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5 Ways to Succeed in the Corporate World

5 Ways to Succeed in the Corporate World

There are a plethora of ways to succeed in the corporate world.  It doesn’t and isn’t difficult.  You’ll succeed in corporate with some perseverance, initiative, and self-advocacy.  You can succeed in the corporate world by being a team-player and working with you colleagues.

Let’s face it, most of us spend the majority of our days at the office.  With the core business hours in America running from 9:00-5:00, we definitely put in a good amount of time into our work. Getting tips and advice on how to succeed in the corporate world is definitely an interest for many of us. The corporate world consists of many subtle and unwritten rules.  In order to succeed, and succeed quickly, you need to have a good understanding and grasp on those rules.  Working in corporate America is a different system than other corporations and companies and knowing how to navigate it will help you get promoted and move up faster.

Success isn’t guaranteed, and is dependent on a variety of factors, but taking the below advice can help.

Be Your Own Advocate

Your manager has a tight schedule and even getting some face-to-face time with him or her may be difficult. When you do meet, the conversations may be around projects you are completing or upcoming tasks which need to be handled. They will not know all of the intimate details of your day-to-day and it is up to you to bring them to their attention.  

Managers have a slew of projects, tasks, and responsibilities they are handling.  If you want to stand out, you must let them know what you are working on and what your accomplishments are. Keeping a running file, broken out weekly, of tasks and projects completed is a helpful start. You’ll want to be detail oriented, including whom you worked with, what the impact of the project or task was, and if there are any revenue aspects related to it.

In addition, sending a quick synopsis email, showing concisely how your contributions to a project assisted in its completion can keep your manager abreast on your accomplishments. You will have to go out of your comfort zone. Address directly with your manager what you’ve accomplished. Don’t be shy to boast on your accomplishments.  But you don’t want to over-embellish or lie either. Be proud of your work and bring it to your managers attention. He or she will be thankful for your contributions and may place you on more high-visible projects.

Take Initiative

Too often, employees wait for work to be handed to them. Rather than waiting for a project or an issue to arise, begin digging into currently set procedures and see if you can enhance those workflows. Your manager may be extremely busy and may simply forget to include you. You should be vocal, in a professional and respectful manner, asking for additional responsibilities. You show leadership capabilities by digging into and rectifying issues. Being able to identify, troubleshoot, and resolve an issue on your own shows management that you are capable and can be trusted.

Don’t Be Late

Conversely, be early.  But don’t ever be late

This holds true for getting into work, to getting a project or task completed, to attending a meeting.  You never want to be late in any of those instances. You should always prioritize your workday and your tasks to ensure that everything is completed.  Additionally, you want to complete the tasks above expectations.

Being early and not being late shows a level of dependability. When a tough project or assignment is due, your manager will want to ensure it is completed fully and on-time and will go to you as their right hand. Putting in the additional time and effort will yield dividends in the future.  You will be the go-to person and known as someone who is capable around the office. Never be late and always be on-time with a project that is completed fully.  You will earn the trust of your manager and your peers.

Be a Manager Without the Title

I once had an employee who had been in the same position, under four different managers, for nearly a decade. He yearned to be promoted and was unsure why he was consistently looked past while others around him were promoted. On our first one-on-one, I asked him to bring me a list of roles and responsibilities he had for the upcoming month. 

In looking through the list, I saw that his responsibilities were static in nature. Essentially, he was doing the same thing over-and-over each week.  And though his work was good, he didn’t show any improvement or initiative. I tasked him with looking to see what his senior colleagues were accomplishing and to attempt to take a task off their list. I was asking him to put himself in the shoes of a senior associate and to accomplish their tasks. Once he was able to accomplish the tasks of senior members, it was straightforward and simple to get him the promotion. He has now moved on to that management title he so badly wanted.

You must show your current manager that you can accomplish and succeed in a senior role in order to be promoted and to move up the corporate ladder.

Be a Team Player

No one succeeds by themselves.  When finishing a project or task, be generous and give credit where credit is due. Management is about inclusivity; it is about bringing people together to accomplish a goal.  If people know that you will give credit where it is due, they will be more likely to help you succeed.

As-such, your manager will look to see how well you work with your colleagues, both internally and externally.  Showing that you are inclusive and work hard to make everyone noticed will get you noticed. Succeeding in the corporate world can, at times, be about luck. However, you should take every avenue available to stand-out from your colleagues. 

By taking initiative, completing tasks on time, arriving early, and having the right mindset, you place yourself in the front of the line for that promotion.

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