How to Succeed in Corporate America

This past June, I completed my second year in Corporate America. It has been thrilling roller coaster ride! I have learned a lot about myself and I have even picked up a couple things on how to succeed in this type of environment.

First, I don’t know if Corporate America will be the rest of my life. Sigh sometimes I kick myself in the foot for not considering other opportunities. Looking back I had a couple of chances to go a different direction, but I didn’t believe in myself or thought I wasn’t cut out for that kind of work. I’m trying to be more confident and asking about any and every opportunity. For example, I have asked about a job opportunity when came up in my department. I even asked about a global opportunity. I figure the more I ask, the more comfortable I get asking, even I face rejection, which I often do. Which leads me to the first lesson learned that will help you succeed in Corporate America

  1. Don’t be shy, talk to everyone, and ask about everything. One of the biggest challenges I had at the beginning of my job assignment as my serious lack of confidence. Don’t know why, but I was so intimated about approaching people. It took me a few months to get over this fear. My boss even pointed it out in my review. He thought it was strange because our previous interactions had not been like this. So, I got over my fear, and as I have become more comfortable in my area, my confidence as grown. I smile at everyone! Talk to everyone! And ask questions! Remember ask questions. Get to know people. Most of the time people are super nice and are willing to help. I know I am more than willing to help, sort of like returning the favor. When you hear about an opportunity to gain deeper breath, ask. This is harder than it seems, but now my boss sort of knows I will ask about any opportunity I hear about, no offense to him. I am at a point in my career where I need to grow, after all.
  2. Become a Subject Matter Expert in Your Area. Most likely you will come into your first job in Corporate America with absolutely no knowledge in your area. Holy crap, I still don’t know what I’m doing it, but the first couple of months were the craziest. I was getting asked to do things and about things that I had no clue how to answer. Even though I’m in sourcing, since I work for a tech company, my job includes a lot of tech lingo. So, I find myself reading a lot of technical material. I listen to the engineers. I listen to the suppliers. I listen to everybody. Some people have noted I am very well versed, and are surprised to find out I have only been in my position for 2 years. This makes me gush with happiness to know all my hard work is paying off.  You can become a subject matter expert by doing your research. It will pay off.
  3. Create an internal network. I have to admit I am not the most social person ever. And I’m part of a very hard working team that may or may not believe that socializing is acceptable as part of your work duties. But you can’t advance without creating a strong network. I have worked really hard to create a network within my company. I have joined Toastmasters, I am volunteering at special events, and I am trying to eat lunch away from my desk. Has it paid off? I’m not sure. BUT. One of the directors called me up on Friday to see if I was interested in another volunteer opportunity. She said she thought of me and thought I would be a perfect person for the opportunity. Hey! I’ll take it. I’m on people’s minds!

My primary responsibility is to rock at my job since it’s my primary and biggest source of income. It’s challenging starting out because there’s no secret recipe. Everyone has different circumstances and experiences. Do you have any additional ideas to succeed? Please share!

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