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Life Hacks for Working in the Corporate World

Have you seen one of these ‘Life Hacks’ videos online?

Sourcing Business Partner

Man sitting on a conference working on his laptop

Sourcing Business Partner

Sourcing Business Partner

They basically show how to do things such as: fold your shirts differently so they can fit into a suitcase; or how to extract more toothpaste from a tube one thought was exhausted. I find them very interesting as I never really thought those otherwise simple tips possible, and wish I had known them earlier – especially when trying to avoid paying for excess baggage at the airport, or when one ran out of toothpaste!

In the corporate world, as I journey through mentorship and coaching (which I wrote about earlier here), as well as in conversations with peers, I have gleaned that there may also be Corporate World Hacks! As a young professional, there is a lot of the on-the-job learning about settling in and thriving in the workplace, which often causes confusion, and the ‘I wish someone had told me this earlier’ hunch. I therefore thought to write about it, believing it could also be of help to other young professionals, who like me, are gradually discovering the ‘corporate world hacks’ or who may not know they exist.

From my perspective, corporate world hacks are not a ‘discovery’ in the real sense, or something just evolving. It is more of a realisation as to how simple, familiar tips could help in altering our mindset / approach to issues and impact fortunes more positively in our career and personal lives.

Side note: Corporate world hacks are not cast-in-stone, ‘must-do’ activities. They however could assist one in approaching corporate life and career development differently.

Here are my five corporate world hacks (and in no particular order):

  1. Sustain hard work – regardless

    The importance of hard work cannot be overemphasized, and a lot of times working twice as hard is very necessary. Hard work is one’s selling point, as productivity speaks for and outlives one. The effort and time required are well worth it. With rapidly advancing technology, additional reading and personal development may be required to supplement existing knowledge. Yes, there are times when one may feel disillusioned, especially when it feels like hard work is not being adequately recognized but perseverance and consistency should come in handy (it is no coincidence that that is one of our core values). Ericsson is celebrating 140 years given that critical stakeholders never gave up at some point. Do not despair; hard work always pays off ultimately.

  2.  Identify and set career goals

    There is a reason that goals are often characterised as S.M.A.R.T. Do you aspire to become a CEO at the age of forty? Do you want to be a part of the leadership team by 35? It is important to clearly identify and set out what it is that one desires out of one’s career. Do not be afraid to set lofty dreams if they are in line with your vision, are relatable, and are not prescribed by someone else. Remember your dreams are valid. We have people becoming president at the age of 70! Anything is possible.

  3. Get a mentor

    Now! A mentor, a coach, or whatever you want to call it. You need someone whose career journey and success story inspires you; one whom you are accountable to, and can steer you in the right direction. Mentors exist within and outside one’s organization. Make a courageous move, politely engage them, and request their mentorship. In my previous post, I wrote about my initial lack of affinity to mentorship, and how and why that notion changed.

  4. Network

    It is often said that “your network is your net worth.” It wasn’t until recently that I fully understood the saying. By keeping a significant network of individuals from various walks of life, one could receive assistance in diverse areas. Imagine you are this amazing, hard-working engineer or financial analyst, but also good at photography, however, no one else knows about that talent. Until one reaches out, shares a story, that other side may be unknown.

    Networking can be through any form, from lunch with colleagues outside your department to Friday football sessions with friends. There really is no one best approach. Reach out to someone today, you never know, they may have a connection who is urgently looking for a photographer for a business blog. Information is power!

  5. Document your journey

    This is very important! At every step of the way, the highs, the lows, the very lows, Write. It. Down. Keep a journal where you document your journey. How your first proposal got turned down; how the board loved your presentation; how it started to rain on your way to an interview and you got drenched…anything! You will be amazed in a few years, when you read your previous posts – you will look back in gratitude at how far you have come and be thankful you documented it. What’s more, you may need a pick-me-up on days you are feeling low, or even a reminder on why you are chasing a goal.
    Finally, one can perceive how ‘easier said’ the above may sound, but I think they are worth giving a shot. Perhaps, only one of the five tips may appeal to you, and that is just okay too.

    Do you know any other Corporate World Hacks?  Please share!
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