Working for a Global 500 Company
Ever since I started business school when I was 18, my goal was to land a position at a Global 500 company. I did everything I possibly could to give myself an edge including getting good grades, volunteering, being a leader, working for a start up (it just happened), and going for a Master’s. I was lucky to interview for some great Fortune 500 companies, and even luckier to land at one. I have now completed six weeks full time at my position. I’m by far not a seasoned employee, but wanted to share some things that I have already noticed.
- Politics – I have dealt with politics before, but for the most part have been shielded from the tectonic shifts. As a newbie on my team, I am partly shielded from politics by my co workers and manager, but I have already noticed and been informed of politics. I am trying to be careful and not burn myself in this field.
I will need to write another post on how I am avoiding politics.
- Accountability/Responsibility – My company is heavily matrix-ed and we report to several people. Sometimes it seems, well, not sometimes, all the time it seems like there’s so many hands in the pot. It’s hard to tell who actually has final say on a project because there are so many voices directing the project. This together is another post I will have to write soon.
- Experience Matters- I am lucky to have high performers on my team who are very bright and older than me. I am a newbie in all respects. At only 22, the next oldest person on my team is 30, the next is late 30s, early 50s. I work in a highly technical field, and it seems like half the conversation is via acronyms. At meetings, I rapidly write down as many acronyms as I can so I can figure out what it means. The people with more experience just know more, and I am trying to learn as much as I can from them.
- Roles – Everyone from an engineer to a project manager to a sales rep has different roles to play and different performance metrics to meet. They all have different opinions on how a project should go; it’s a balancing game.
- Processes – Large company means lots of processes. Our need to streamline everything to become more strategic is an ever constant challenge.
- Paperwork – Enough said.
- Silos – Every department, business unit, and region has different goals. It’s very similar to siblings fighting for the parents’ attention or the one piece of cake left.
- You Are Replaceable – Remember who writes the paychecks.
- Heels Hurt- After walking up and down the stairs, to colleagues’ bays, and to the restroom, my feet kill me by the end of the day. Which means those four inch heels I bought ’cause they were cute right before I started working are not practical. Wedges are my friend. I need to find some fall friendly wedges.
I have worked for small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits before. It’s always a challenge starting in a new role, but I am currently drowning in spreadsheets, numbers, and tasks. Do I have plenty of time to complete my tasks? Yes. Do I have enough knowledge to complete my tasks? Nope. Still paddling up a creek here.