What I Learned From Working In The Corporate World

So I thought that the best way to spend a Friday after being grandly annoyed by the management is to write up a list of Corporate lessons:

Corporate Lessons
Corporate Lessons

  1. No one is your friend
  2. Trust no one.
  3. No one wants you do better than them.
  4. Don't indulge in gossip.
  5. Don't write anything to anyone that may get you into trouble.
  6. Be vary of the information extractors. You are frustrated with your boss or your senior and you end up ranting it out to the devil, all it needs is little empathy and push from the devil. Know that this will be used against you in some way or the other.
  7. Having a great mentor is priceless. You can probably teach yourself everything, but you can't drill down the insights gained from experience, sieve through them when a situation arises and apply the apt solution.
  8. If you don't market your own work, no one else will and it's as good as getting no work done. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
  9. Never go to anyone just with the problem, do your own research, find out viable solutions and if still in doubt, then ask by presenting your own solutions.
  10. Take a stand, be assertive even if it makes you uncomfortable. Otherwise people will just walk all over you.
  11. Look at every work assignment as a value added to resume. If it doesn't, try to get out of it.
  12. Your work should never cost you your family. Remember that you are replaceable in office, no matter how good you are, but it's not the same with family.
  13. Don't work yourself to death. Your health must be a top priority and should never be compromised on. Sometimes, even money can't buy health.
  14. If you don't ask, the answer will always be NO.
  15. You may prefer maintaining a low profile, but if your work doesn't linger in your boss's mind, which is filled with everyone else's work, your work won't matter. It's your job to remind your boss of your work.
  16. Most of the meetings are useless.
  17. Most of the emails are useless.
  18. Pay attention in KT sessions, if you have time, try it out yourself after the session.
  19. It doesn't matter how much efforts you have put, how many weekends you have spent, unless you show the results.
  20. Don't hesitate to take up space when talking about your work. Speak slow and with clarity. Always talk about the challenges you ran into and how you have solved them. 
  21. Stay humble. But don't be overly modest that you downplay your own work.
  22. Don't engage in mail battles. Talk in person.
  23. If you haven't learned anything new in the past year, it's time to move on.
  24. Use corporate resources - take up trainings and update your skills.
  25. Office politics is a real thing that happens everywhere.
  26. Be reliable - be the person whom everyone can trust to get work done with no issues.
  27. Look busy - even if you are not.
  28. Build connections with everyone.
  29. Your company is never grateful to you and you will be dropped or replaced without second thought.
  30. Always be prepared to switch, you never know what can happen.
  31. Never compare and compete with the person to whom work is everything. Don't change your priorities out of peer pressure.
  32. Stick to your estimates - never exceed them and also never submit before the estimates, lest you want more work to be dumped. Also, don't reduce estimates by caving into management's pressure or when they ask you the same thing multiple times.
  33. Appraisals are useless, your rating and hike are predetermined in your boss's mind already. But it's necessary that you document all the work you have done.
  34. Work doesn't have to be your calling, it can just be something that pays your bills and helps you live comfortably.
  35. Don't settle to be stagnated.
  36. Catch up with new skills and stay up to date with the market.
  37. Don't mix professional and personal.
  38. Maintain your own work log - this makes it easier to keep track of all the offline things(like enabling juniors) you are doing.
  39. Don't pay too much attention to the cynical people who will try to bring you down for everything.
  40. Stick to same office timings everyday, whatever they are and let the team get used to it.
  41. Dress for the job.
  42. Make it look easy, hide your stress.
  43. Ask for opportunities, ask for that hot new feature which you are interested in, but not part of it.
  44. Don't get emotional, always be professional. Get out of the situation, if you feel that you are getting quite unstable.
  45. Study or work on your personal projects in discreet. 
  46. Update your resume often.
  47. You will have more scope to learn, work and take up high paying risky jobs when you are quite young and unmarried, with less responsibilities.
  48. You have to steer your career and may have to fight for that to happen - to get aligned projects.
  49. Don't burn the bridges, how much ever you hate anyone. The world is short and there are high chances that you may run into your old colleagues in a new company.
  50. Own your work. Be accountable. Accept your faults.
  51. Don't let pride stop you from asking help from someone. The end goal is getting your work done.
  52. Don't share your personal life details with anyone. You have your friends for that and colleagues are not your friends.
  53. Cover your tracks. Keep all critical decisions, discussions, unofficial KTs in email, not in chat. Just drop a mail at the end of everything - "As discussed,..."
  54. Don't react, only respond. Never lose your cool.
  55. Be nice. Sarcastic and snide remarks will only make others secretly hate you.
  56. Never let anyone come to know about your job hunt outside. 
  57. Don't bring in religion, caste, political beliefs and money in any discussions.
  58. Your higher management is more powerful than you and going against them won't always be in your favor even if they are wrong. HR always prefer saving the manager than supporting a regular replaceable employee.
  59. Use up your leaves. Take a break from work.
  60. Anything which your boss quotes as a reason for not getting hike, is a "A racoon flew in..."  BS story, no matter how genuine and compelling it sounds.  
  61. Personal appreciation mails and a pat on shoulder in your 1-1s are useless.
  62. Your management may give an impression that all that matters is efficient work, but people who are at desk for longer hours and who stay in late, do leave their mark in management's minds.
  63. When everything goes smooth, no one notices. But if you make one mistake, your name will fly high world wide into everyone's mailboxes.
  64. Perception is reality, you need to manage your image and how your work is perceived by others.
  65. You are not just your job, your job is not your sole identity.
  66. Don't tell your idea or share your knowledge to just one person, lest they take credit for it. Share it in a group.
  67. 80/20 : Focus more on the work that matters the most, instead of sweating over the edge or trivial cases forever.
  68. Ask the right kind of questions to see through other person's BS.
  69. Everyone is two faced and no one is transparent.
  70. Expect no loyalty.
  71. Take periodical backups, you never know when you will be logged out by the system permanently.
  72. Don't make any enemies, stay diplomatic even in ugly situations.
  73. Don't be always available.
  74. Help people, but finish your work first.
  75. Follow up about your hike with your manager the same way your manager follows up with you about work. 
  76. Never give spot/gut feel estimate no matter how much your boss pressurizes you - say you will check and get back.
  77. "Under promise and over deliver" , "Let the work speak for itself" are all bad advices. Again, stick to the estimates and market your work.
  78. Everything comes at a cost. High flexible job may mean low pay and high pay may mean 24*7 work. Choose what is important for you.
  79. Seek feedback from your boss and seniors about your work.
  80. First impressions matter and sometimes it takes forever to change them.

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