Corporate Life Lessons

Today, Sep 05, is celebrated as Teachers’ Day here in India. In appreciation of teachers and in celebrating the spirit of teaching, I am going to list out some lessons that I learnt first hand from my experience(s) at corporate environment(s). These may help you achieve success, if your definition of success is being peaceful and obscure at work. If success to you is making money or becoming wealthy, be forewarned – these points will not be helpful in anyway.

  1. Don’t hire based on the command of the language alone. Command of a language and a good communication are two different things. An English sentence with jargon and no grammatical error ≠ meaningful message.
  2. Keep your ego aside when you are hiring for a top level position. In one of my previous companies I worked with, an offer was rolled out to a candidate for a higher position. However, the candidate dropped out on the date of joining leaving a gaping hole that was highly visible. In order to fix this gap, the team hastily rolled out an offer to a misfit without thorough evaluation. This cost the team dearly.
  3. Age and experience are two different things. Don’t offer jobs based on total years of experience but based on relevant level of  experience.
  4. Idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Dumb people spend more time in gossiping and backbiting and usually are the ones who spend more efforts on conjuring up internal politics.
  5. When somebody explicitly says they do not lie, they do.
  6. When somebody explicitly says that they have conquered ego and they have absolutely zero ego, they have an ego larger than a mammoth. Run away from them.
  7. Don’t be nice to idiots. They sap your energy.
  8. When somebody says that cloud technology is his/her area of expertise and later asks you how to save the changes in a google sheet, don’t laugh. Go to your desk, create a meme and make it viral.
  9. When you are good at something, don’t do it for others. Especially, for idiots. They will expect you to spoon-feed them every single time.
  10. Play a fool to fool a fool. When you know something and you don’t want an idiot to ruin your day, just act that you don’t know that thing. Keep your pride aside. Focus on the peace that you will attain.
  11. Don’t trust the guy who whiles away time during work and calls you over the weekend to ask stupid questions not relevant to you, your job or your dog.
  12. When somebody repeatedly overstates that you did a wonderful job, get a rear-view mirror and watch your back.
  13. When somebody you want to avoid joins the table where you and your friends are discussing over lunch, continue showing the same level of enthusiasm on the face but switch the topic to weather, movies or sports.
  14. Get comfortable with long silences. It will be useful in those occasions where somebody joins the table and creepily observes what you and your friends talk without contributing anything. Unnerve them with your silence. If you can’t remain silent, try focusing on the dish. Ask yourselves whether that papaya you are having is naturally sweet or has added sugar.
  15. Headphones are your best friends. Start wearing one and zone-in on the work. If you can’t focus on the work, fake it. This will save you a lot of time.
  16. Learn to be conscious of your surroundings without moving your eyes away from your monitor. You will eventually learn when to turn your head and when not to.
  17. Sometimes, an insecure person will try to exclude you from important meetings. Don’t react. Trust their stupidity. If the person is stupid enough, you will be called back in the next meeting. Go with the flow.
  18. Practice tug-of-war. Sometimes you will have people dragging you down to their level of stupidity and trying to get you on their side. You need to resist it. As Captain Jack Sparrow says, ‘Wash your hands of this weirdness’.
  19. When somebody asks for your help, help the first time. Guide the second time. If they still don’t get it, just play along. They will learn it the hard way.
  20. Develop thick skin. You will meet people who are all hat and no cattle. You will see people in important technical leadership who would not know how to setup a meeting invite. Don’t fret over it. Have fun while it lasts. Ignore, take a deep breath and trust in Karma.

What would be your advice? Let me know in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Corporate Life Lessons

  1. Have nothing useful to add as I have only ever hired a housemaid. But enjoyed your post – you make the corporate world sound like the Secret Service!

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