Right now I’m a dog sitter but I used to be in the business world. I held the title of VP in more than one company. I’ve worked for big, giant, small, and tiny companies and feel like I’ve learned a lot from every single experience. Yesterday I was talking to an ex-coworker and just hearing her corporate stories raised my blood pressure. Corporate life isn’t for the weak. I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned so if you are on your way to this kind of career you know what to expect … for real.
* The Boss doesn’t have to be nice. The Boss doesn’t have to return your call or email. If they do return your email they are allowed to do so with one word messages that you may find “short” or “harsh.” The Boss doesn’t have to come in on time or work through lunch. The Boss doesn’t have to ask someone to do something 20 times or wait 4 days for IT to fix his computer. The Boss can tell you what clients he wants to see, how he wants to see them, and when. Do you know why? HE IS THE BOSS. Getting annoyed or angry at these things is a giant waste of your time and energy. If something happens and the answer is “He’s the Boss.” then shrug it off and move on.
* Men suck. Ladies men in the work place can reach a level of asshatishness that is simply unbelievable. It was announced this morning that GM promoted the first woman ever to CEO. Not just the first women in GM history but the first woman in American automotive history. We’ve come a long way but that doesn’t mean it was easy or that everyone is happy about it. I know that is taboo to say but I honestly believe it. Some men don’t respect women in these higher positions and many are resentful we are even there. Even if that resentment isn’t something they are aware of. My suggestion to you … learn how to stop yourself from crying. Women cry. We just do. It may not even mean anything but we still cry. It makes us look weak and allows men to take advantage. Learn the tricks to stop yourself. You will need it. I’ve been screamed at in front of a group of my male colleagues for all our teams struggling to make goal. I’ve been called a bitch to my face, behind my back, to my employees. I’ve been told I was cold and that is why I have no husband. That’s right … they don’t just keep it in the work place they will hit you were it hurts. I’ve been told to use boobs to my sell more (which honestly isn’t bad advice). I’ve had a boss who called me Wednesday simply because he couldn’t be bothered to know my name. The list goes on and on. These hurtful statements have come from bosses, co-workers and men I’ve been promoted over. I always tell myself they have miserable lives at home and it has made them sad little men. It helps!
* Don’t be a vendor. Unless you are really good at sucking up and kissing ass stay away from vendor life. Sure you can make a lot of money there but think about it long and hard before you make that step. Once in a vendor life it is very hard to transfer back to the client side. Choose your career steps carefully. No matter how your marketing team wants to spin it that you are a “partner” to your client know that it is all (or mostly) BS. You are a vendor.
* Pack a lunch and get out of the office to eat it. Lunch is your time out. I don’t care if the kiss ass in the cubicle next to you is eating lunch at his desk. Stand up and get out! It’s not healthy to sit at your computer that long. Don’t let those other people fool you. They aren’t working. They are on Facebook. Everyone knows it.
* Sales requires drinking. If you are taking the steps into sales learn how to handle your booze. You will be drinking. Drinking to numb the pain of your unreasonable sales goals and drinking to bond with co-workers and clients. Find a non-fluffy drink you can stomach a lot of and buckle down. Bombay Sapphire and tonic is my choice. All bars have it, it isn’t crap gin but it also isn’t stupid expensive. Plus if your bartender is crap it has the ingredients right in the name.
* Find a healthy stress killer. If you don’t find something healthy that drinking thing may get out of control! Find something that helps you release and distress like exercise and then do it … EVERY SINGLE DAY. Make time to do it. If that means leaving work on time … then do that! You are better off to your company if you are there for less hours and healthy than a basket case that works 20 hours a day. You will feel pressure to stay longer hours, work when you get home, or check your blackberry before you go to bed. Just don’t do it. Believe me if you are getting your job done you will be fine. Once you start to do these things it is very hard to stop. Just don’t start in the first place. You know that one person who seems to get away with everything? You know how he does that? HE JUST DOES! Do your job. Do it well but don’t let it take over who you are.
There you go. Some cold hard truths for this chilly December day!