Why Working in Corporate America Can Be So Difficult

Don’t they look like so much fun?

When your teammates aren’t aligned towards the same values, sparks fly. In great companies, not only is the mission very clear, but the values are as well. The Golden State Warriors have a mission to win a championship, and it’s clear by their habits, their work ethic, and their drive.

They value compassion, mindfulness, joy, and competition, and you can tell by the way they bring out the best in players that they reinforce these values every day.

In my experience, there are a few key components to being successful at your job, some you can control, some you can’t, and a lot of these are connected to the culture that is put in place.

In Your Control

Communicate Effectively
Manage expectations and tell people what you’re doing and it will always work out better. Know who your stakeholders are and who will be affected when things go south.

Up Your Ability
Work smarter, get more training on the skills you need to succeed (e.g. new programming frameworks, new types of experimental recipes, ways to do things faster).

Be Open To Feedback
Invite people to criticize you or sometimes they never will.

Be Realistic/Proactive
Just because your boss tells you what to do doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you should be doing. A good boss will welcome smart thinking and also setting the right expectations. Underpromise, overdeliver.

Be Clear on Responsibilities
Don’t just absorb work or else you’re not going to be focused on the right stuff.

Zoom In and Zoom Out
When getting too bogged down in miscellaneous tasks, make sure what you’re doing is actually important. Don’t just focus on the urgent items. If you don’t know if it’s important, then ask. Sweat the details when they matter.

Outside Your Control

Put in Position to Succeed
Do you have a good boss that cares about your success and your workload? Is there a good learning opportunity? Can you build a POV on your work? Can you succeed in a reasonable amount of time without help? Are your teammates cooperative? A lot of times we take the answers above for granted.

Defined Role
What are you judged upon? What’s your criteria for success? Do you have enough time to work on the right things?

A Clear Mission Statement
How should you guide your thinking when there’s not enough time to sweat out all the details? How do you fill in the gaps?

People Who are Willing to Listen
Just like how we need to be open to feedback, those around us need to be willing to have an open dialogue.

The hope is as you take on what’s in your control and up your professionalism, others take note and you help influence and shape the culture in your own way.


Thanks for reading ❤