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10 Insider Lessons No One in the Business World Will Teach You

10 Insider Lessons No One in the Business World Will Teach You
From Recruiter - July 26, 2016

It took me years to comprehend why people functioned so differently in the corporate world from the way I functionedor expected them to function. On the one hand, my clarity of thought, determination, ambitiousness, andcreativity helped me excel in my careerbecause these traits were highly valued in the competitive business culture; on the other hand, I found that when it came to people skillsparticularly networking, leveraging influence, and positioningmy value system was very different from the one I met in the business world.

Turns out my parents didnt raise a kid who was ready to face the cutthroat corporate environment, which is typically the case for manyfresh grads who come from similarlyprotective and safe backgrounds.

Whether we like it or not, the corporate world is the real world, and we have to learn how to navigate it successfully. To help you get up to speed much more quickly than I did, Im sharing some of theunwritten rules of the game. Nobody will tell you these things. Most of us have to figure them out on our ownbut reading this guide can give you a head start on the competition.

1. Your Worth to the Company IsTied to Your Last Performance Evaluation

Im not kidding. Even if you were a top performer for five years in a row, youre doomed if you didnt manage to get a top rating this year, too, for whatever reason.

I know, not all companies are the same. You may think that in your amazing company, managersreally sit down and evaluate all your results, compare them to your peers, iron out the differences in workloads and responsibilities, and give you a fair assessment.

That may be true for some, but many of you arein for a rude awakening.

2. Some People Are Only Nice to You When You Are Influential or They Need You

Once your level ofinfluence changes or they no longer need you, so does their behavior.

Sadly, it is often the case that someone who became your best friend wont even say so much as Hi once your role changes. As if that werentenough to shock the living heck out of you, that same person may soon be back on your team and have the audacity to treat you like a friend again.

Ive experienced this twice, and I am still baffled as to how people can manage such extreme levels of duplicity.Maybe they think I suffer from amnesia?

3. Promotions Are Not Linked to PerformanceThey Are Linked to the Perception of Your Performance

We all view thingsthrough our own lenses. My map of the world could be drastically different from your map because of ourdiffering values, beliefs, experiences, and cultures. When you are working in a diverse, multiethnic organization staffed bypeople from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, differences in perception can matter a great deal.

Perception is reality. If you want to advance, it is imperative that you portray the right pictureof your work and results to the decision-makers who matter.

4. Being in the Right Place at the Right Time Can Matter More Than Results

We all know that fortunate know-it-all who got promoted before everyone else despite theirmediocre results. How did they manage to do that?

Building your image, networking, and exposure can get you places you never even dreamedof. Dont rely on your boss to do it for you. Create a network of influential leaders, sponsors, and mentors who know you and your achievements. Then,as soon as an opportunity opens up,youll be top of mindwithall the right decision-makers.

5. When Youre a Star, Most of Your Mistakes Will Be Forgiven

I have had the privilege of making some potentially career-lethal mistakes that went overlookedbecauseI was delivering results and management perceived me as a star.

At the same time, Ive seen cases where management wasjust fishing for mistakes so they could kiss an employee goodbye. The key is to be diligent and cautious at all times, especially when you are not completelymeetingexpectations. Even the slightest issue can get you into trouble.

6. High-Paid Opinions Hold More Weight than Low-Paid Facts

There are the actual data and facts, and then there are opinions and positioning. The opinions of higher-paid (and higher-ranking) people matter more in most organizations. Even when lower-paid (and lower-ranking) people have data and facts on their sides, top management has the right andauthority to do as they please. The earlier you learn this, the better.

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