. You are the person who will suffer because of dependency. You will get calls on holidays and midnight also. But if you share proper documents, others can see and solve the problems by themselves.
20. If anyone ask you something which they don’t know and you know, explain to them very clearly in the way they understand with examples. They will remember you always for teaching a new thing. Don’t think “what will I get if I teach”.
21. Never ask anyone about their caste, religion, marital status, how many children etc., Caste is a bullshit concept and many don’t like asking about it. Religion is a sensitive topic so never do discussions or arguments. Many are suffering with not getting a bride or groom for marriage and many are suffering with problems in married life and with divorces. So don’t ask. If they want to share they will share. No questions about colleague’s personal lives.
22. Be good at communication. Both written and verbal. Don’t give excuses that you didn’t study in English medium. We didn’t know to speak our mother tongue also immediately after birth. Observe others and learn the language. You need not speak fast like Bill Clinton. You can speak slowly but use correct words and grammar.
23. Before your manager knows something through someone and asks you about it, inform him/her in advance. Let him/her be updated always.
24. If your company culture is OK with calling anyone with names, follow it. If your company culture expects to call seniors and higher authorities as Sir/Madam, follow the same. Be a Roman in Rome.
25. Addendum to point 2: Don’t add/do chat with any colleague’s in WhatsApp, Facebook, Hangouts etc., You may end up talking negatively at some point of time about some other colleague or your company and they may take screenshots of it and use it against you.
26. Dress Code: Your company may allow you to come in casuals as there is no dress code in the company. But use your common sense to have your own limitations. Office is meant for work. Not a place to display your taste of clothes (fashion show), your body, your different hairstyles etc.
27. Always speak softly (but be firm). You may argue with a louder voice and win the argument or give orders, but people hate it. But if you speak softly, people will like you and it will be easy to convince them and to get your work done.
28. Say NO to meetings scheduled in lunch or dinner timings. If they can’t cancel the meeting then tell them to give break for lunch or dinner. If meeting started and not ended before lunch or dinner time start, don’t hesitate to tell “Let’s continue after lunch/dinner”. Tell that you are hungry and it will affect your health if you don’t eat in time. No one will dare to say NO.
29. Take care of your health. If you fall in bed, no colleague will be there to serve you. They may come and console you for a few minutes, but it’s your family members who will always be there with you. So never take health for granted. Read point 47 again.
30. Taking Leaves: When you don’t feel fully active or don’t feel like working, take leave. You need not get health issues to take a leave. Tell “personal work” and take leave. You need not tell what is that personal work. It’s fully your personal. You are taking leave from your leave balance. No one has the right to question.
31. Never share your next move with anyone, I repeat anyone, in the organization including those you consider your best buddy. No one should guess that you are going to leave unless you give your resignation. No one should know which company you are going to join until you join.
32. Company has been working before you join and will work after you leave. Don’t think that it will have problems without you. You are replaceable.
33. “Speech is silver. Silence is gold.” is the old proverb. Silence may be gold, but Speech is Platinum / Iridium (more valuable than Gold because it’s available less). So don’t be silent always. Speak when it is necessary. Express your views. But do it limited. When you speak others should stop speaking and listen to you. If you talk too much then no one cares.
34. Delegate not only work but authority as well. Let your subordinates take some decisions on their own. Don’t expect every small matter to be discussed with you and only you should take the decision. In reality, it will burden you. A leader should make more leaders, not slaves.
35. With reference to point 55, if you are not getting any calls and your office is running successfully by you sub-ordinates in your absence only then you are a successful manager/leader.
36. If you are able to run the team/office successfully and take (correct) decisions boldly in the absence of your manager/team leader, then you are ready to become a manager.
37. Be bold to take risks. We know the proverb, “Not taking any risk is the biggest risk”.
38. There is a line about how our mind works, “If you think/say to yourself consciously I CANNOT DO IT, then your sub-conscious mind will believe it and it will not think about it anymore. But if you question yourself HOW CAN I DO IT?, then your sub-conscious mind will work on it and will find a way to achieve it.” So be aware of your thoughts. Why I said is, never say no to any new work even if you don’t know it. Just accept it as an opportunity and think HOW CAN I DO IT? and take help of seniors/search google, learn about it and complete it. It will not only increase your confidence levels but will increase our value in the company.
39. Always look into eyes while speaking and non your head when you agree for anything. Not looking into eyes and looking away or looking at other body parts will create a negative impression on you. Forget about negative impression, first of all it’s not good manners.
40. Be a man/woman of professional ethics. Never do anything against the policies of your company/ vendors/clients.
41. Don’t take manager’s shouting to heart. Nothing will be personal in 99.99% of cases. Once you leave that office/project/company, none of you will bother about the other. It’s all about work. Remember your manager is also an employee of the company and he gets similar treatment from his/her higher authorities.
42. Don’t get scared if someone complaints verbally on you and if your higher authorities ask about it or shout at you. Ask them (the complainer, and the management) to ask everything in writing (email) and tell you will reply in email and do it. In 99.99% of cases, they are false complaints without any base and they will not ask in writing.
43. Similarly, if management ask to work for extra hours or to work on holidays (without marking attendance), ask them to send an email or give in writing. Keep it for your records.
44. When you commit a mistake, take accountability for it. Share/explain your boss and team how it happened and what loss (financial/time/reputation etc.,) happened due to it and how you rectified and what you have learned from it. You can share your mistake stories to others so that they can take care. Don’t hesitate to share. Everyone commits mistakes. It needs the courage to accept.
45. When you are sharing the mistakes of others, protect their identity always. Never give a single clue to guess the name. Just tell “One person committed this mistake and he/she and we learned this from that mistake. That’s all. Don’t mention any other details”.
46. In corporate, people see who said, but not what is said. If you are a CEO, people will execute your orders even if it is a bad idea. But if you are a beginner, then 99.99% won’t care though your idea is valuable. Exceptions are always there.
47. So, know what to tell, when to tell, whom to tell, through which channel to tell. Timing is important.
48. If you identify a problem and you know the solution for it and if you need your superiors approval to execute it and if you know that they will not agree for it because of their ego, then follow the indirect approach. Just tell them the problem and ask them for suggestions to fix the problem. Let they themselves come up with solutions. If there are any issues with solutions, tell them cons of it. Continue this till they come up with the ideal solution. Let them get the credibility of fixing an issue. Le him/her think he/she has provided the solution. Let his/her ego gets satisfied. No problem. Our main target it to get the thing done (i.e., fixing the problem).
49. If you want to convey/discuss something and if your boss or superior is not in a mood to listen to you, then text it or email it (one to one). They will definitely read it and think about it and will revert. Problem with direct speaking is there will be some disturbances like phone calls or someone else may come in between or topic may get diverted to something else based on a point and you may forget to tell some points. In case of email or text, this problem will not come and you can convey all points.
50. Some people are too much friendly. Don’t believe and open up yourself. It’s a trap. You think he/she is your best buddy and share everything including your opinion on others including your boss. The person may be a spy to others. Keep your opinions with you and share only with your family members.