Access is everything. The team searches for online communities, advice, and information that tackle some of the questions we want to explore. This post is a compilation of some of our favorite tips and insights from around the web on navigating Corporate America.
"Tips to Survive in Corporate America"
Blogger “Shady_Grady” of Urban Politico weighs in with tips for surviving Corporate America. Here are a few gems:
“Always strive for excellence: There's no reason you shouldn't be the best at your job. Ok, maybe there is a reason but you should certainly TRY to be the best. And if you fail try harder next time. This is especially important if you happen to be Black as likely there are more than a few people in your company who have negative stereotypes about your intelligence, your credentials, your work ethic and the quality of work that you produce. But Black or not, one of the best ways to keep your job and/or rise in the company is to have an unblemished reputation for quality work and for being able to pick up new assignments quickly. . .”
“Use Careful Communication: In terms of emails, instant messages, written documents, text messages, chances are that your company either views what you write or maintains an archive of what you wrote. Some companies use key-loggers. And I'm not even going to get started about inappropriate internet usage. There are different rules at various companies but a good rule of thumb is that if you wrote it over their network, it's theirs. They can look at it if they want to do so. . .”
“Connections count/Life is not fair: One of the hardest lessons that I had to learn was that education, experience and work ethic aren't the Alpha and Omega of getting hired or getting promoted. People hire people who look like them. This is a problem if you happen to be Black. But people also hire and promote their friends, their relatives, people who their friends, spouse or relatives vouch for, folks they worked with at other companies, old school acquaintances, people they want to sleep with or have slept with, their church members and so on. This is never going to change. So you can a) impotently rage against the machine, b) quit and start your own company, or c) learn how to network. . .”
"Month of the Man: How Black Men Can Win In Corporate America"
This article by Janell Hazelwood of Black Enterprise is actually a series of tweets. Here are a few of my favorites:
“@JPHazelwood #Leadership Tip 2 from CEOs: Surround yourself with people w/more expertise than you, from Reginald F. Lewis #MonthoftheMan” -Alfred Edmond Jr
“Bonus #Internship Tip: Not everyone can help you, but everyone can hurt you so treat ALL colleagues with respect @jphazelwood #monthoftheman” -SEOCareer Internship
“CodeOfConduct #CorporateAmerica: #Tip 2 @NkrumahPierre Seek constructive criticism as much as possible. #monthoftheman” - Janell Hazelwood
Check out the full article here: http://www.blackenterprise.com/career/recap-tips-corporate-america-success-black-minority-men/
"Being Black in Corporate America: 12 Things You Must Know To Survive and Just Maybe Thrive"
Blogger “Jim Crow” gives his list of survival tips for Corporate America. Here are a few of our favorites:
“Be direct without being impolite. But if you have only two choices -- impoliteness or directness -- choose directness. If you talk in circles, people will walk all over you and piss on your post-employment grave. Remember, you are terminally employed anyway, and being spineless won't make it less so.”
“Never use the term racism in the workplace unless you have a legal caseload of unambiguous evidence to prove it. Otherwise, you become the paranoid schizophrenic at work. And you don't want to be Mr. Paranoid, do you? If you tell someone they're being racist, it does nothing for you or against them. Unless you have email evidence of a racial epithet -- which no one is dumb enough to leave these days -- you shouldn't call anyone racist. It's amateurish to do so without overwhelming evidence. Still, you should never hesitate to call people out if you think you are being treated unfairly.”
“Be very honest about what you don't know. Do not pretend. Don't try to wing it. It won't work. Trust me, business moves so fast, nobody really knows either. So if someone's talking fast and in meaningless circles trying to impress themselves about the little they know, slow them down. Some people don't know how to communicate. They're more concerned about hearing themselves pontificate than they are about actually communicating. Take charge of the communication and move it along at your preferred pace. . .”
Read more at: http://jimcrowconfidential.blogspot.com/2010/01/black-in-corporate-america-12-things.html
What is the best advice you've gotten for navigating Corporate America?