The Corporate world, as some of us might have already experienced, can be quite terrifying. Interviews, performance appraisals, strict deadlines, and even staff socials can all be very intimidating in their own unique way, but are all very crucial to a company’s success. For many young professionals, especially in this day and age, adapting to company culture can be a very daunting task, so here are a few tips and tricks to help ease the transition and get you on your feet.
Although most people hate to say it, appearance is a very crucial part of the business environment. From your first interview to even a staff social, you are constantly giving off an impression whether you are aware of it or not. Company culture can be very different depending on whichever industry you may choose to work in, but in most corporate environments, business formal attire is normally enforced. Going from wearing sweats to campus everyday to wearing a suit and tie all week long can be a task of its own, but a little creativity can go a long way. I always try to spice up my outfits with crazy socks and even crazier ties, and though some days I feel like Don Cherry, it makes suiting up for work every day a little less painful. Always feel free to let your personality shine through your wardrobe and dress to impress, because when you look good, you feel even better, and happiness looks good on everyone!
Keeping up with current events; whether it be news, sports, weather, politics, etc … can also help ease the transition into a new work space. Surrounded by colleagues with different interests and backgrounds, it becomes tough to really connect with them on a personal level.
My supervisor (whom I spend 90% of the day with) is about 40 years old, and as you might have guessed, had nothing in common with me whatsoever. Safe to say this made for an awkward first few weeks on the job. I then began following several news stations and keeping up to date with what was going on in the world, and lo and behold, conversation started to flow. Some days it’s sports, other days its entertainment, and some days, (as boring as it may sound) we even discuss weather forecasts. Bottom line is that people love to talk about what is going on in the world, and while being left out of the conversation is painful enough, living under a rock also poses several problems of its own. Something as simple as watching the news, reading the newspaper, and even scrolling through your twitter feed can make all the difference in not only the corporate world, but in how we interact as people.
Finally, confidence, as simple of a term it may be, is almost fundamental when conducting ourselves in a professional atmosphere. It may be tough to stray away from our once “shy” selves and put our personalities to the test, but it is almost necessary to establish who we are. Being confident means more than just a stern handshake and strong eye contact, it means having the ability and the know-how to be comfortable in your own skin. They hired YOU for a reason, they saw something in YOU that stood out from all other candidates, and it is up to YOU to let that part of you shine and differentiate yourselves from your colleagues. The key to a successful team is diversity, so although you might feel out of place in your own skin, it does not mean you should change by any means. Our personalities are all key pieces to the puzzle and without one of those pieces, the puzzle cannot be completed. Our confidence is what defines us in the work place and by expressing who we truly are, we are more likely to excel in comparison to those who put on a front in order to get ahead. One little tip that helps with my confidence throughout the week is my preparation for the day. I have made a habit of waking up early, having a big breakfast, and mentally preparing myself for whatever the day might have in store for me. It is quite tough to express who you really are if you are running on 4 hours of sleep, so make sure to get in your 8 hours and seize the day! This helps generate a healthier mindset and ultimately gives you the confidence you need make the most of your week.
Corporate culture can be very different and frightening, but I can only hope that these few tips and tricks will help make your transition into the business world that much easier. Remember to be fearless in the pursuit of what drives you forward and always stay hungry. The opportunities are endless and anything is possible! I hope you enjoyed my “Corporate Code of Conduct” and always remember to #DreamAchieveInspire. Till next time Gryphons.
Director of Corporate Relations, DECA U Guelph 2017-2018