Job Choices 2012 - Diversity Edition - (Page 46)
Adapting to Corporate Culture
By understanding the corporate culture, you can increase your comfort level and chances for success.
Like people of different ethnic groups, every company and organization has a unique set of values, norms, traditions, and customs. Corporate culture refers to the beliefs, behaviors, and practices of an organization and its people in the pursuit of a shared purpose, commitment, and direction. Simply put, corporate culture is who the company is, what the company stands for, and how things are done in that company. The culture tells you what the company believes in, strives for, and actually practices. By recognizing the corporate culture, you can increase your comfort level and chances of success in the organization. More importantly, you can determine if the company is compatible with your values and aspirations. To adapt successfully, you will need to meet expectations, manage ofﬁce politics, build a track record, and avoid corporate traps and stereotypes. The strategies outlined here can help you. Finally, keep in mind these essential truths as you make your way in the workplace: You can’t succeed by yourself. You succeed when you share your success with others. Politics is not something at which you win or lose; it is, simply, the way things are done.
Build a track record
To ensure that your company recognizes you as an asset, not a liability, incorporate the following strategies into your job performance:
Continually strive to develop unequaled and transferable skills.
You have to think in terms of two extremes: unique and universal. Few things ensure a successful track record like developing uncommon skills or skills that have broad applications.
Stay industry smart.
Listen to what people are saying and read industry literature, including newsletters and trade journals.
Position yourself properly.
Corporations are extremely sensitive to the bottom line. People are l hired to produce results—to improve effectiveness and efﬁciency. Executives want people who can help them solve problems. Companies want people with a “can-do” attitude and good work habits. In short, they want people who: • Share the company’s goals and objectives. • Project the company’s image. • Understand the company’s products, goals, markets, and customers. • Are ﬂexible and have a range of skills. • Are persistent, reliable, thorough, and able to meet deadlines. • Demonstrate initiative and a good grasp of what needs to be done without close supervision. • Communicate well both verbally and in writing. • Are congenial and cooperative. • Are team players. • Stay up to date in their ﬁelds. • Care about quality. • Leave personal problems at home. • Don’t act like know-it-alls. • Don’t watch the clock. Especially in times of economic downturn, companies look for candidates who can “hit the ground running.” They want people who can help grow their business and its future.
Being in the right place at the right time to take advantage of new opportunities is not always easy, but it is within your control. Stay current on emerging proﬁt and power centers, and technologies in your company.
Always strive to improve the company’s bottom line.
No matter what your job is—paper pushing or hardware production—you produce a product.
Solicit and give feedback.
Solicit feedback on how you can improve your performance and contribute more to the company. Identify problems that affect your organization and try to come up with ways to solve them.
After you get to know your organization, you should be able to see where the action is.
Pack your “parachute.”
You should always be prepared to answer the question “What would I do if I lost my job today?”
Job Choices: Diversity Edition 2012
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