What are the top 10 biggest lessons you have learned from the corporate world?
According to Wikipedia, Corporate America is an informal (and sometimes derogatory) phrase describing the world of corporations and big business within the United States and Canada.
Below are the Top 10 potential lessons that might be learned from working in a corporate environment:
- The importance of teamwork and collaboration: Working in a corporate environment often requires you to work as part of a team and to collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
- The value of communication: Effective communication is essential in the corporate world, both when interacting with colleagues and when dealing with clients or customers.
- The need for adaptability: The corporate world is constantly changing, and it is important to be able to adapt to new situations and challenges as they arise.
- The importance of professionalism: Maintaining a professional demeanor and following appropriate workplace protocols is crucial in the corporate world.
- The need for time management and organization: In a corporate environment, it is important to be able to manage your time and resources effectively and to stay organized.
- The importance of developing strong problem-solving skills: Working in a corporate environment often requires you to solve complex problems and make decisions under pressure.
- The value of networking: Building strong professional relationships and networking with others in your industry can be beneficial for your career development.
- The importance of learning and development: Continuing to learn and grow as a professional is important in the corporate world, both for your own development and for the success of your organization.
- The need for conflict resolution skills: Conflicts and misunderstandings are a normal part of working in a corporate environment, and it is important to have the skills to resolve these conflicts effectively.
- Maintain a positive attitude: A positive attitude can help you stay motivated and focused, and can also influence the people around you in a positive way.
- Develop strong communication skills: Being able to clearly articulate your thoughts and ideas, listen effectively to others, and communicate with people from different backgrounds is crucial in the corporate world.
- Build a strong network: Building strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and industry professionals can help you advance your career and open up new opportunities.
- Take ownership of your work: Taking responsibility for your work and delivering high-quality results is essential for success in the corporate world.
- Continuously learn and grow: Staying up-to-date with industry trends and continuously learning new skills will help you stay competitive and adapt to change.
- Be proactive and take initiative: Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do – take the initiative to identify problems and find solutions.
- Be adaptable and flexible: The corporate world is constantly changing, so being able to adapt to new situations and approaches is key to success.
- Manage your time effectively: Being able to prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively will help you meet deadlines and achieve your goals.
- Set clear goals and objectives: Setting clear goals and objectives will help you stay focused and motivated, and will also make it easier to measure your progress.
- Be willing to take risks: Success often requires stepping outside your comfort zone and taking calculated risks.
A job or career in corporate America is usually the best entry to true middle class or even upper middle class for managers, but it comes with baggages.
1- Every single day, there is someone whose job is to figure out how to get rid of you without impacting the business. Make choice that are good for you and your family only. If you leave, no one will care. Everybody is replaceable.
2- No emotion, nobody cares for you. The occasional smiles are 95% fake. Never forget that.
3- Always figure out a way to be good and be needed, because at the second they realize they can do it without you with minimal effect to the team or business, you will be gone.
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4- Always improve yourself and keep your eyes open on the market. Never get too comfortable. Be nice to recruiters, always reply nicely to their email even if you are not available. The tide can turn very quickly. Always keep a pulse on the job market. At least twice a year apply for jobs in your industry to get a sense on what your skills trade for in the open market and to sharpen your interviewing skills. It is also a great habit to be in the orbit of recruiters because they operate within a tight-knit ecosystem, network with, and know one another. If you’re not a great fit for one role, and they like you, they’ll refer you to a friend or colleague looking to fill another role as a courtesy.
5- If you are very technical , the best outcome for you is to open your own business or become an independent consultant or contractor or freelancer while working in corporate. Once your own business pick up, quit your corporate job and discover real freedom.
Read this thread on Reddit for successful freelance stories from people who are sick and tired of Corporate America:
Read this excellent answer from Quora…
6- Be very wise and knowledgeable about the business, but stay humble at the same time: Be friendly without making friends. Being too cold can prevent colleagues from sharing gossips with you and those gossips can be helpful sometimes.
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7- Stay away from people who complain too much, they slow productivity and can drag you with them and expose you.
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8- HR is not your friend. Their jobs is to protect the big bosses and their own job. Think twice before reporting racists, sexists, bullies, …or you will be gone. If you are victim of any of that as a minority, look for a new job and report it anonymously, otherwise your career will be over. All the following characteristics are overlooked by most HR departments:
The ability to be the “bigger person”
9- Become a subject matter in at least one topic or area within your department of team to make yourself indispensable. Be result oriented and not effort oriented. Result matter more than effort. Focus on getting things done instead of on working hard. They are more than often not the same thing.
10- Volunteer to headline new projects and gain visibility from leadership. It might help during tough times when cuts are needed.
11- Be kind, especially to nerds, they will probably own a company one day and will remember you. Be authentic, work hard and be wise and kind, especially to the awkward and silent ones. Introverts, extroverts, flashy dressers, frumpy dressers, are sometime gifted with supreme execution and succeed in business, which proves one thing: Success doesn’t care how you show up; just that you show up.
12- Never waste your weekend or holidays for office work. Your company is not going to take care of your family. You will regret later when the time will start taking your loved ones back, every product of nature has expiry date. This is harsh truth.
13- Emotional and professional are opposite words in corporate culture. Don’t share your emotional stories with your colleagues, surely one day, they are gonna make fun of your emotions and use it against you.
14- Keep your spirit and self respect up and never let anyone harm your image. They selected you because you were better than others and you add value to the company.
15- Never make a relationship in the office, a single mistake will destroy your personal and professional life.
Other Corporate America stories:
What are the unwritten rules and dark truth of corporate America?
What are your best tips to survive corporate America?
Disclaimer: The content of this post doesn’t describe or target any company I worked with in particular, it is based on research and discussion with friends working with several companies within Corporate America.
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List of Freely available programming books - What is the single most influential book every Programmers should read
- Bjarne Stroustrup - The C++ Programming Language
- Brian W. Kernighan, Rob Pike - The Practice of Programming
- Donald Knuth - The Art of Computer Programming
- Ellen Ullman - Close to the Machine
- Ellis Horowitz - Fundamentals of Computer Algorithms
- Eric Raymond - The Art of Unix Programming
- Gerald M. Weinberg - The Psychology of Computer Programming
- James Gosling - The Java Programming Language
- Joel Spolsky - The Best Software Writing I
- Keith Curtis - After the Software Wars
- Richard M. Stallman - Free Software, Free Society
- Richard P. Gabriel - Patterns of Software
- Richard P. Gabriel - Innovation Happens Elsewhere
- Code Complete (2nd edition) by Steve McConnell
- The Pragmatic Programmer
- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
- The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie
- Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest & Stein
- Design Patterns by the Gang of Four
- Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
- The Mythical Man Month
- The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth
- Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools by Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi and Jeffrey D. Ullman
- Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
- Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
- Effective C++
- More Effective C++
- CODE by Charles Petzold
- Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley
- Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael C. Feathers
- Peopleware by Demarco and Lister
- Coders at Work by Peter Seibel
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
- Effective Java 2nd edition
- Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler
- The Little Schemer
- The Seasoned Schemer
- Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby
- The Inmates Are Running The Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
- The Art of Unix Programming
- Test-Driven Development: By Example by Kent Beck
- Practices of an Agile Developer
- Don't Make Me Think
- Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices by Robert C. Martin
- Domain Driven Designs by Eric Evans
- The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman
- Modern C++ Design by Andrei Alexandrescu
- Best Software Writing I by Joel Spolsky
- The Practice of Programming by Kernighan and Pike
- Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware by Andy Hunt
- Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art by Steve McConnel
- The Passionate Programmer (My Job Went To India) by Chad Fowler
- Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
- Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs
- Writing Solid Code
- Getting Real by 37 Signals
- Foundations of Programming by Karl Seguin
- Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C (2nd Edition)
- Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel
- The Elements of Computing Systems
- Refactoring to Patterns by Joshua Kerievsky
- Modern Operating Systems by Andrew S. Tanenbaum
- The Annotated Turing
- Things That Make Us Smart by Donald Norman
- The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander
- The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management by Tom DeMarco
- The C++ Programming Language (3rd edition) by Stroustrup
- Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
- Computer Systems - A Programmer's Perspective
- Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C# by Robert C. Martin
- Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests
- Framework Design Guidelines by Brad Abrams
- Object Thinking by Dr. David West
- Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment by W. Richard Stevens
- Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
- The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder
- CLR via C# by Jeffrey Richter
- The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander
- Design Patterns in C# by Steve Metsker
- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
- About Face - The Essentials of Interaction Design
- Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky
- The Tao of Programming
- Computational Beauty of Nature
- Writing Solid Code by Steve Maguire
- Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing
- Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications by Grady Booch
- Effective Java by Joshua Bloch
- Computability by N. J. Cutland
- Masterminds of Programming
- The Tao Te Ching
- The Productive Programmer
- The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick
- The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World by Christopher Duncan
- Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case studies in Common Lisp
- Masters of Doom
- Pragmatic Unit Testing in C# with NUnit by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas with Matt Hargett
- How To Solve It by George Polya
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Smalltalk-80: The Language and its Implementation
- Writing Secure Code (2nd Edition) by Michael Howard
- Introduction to Functional Programming by Philip Wadler and Richard Bird
- No Bugs! by David Thielen
- Rework by Jason Freid and DHH
- JUnit in Action
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