A Guide to Corporate Life
Looking for a graduate job this year? Thinking about applying to summer internships? Perhaps considering taking on a placement year? Here I have mentioned a few key areas which I think are important when taking on the corporate world. Transitioning from student life to your desired career can be quite daunting, especially if you have not been exposed to the work culture.
Throughout your time working there will be moments where there is data to generate, a report to write, systems you must master and prepare a presentation all in the same week. This overwhelming feeling is commonly known as a burnout. Finding time for yourself can seem impossible. The negative effects of a burnout can affect every aspect of our lives. The likelihood of a burnout massively increases if you are unable to separate work from home. It’s important to find something that allows you to switch off work-mode. Whether it is seeing a friend or going to the gym or even a nice stroll in the park. Finding a hobby besides work and home has been proven to bring physical and mental health benefits. So, remember to “leave work at work”.
Improve your soft skills
Time management, problem-solving, and adaptability are some core soft skills that recruiters pay attention to. According to iCIMS Hiring Insights, 75% of recruiters have confirmed that if you are unable to demonstrate these soft skills in an interview it could cost you the job. Although it is still important to have the technical skills for a role, soft skills are personal traits that determine how you work on your own and collaborate with others. One way to work on these can be to find free online courses on Linkedin Learning or Coursera. Also getting involved with more teamwork exercises in a work or sport activity can significantly improve communication and problem-solving skills.
Don’t be afraid to say no
When first starting off a corporate job you may feel overwhelmed with the intensity of work or deadlines you need to adhere to. You may find your plate full. If you are engaged in group work, you may be asked to help or do tasks that you weren’t originally assigned. Having a lot on your plate can often lead to errors and inconsistencies which will affect your performance. As a novice employee, it’s only natural that you would want to say yes to every task. If you are asked to help with more than you can handle, and it begins to feel like too much. Do not be afraid to say no. Speak up. It is okay to have an open and honest communication with your manager and let them know.
Network Network Network
Businesses and careers are built on relationships. Relationships form when people meet and interact with each other. Developing these relationships allow for exchange of knowledge and help you connect with others you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Do not underestimate the potential opportunities networking can give you access to. Get involved in networking events, don’t be afraid to walk up to people and start a conversation.
During our studies we have all had the experience writing assignments in a formal, educational context. However, in the business world you will need to use this language daily. It’s not just writing emails or an assignment where there is time to construct your sentences. In meetings, you will have to adapt to communicate in a professional and respectful manner when speaking with colleagues or clients on the spot. Begin practicing your professional language with your peers and colleagues-alike to make you more comfortable.
Starting this new chapter in your life is exciting, and you will learn many things along the way through your own individual experiences. Embrace it, and most importantly, enjoy the adventure.