In Corporate world, no matter how well you do your job, things don’t always work out the way you want them to. Your colleagues can mistake you for competition and bring you into situations that you never wanted to be.

Here are some tips for surviving the corporate world and the lessons that you'll in corporate life. These may not be everything you need to know, but they’ll come in handy for dealing with your colleagues and managers.

  1. Never be a member of social media groups (WhatsApp, Facebook) of colleagues.
  2. Never use social media to communicate with colleagues. Use traditional methods (email, SMS, phone call).
  3. Before speaking anything, think twice about the consequences.
  4. Never bad mouth anyone. They will come to know one day for sure. If you really want to criticize, do it on their face instead of their back, if you have guts.
  5. Never argue with your manager in front of anyone else. Talk to him/her alone. Not only with your manager, don't argue with anyone in front of others.
  6. Always ask everything in writing. If anyone asks to do any work orally, send an email after completion of doing it. It will be recorded.
  7. Always come to office on time and leave on time. People may not tell you directly, but subconsciously it will be registered in their minds whether you come to office on time or late (even if it is a minute). This reputation will have it's own impacts later.
  8. Keep your personal life completely private.
  9. Maintain enough distance with superiors and sub-ordinates.
  10. Dress well always. Looks do matter. Human minds form opinions based on looks subconsciously.
  11. Be a man / woman of integrity.
  12. Always CC your manager in your emails.
  13. Never hesitate to share your ideas with anyone. No need to follow hierarchy.
  14. Innovation and Smart work beats hard work and experience.
  15. No need to laugh at your boss’s stupid jokes when you don't feel like. I never laugh unless I really feel it a joke. It never stopped my promotions.
  16. You need not belong to your boss's caste or religion or city or state to get promotions or recognition. Your work will do that. No manager wants a dumb fellow to work in his / her team. And no manager wants to lose a good worker.
  17. We all know this line, “Love your job, but don't love your company.” It's true. You may feel comfortable in your company but you can't predict when company management will change policies and how it will affect you.
  18. Have a backup plan (i.e. you should be able to get another job within 6 months after losing / leaving current job).
  19. Better to have more than one skill. E.g. if you are a Database Administrator, better to learn windows or Unix administration also. In case DBA market goes down, you have another skill and you can easily switch.
  20. Automate your work so that you can have free time to read more and learn new things. If a work is repetitive, think how to automate it and do it. Don't care if your boss or colleagues think you are sitting idle without any work. It matters whether the given work is done or not.
  21. Be innovative in doing work. Don't follow the routine way of doing things just because your seniors have been doing it in a particular way since decades and it's been working without any issues. Think how it can be done in a more efficient way.
  22. Be bold to speak to anyone (even to your CEO) about your views and ideas and don't get scare to correct and suggest if they are wrong. No company will fire you or degrade your cadre for suggestions.
  23. Never use official email for anything other than work (don't forward jokes / festival or new year greetings / birthday or anniversary wishes or any other stuff not related to work).
  24. Never make personal calls from office phone. Use your own Mobile.
  25. Never make personal calls in office, go out and speak. It will disturb others and they will know about your personal life. Read point 8.
  26. Don't speak / laugh louder in cubicle. Mind others are working. Keep all non work related chat / jokes / laughs to lunch / tea break times.
  27. Don't give nick names to colleagues and don't call them with nick names. They may not tell you directly but they will hate you inside. Always call them with the name they like.
  28. Don't drink / eat at desk. It will disturb others (smell, temptation etc). If any drink (coffee/tea) or food items fall at work place, it will attract insects. Go to lunch room / cafeteria and have it there.
  29. Never use office internet for browsing for personal work. Use it only to get knowledge related to your work. Mind that proxy server records everything what you browse.
  30. Never share your passwords even to your best friend you think. They may be good, but sometimes situations make them to misuse.
  31. Never call anyone Bhayya (brother), Behen (sister), Bhabhi (Sister-in-law) etc., with relations. They have a name and call it. Be professional.
  32. Be sincere and honest so that if anyone speak bad about you, no one should believe it.
  33. If your office provide a mobile with a corporate SIM card, then only mention that number in your email signature. Don't allow anyone to call on your personal mobile number.
  34. Ask to provide facilities (Laptop, Internet Connection and VPN etc.,) if your office expects you to give support from Home. Never tell you have laptop and internet connection at home and never use them for office use.
  35. If your boss asks you to come and work on a holiday for some activity, go and work but ask for comp off or allowance for that day. Never do it for free. They will take you granted.
  36. Allow colleagues to be friendly with you but don't allow them to cross limits take your words related to work granted. Maintain different limits for different spaces.
  37. Whatever you learn, share your knowledge with others. Don't create dependency on you. You are the person who will suffer because of dependency. You will get calls on holidays and midnight also. But if you share proper documents, others can see and solve the problems by themselves.
  38. If anyone ask you something which they don't know but you know, explain them very clearly in the way they understand with examples. They will remember you always for teaching a new thing. Don't think “what will I get if I teach”. Remember since your birth you have learned everything because someone taught you (either directly or indirectly by writing book etc.,). You did not get any knowledge on your own from the cosmos through meditation.
  39. Never ask anyone about their caste, religion, marital status, how many children etc., Caste is a bullshit concept and many don't like asking about it. Religion is sensitive topic so never do discussions or arguments. Many are suffering with not getting a bride or groom for marriage and many are suffering with problems in married lives. So don't ask. If they want to share, they will share. No questions about colleague's personal lives.
  40. Be good at communication. Both written and verbal. Don't give excuses that you didn't study in English medium. We didn't know to speak our mother tongue also immediately after birth. Observe others and learn the language. You need not speak fast like Bill Clinton. You can speak slowly but use correct words and grammar.
  41. Maintain a good body language. Practice it. Your posture should show your confidence levels.
  42. Before your manager knows something through someone and asks you about it, inform him/her in advance. Let him/her be updated always.
  43. If your company culture is OK with calling anyone with names, follow it. If your company culture expects to call seniors and higher authorities as Sir / Madam, follow the same. Be a Roman in Rome.
  44. Addendum to point 2: Don't add / do chat with any colleague's in WhatsApp, Facebook etc., You may end up talking negatively at some point of time about some other colleague or your company or management and they may use it against you. Now a days smart phones are capable of recording calls also. So be conscious of what you talk / chat.
  45. Dress Code: Your company may allow you to come in casuals as there is no dress code in the company. But use your common sense to have your own limitations. Office is meant for work. Not a place to display your taste of clothes (fashion show), your body parts, your different hair styles etc.,
  46. Always speak softly (but be firm). You may argue with louder voice and win the argument or give orders, but people hate it. But if you speak softly, people will like you and it will be easy to convince them and get their support. Good rapport goes a long way
  47. Say NO to meetings scheduled in lunch or dinner timings. If they can't cancel the meeting then tell them to give break for lunch or dinner. If meeting started and not ended before lunch or dinner time start, don't hesitate to tell “Let's continue after lunch / dinner”. Tell that you are hungry and it will affect your health if you don't eat in time. No one will dare to say NO.
  48. Take care of your health. If you fall in bed, no colleague will be there to serve you. They may come and console you for a few minutes, but it's your family members who will always be there with you. So never take health for granted. Read point 47 again.
  49. Taking Leaves: When you don't feel fully active or don't feel like working, take leave. You need not get health issues to take a leave. Tell “personal work” and take leave. You need not tell what is that personal work. It's fully your personal. You are taking leave from your leave balance. No one has the right to question.
  50. Never share your next move with anyone in the organisation including those you consider your best buddy. No one should guess that you are going to leave unless you give your resignation. No one should know which company you are going to join until you join.
  51. Don't do all work on your own and sit for longer hours. Delegate.
  52. Once you leave the company (retirement or resignation), no one cares about you.
  53. Company has been working before you join and will work after you leave. Don't think that it will have problems without you. You are replaceable.
  54. “Speech is silver. Silence is gold.” is the old proverb. Silence may be gold, but Speech is Platinum / Iridium (more valuable than Gold because it’s available less). So don't be silent always. Speak when it is necessary. Express your views. But do it limited. When you speak others should stop speaking and listen to you. If you talk too much then no one cares.
  55. Delegate not only work, but authority as well. Let your sub-ordinates take some decisions on their own. Don’t expect every small matter to be discussed with you and only you should take the decision. In reality, it will burden you. A leader should make more leaders, not slaves.
  56. With reference to point 55, if you are not getting any calls and your office is running successfully by you sub-ordinates in your absence only then you are a successful manager/leader.
  57. If you are able to run the team / office successfully and take (correct) decisions boldly in the absence of your manager / team leader, then you are ready to become a manager/leader.
  58. Be bold to take risks. We know the proverb, “Not taking any risk is the biggest risk”.
  59. There is a line about how our mind works, “If you think / say to yourself consciously I CANNOT DO IT, then your sub-conscious mind will believe it and it will not think about it anymore. But if you question yourself HOW CAN I DO IT?, then your sub-conscious mind will work on it and will find a way to achieve it.” So be aware of your thoughts. Why I said is, never say no to any new work even if you don’t know it. Just accept it as an opportunity and think HOW CAN I DO IT? and take help of seniors / search google, learn about it and complete it. It will not only increase your confidence levels, but will increase our value in the company.
  60. Always look into eyes while speaking and nod your head when you agree for anything. Not looking into eyes and looking away or looking at other body parts will create negative impression on you. Forget about negative impression, first of all it’s not good manners (not only in the office, even in your personal life).
  61. Be a man/woman of professional ethics. Never do anything against polices of your company / vendors / clients.
  62. Don’t take manager’s shouting to heart. Nothing will be personal in 99.99% of cases. Once you leave that office / project / company, none of you will bother about the other. It’s all about work. Remember your manager is also an employee of the company and he gets similar treatment from his/her higher authorities.
  63. Don’t show bias on others based on language, caste, religion etc., Always encourage the talent.
  64. Boss is not always right. He may be right only from his/her perspective.
  65. Don’t get scared if someone complaints verbally on you and if your higher authorities ask about it. Ask them (the complainer, and the management) to give / ask everything in writing (email) and tell you will reply in email and do it. In 99.99% of cases they are false complaints without any base and they will not ask in writing.
  66. Similarly if management ask to work for extra hours or to work on holidays (without marking attendance), ask them to send email or give in writing.
  67. When you commit a mistake, take accountability for it. Share/explain your boss and team how it happened and what loss (financial / time / reputation etc.,) happened due to it and how you rectified and what you have learned from it. You can share your mistake stories to others so that they can take care. Don’t hesitate to share. Everyone commits mistakes. It needs courage to accept.
  68. When you are sharing about the mistakes of others, protect their identity always. Never give a single clue to guess the name. Just tell “One person committed this mistake and he/she and we learned this from that mistake. That’s all. Don’t mention any other details”.
  69. When you are speaking in phone, the one sitting in your next cubicle should not guess who you are speaking to. The one who called you may not wish others to know about it.
  70. When you receive an email and if you can act on it immediately, don’t put it for follow up and go to next email. Most of the times that follow up list accumulates over a period and it will never be done and the sender of the email will hate you for not acting on it in time.
  71. When you can't act on an email immediately, send an acknowledgement that you have received the email and ask whether it is possible to do or not and if possible how much it may take.
  72. In corporate, people see who said, but not what is said. If you are a CEO, people will execute your orders even if it is a bad idea. But if you are a beginner, then 99.99% won’t care though your idea is valuable. Exceptions are always there.
  73. So, know what to tell, when to tell, whom to tell, through which channel to tell. Timing is important.
  74. If you identify a problem and you know the solution for it and if you need your superiors approval to execute it and if you know that they will not agree for it because of their ego, then follow the indirect approach. Just tell them the problem and ask them for suggestions to fix the problem. Let they themselves come up with solutions. If there are any issues with solutions, tell them them cons of it. Continue this till they come up with the ideal solution. Let them get the credibility of fixing a issue. Le him/her think he/she has provided the solution. Let his/her ego gets satisfied. No problem. Our main aim is to get the thing done (i.e., fixing the problem).
  75. If you want to convey / discuss about something and if your boss or superior is not in a mood to listen to you, then text it or email it (one to one). They will definitely read it and think about it and will revert. Problem with direct speaking is there will be some disturbances like phone calls or someone else may come in between or topic may get diverted to something else based on a point and you may forget to tell some points. In case of email or text, this problem will not come and you can convey all points.
  76. Some people are too much friendly. Don't believe and open up yourself. It's a trap. You think he/she is your best buddy and share everything including your opinion on others including your boss / policies of management. The person may be a spy to others. Keep your opinions with you and share only with your family members.
  77. Never share your salary details and never ask others salary details. Similarly never ask what ratings others got and never share your ratings. It will create conflicts between people. Don't take rating too personal. Manager will give rating as per his perception of your work and expectations. If you got less rating, know your manager expectations (of course only realistic expectations) and achieve them so that you can get a good rating next time. Remember you will not work under same manager till you retire.
  78. Never judge anyone too quickly based on a few incidents. Many times it takes years to know one’s nature completely. You may think a person as arrogant, but that person may help you or protect you one day. You may think someone is very nice and they may back stab you one day. So don’t form and spread opinions. Keep it to yourself.
  79. If someone who is newly joined asks about another person in the office, tell only positive qualities of that person. Never talk negatively.
  80. Never talk negatively / sarcastically / make jokes about your colleagues with vendors or with clients. e.g., a vendor has come to your site to implement a project and you developed a good relationship with someone in vendors team and you talk many things. In that flow even if the vendor talks negatively about someone else in your or other teams in your office, don’t support the vendor even if you also have bad opinion on your colleague. Always support your company employees. Professionalism.
  81. Never try to cheat HR - 1. Let me share an incidence. Our company conducts tests to Freshers to check what they have learned. These tests happen on last working day of the week. One fresher wanted to leave the office early to go to his native so shared the login id and password to someone else in the office to attend the online test and left to native. The other person was attending the test. Someone in the office had seen it and complained to HR. HR dismissed both of them from their jobs.
  82. Never try to cheat HR - 2: Once a person booked a A/C 2nd class ticket to go to his native. He submitted bill to HR to claim travelling allowance under LFC (a facility for employees to go to native place or anywhere in India once in two years with family. Company refunds the travelling charges). But HR dismissed him. Reason: He cancelled the tickets and didn't go to the place. He traveled in bus or some low fare mode but he submitted fake bill. How HR came to know? IRCTC introduced to check tickets status of any PNR at that time. HR checked it and found it. So never produce fake bills.
  83. Don’t use your (smart) phone much in the office. Use it only to make / receive important / urgent calls or at max to order food. Tell your family / friends also about your office shift timings and ask them not to make calls during that time unless it is urgent.
  84. If someone come to your cubicle and wants to share something with you which is not related to work, and you are not in a mood listen or busy with work, just tell him/her “we will discuss this later”. But never misuse / gossip their info. Keep it only with you. They are connected to you in some way and trusted you and shared something. So never break that trust.
  85. Never try to take the credit for the work done by others. Give that credit to them. Similarly don’t allow anyone else to take the credit for the work done by you. Some people do so much of hard / smart work, but they don’ know how to market it; and some people will always keep in touch with management and higher ups and tell them as though they have done that work and get credit and promotions. It’s unethical.
  86. Appreciations: Appreciate your colleagues when they do a good job. But don’t over do it. Remember too much of anything is not good.Appreciation should be very rare.
  87. Addendum to point 7 : Never inform your boss while leaving the office. It’s a bad culture and don’t start and do it. When your time is over, just leave. If your boss expects you to stay on any one day because of some valid reason, it is his/her duty to inform you in advance to let him/her know while leaving.
  88. Never hesitate to leave office if your boss / team lead / senior colleague is still there in office and not starting to home. Or they want promotion or transfer so they are trying to prove management that they are working more for the organisation. What they are not realizing is they are here (in office) only for earning money which is required to live their other life, personal life, which is most important.
  89. If you are a manager / team leader, don’t call your sub-ordinates frequently through inter-com and discuss things. Mind they might be in the middle of working or in the middle of thinking about some idea. Better yourself go to their places by walk and if they are working on something wait till they finish the work and look at you.
  90. Keeping your words and credibility: When you commit something (either in writing or verbally), try to keep your words. For example, someone called you and asked you for something. You were busy and you said you will call in sometime (say 30 minutes). If you don’t call (either by forgetting it or by thinking it’s not a important thing), you will lose your credibility (slowly in others minds). Next time when your name or topic comes, that person will say they can not put hopes on you.
  91. Visibility is everything. You must know people. And people must know about you.
  92. Don’t be a Yes Man — neither at work nor in life. Learn to say NO assertively. Don’t be a people-pleaser. You lose more than you gain.
  93. Build up a reputation for getting things done. But don’t get too many things on your plate.
  94. Learn to delegate. More importantly, when your subordinates are not able to do the job as perfectly as you could, don’t give in to the temptation to do it right by yourself. Instead, tell them what’s wrong or give some hints to them and let THEM do it!
  95. Never ignore your family over your job. Family is the most important thing in the world. Talk to them. Let them know about your life and vice-versa. { For the ones staying away from home… }
  96. Most rumors you hear in the office — are actually true.
  97. Don’t be too flexible and accommodating regarding requests by superiors to stay back late at work or to work *couple of hours* in weekends. Always remember, you have a life beyond office. Say No and go ahead. Work can wait till Monday!
  98. Keep learning new skills, languages, tools. Learn something new everyday! Invest in yourself.
  99. Don’t complete a week’s job in 2 days. Instead of the expected profuse commendation, you shall be assigned more work to fill up the free-time which you saved by working hard!

You will learn a lot more lessons when you get into the corporate world. If you want to share more interesting lesson you have learnt please tell us in the comments below.