5 lessons learned during 5 years in a corporate company

Written by
Evelin Biro
Published on
August 9, 2021

Are you planning to work for a corporation? Or do you already work for one and you’re wondering how to get more out of your current role? Here are my tips which I have learnt from the last five years in working for one of them.

1. Learn the core job and ask for additional assignments

When you are new in your role, it is essential to learn your core job as well as possible. Try to understand the connections between the systems and the processes, and if something is not clear, do not be afraid to consult your doubts with your senior colleagues or managers. However, what if after some time most of your tasks become a routine and you feel nothing new lands on your desk? Ask for additional assignments! 

There can be possibilities popping up on team meetings, where your manager or colleagues ask for additional help related to some projects/further tasks. Use these opportunities and proactively assign yourself to them.

However, if this is not the case in your company, be the one who initiates and asks for additional assignments. If you know that there is a colleague who is working on an interesting project, ask them if they need any support.

 You can also use your individual face-to-face meetings with your boss and discuss any possibilities for assignments. In these tasks, you can show your extra skills. Don't forget to mention them in your performance review as well - in the end, they can count!

2. Build a network

Most of the time, your first connections in the company are your direct team members, people from your own department or acquaintances you knew even before working for the same organization. However, if you would like to be well-informed about the happenings in your company, it is essential to also connect with people outside of your bubble. 

There are many ways you can do this, for example by participating in classroom trainings or programs/projects which are open for anyone in the organization. Currently, these events are mainly virtual, so it is very much possible that you will connect with someone there who is outside of your own location, and in this way, you can even get contacts on a global level. Try to talk with the people on these occasions, ask them about their roles. That way you can broaden your knowledge about the company and get many new insights about how things are done in other roles.

It is also possible that your company has informal online events organized by communities. Choose ones which seem to be interesting for you and participate in them actively. 

3. Don't be afraid to speak up

This is one of the most important lessons I have learned in the past years. People will not guess what is on your mind or ask about your opinion all the time. If you have an idea, do not be afraid to pitch it to your boss or  leaders who you think may be interested in it. It is always easier to put them into action if you have  supporters or sponsors who can help you with their experience or expertise.

It can also happen when you do brainstorming in meetings and try to solve complex problems – don't be afraid to share your opinion about them, come up with some solutions and present them supported by some arguments. Perhaps your solution will be the implemented one!

4. Work on yourself steadily

Hopefully you know that learning does not end with school, but that we have to work on ourselves steadily. If you have ambitious career aspirations and don't want to do the same job for a couple of years, you have to develop yourself steadily.

You can do this through on-the-job trainings, projects, participating in courses (also outside of your own company) or by reading literature from your professional field. All of these can help you to grow constantly and achieve your goals in a shorter time.

If you are already sure of  the career path you would like to go for, try to discuss it with your line manager and define the steps you will take in order to achieve your next career goal. In case you are not yet sure about the next step, a mentor or a coach can be a great help for asking questions and getting closer to your desired path.

5. Look for new challenges continuously

In corporations, there are lots of programs, projects, or communities you can join. Try to choose one or two challenging projects per year which will also be a new learning opportunity for you. I would recommend you to choose such ones which are outside of your usual business bubble. For example: Are you an expert in Finance, but have an interest to learn more about Marketing? Try to choose one project which focuses on your desired field. In this way, you can gain new hard and soft skills and build connections with people from that branch.

About the author:

Evelin Biro is from Slovakia and works as a Specialist for Digitization at Swiss Re. She holds a Master's degree in Financial Management from Comenius University in Bratislava. During her studies, she worked for American corporations, and later entered the reinsurance industry. Apart from being a Specialist for Digitization, she is very keen on the topics of Talent Development, Mentoring and Leadership.

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