Years ago when I graduated with a business degree, I fancied myself as fierce and ready for the world!
I had been “briefed” on business structures, marketing strategies, resume styles, balance sheets, and the whole kit and caboodle. I was too hot to trot.
Then reality set in.
Although my college experience and exposure contributed to some degree to my success in the corporate arena, I must admit, in retrospect, that there were some workplace dynamics definitely not covered as we were prepared for life beyond the classroom.
Whether you are a recent graduate or are of the “Mrs. Robinson’s” era, take note.
1. Independent and progressive thinking is not always valued or encouraged. Sure, suggestion boxes and surveys are tools most employers often use to assess employee satisfaction, procedural needs, and strategic direction; still, watch your words. Be careful of expressed views that are too “radical” or those that may be perceived as a negative reflection on management. In some cases, “freedom of speech” may actually cost you.
2. Promotion isn’t always solely based on performance. Don’t believe the hype. No doubt, excellence has its rewards. But, I discovered the hard way that sometimes folks who were less qualified but more popular were recognized with preferential treatment and various perks. And you will too. Worker bees that would routinely hang out with staffers for after-hour activities were considered members of the “inner circle” and viewed as team players, and comparatively more likable. The situation bears resemblance to the hit show, “American Idol”, where those with less talent advance to higher levels in the competition due to charisma, popularity votes, or what some describe as the “it factor.”
3. Office politics are a common denominator regardless of chosen industry or sector. They’re hard to escape whether you’re working for a church, in a school setting, or a non-profit organization. Being mindful of this will help to prepare you for potential blows or setbacks.
4. Book learning is lovely, but it’ll only get you so far. For optimal success, today’s professional must employ some street-savvy, common sense and people skills to move to the head of the class and remain competitive.
Follow these four tips and the payoff will be that you’re more likely to remain gainfully employed so you can pay off that business degree! You can always head back to school with this recommended resource for online degree programs.
This is a guest post by Jennifer Brown Banks, a veteran freelance writer and pro blogger. She holds a B.A. in Business Management. Visit her site @ http://penandprosper.blogspot.com/