How to survive happily in corporate life

Corporate life can be tough – Elva Ainsworth, founder and CEO at Talent Innovations discusses how to be successful in the corporate world without burning out

Try these seven tips and take heart- you can be super successful in corporate life without burning out or sacrificing your personality.  It can be done!  If you ever find you’re struggling, find someone to talk to who can coach or support you.  Corporate life is exciting and can be so rewarding – no-one needs to suffer.

Pace yourself

Let’s start with the most important thing – your personal energy and wellbeing.  The trick is to look keen and enthusiastic, to work your hours and deliver great results but, at the same time, maintain your own health and energy.  Make sure to eat good quality breakfasts and lunches, to take breaks and plan in your annual leave early so you can maintain a good pace over a period of time.

Find your allies

Regardless of how friendly everyone is (or isn’t), you need some real ‘allies’ – people you can count on to have your back, just as they will be able to rely on your support when it matters.  It may take you a while but look for opportunities to do favours for people you like so you can form mutually supportive relations.  They will be priceless!

Spot who you need to satisfy

Your boss is usually a key person but there may be others who will be important to your future success.  Be sure to work out what their needs and priorities are and then how you can best support these.  Check on these regularly as the priorities will shift.

Manage your overwhelm

If you do well, you will naturally find you soon get too much to do!  This is a sign of your success, so you will then need to know how to manage a heavy workload.  Top tricks include creating your own special method of organising your time plus finding someone to mentor/coach you in this area.

Be generous with your colleagues

Trusting your co-workers is central to long term career success so assume your colleagues are brilliant and this will set you up for constructive working relationships.  If and when things go wrong, you can then get things cleared up by asking “what happened there?” and agreeing how to work differently next time.  Maintaining a positive opinion of your colleagues and team requires continual work and intention at times but is critical to good relations.

Focus on key priorities

Get really clear on the key things you need to deliver and by when and maintain continual focus and dialogue on this amongst any other ‘balls’ you need to juggle.  Create a visual display of progress for you and others to see every day.  Work out a way to maintain focus without being obsessive; ask for help if you can see it going off track.

Be you, every day

Corporate life will be very hard work if you are pretending to be different from your true self.  If you can find a way to be authentically you at the same time as managing the previous six points, then you will enjoy yourself and find your own flow.

Elva Ainsworth is the founder and CEO at Talent Innovations.  She is also a leading author and expert in feedback and supports organisations in introducing continuous and 360 feedback processes.  She is a published author of several books on the subject including ‘Reboot your Reputation’ which has just been published.