5 Things I Learned My First Month in Corporate


People >

4 years ago, I asked a friend, "what do you love?" and she answered, "I love people". And I thought that was the strangest answer ever.

But 4 years later, and it's been the same lesson every single year, since -

People really are everything.

At the end of the day, the what, why, who, and how of business all come back to the people you are working with, the people you are working for, and the people you meet along the way.

Business, done right, is simply an opportunity to love people well.  

You attract others after you attract yourself. 

I admit - I want to be liked by others.

I came into the first day of work ready to be what I knew the business world would like - the stereotypical extrovert, cultured in the "work hard, play hard" mentality (whatever "play" means),

Then, I noticed one consistently reoccurring theme among every admired leader at my company -

They weren't like that. They were just themselves.

It is so important to find out who you are, who you want to be, and confidently be just that.

It's the confidence that attracts. 

"Average players want to be left alone, good players want to be coached, great players want to be told the truth" 

There's always room to grow.

But the harder pill to swallow -

There's at least one area of growth that only someone else, who's not you, can see.

So, to grow fast and to grow whole, you must not only be asking, "What can I do better next time?" but also have people around you who care enough to tell you the truth.

You're wasting your time comparing yourself to others...

I didn't believe in imposter syndrome until my first week of work.

People in my starting cohort were coming from top universities, firms I got rejected from, 2+ years of work experience... etc. So, naturally, my competitiveness decided to compare myself.

And then I realized there wasn't even an accurate method/metric to "compare", even if I wanted to. Everyone's career journey was so unique, personal, and valuable in its own way; and I was wasting time watching others' journeys instead of starting my own.

You run slower when you turn to see how fast the person next to you is running. 

You can't do it all. 

On the first day of work, I came in determined to be a part of every single employee resource group - you can chuckle, I won't be offended.

It didn't take long, though, to realize that we live in a world of limited time and resources, but also with priorities and ranging ROIs. Then, it becomes a game of picking and choosing the right things.

Before saying "yes" or "no" I've learned to ask myself:

What value does this add?

For me, my company, my clients, the people around me, and the long-term future.