From Campus To Corporate – Tips From An IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus

Having worked for almost 4 years now, here is what I have learnt about the corporate sphere.

#1: Perception matters more than effort or talent

Nobody cares about your dedication, work ethics etc as long as you ensure that you maintain visibility. The person who “works” long hours, talks without having anything to say, has a “loud” extroverted persona has higher chances of being promoted.

#2: Everyone is expendable

I have seen many people, whom I thought were indispensable, asked to let go. One failed initiative, an altercation with the boss, a year of under-performance is enough to undermine years of your contributions.

So don’t be complacent. If you are not evolving constantly to maintain your competitive edge, someone will catch up to you and make you redundant.

#3: Passion is elusive

A huge majority of the people are “stuck” at their jobs. They might not hate it, but it certainly isn’t what they would have loved to do. Considering our limited lifespans, a limited pool of resources in the world, and a hyper-competitive social structure, people are forced to make choices at a very young age. And by the time they realise the fallacy of their earlier choosing, it is already too late.

#4: Despite what companies’ “motto”, “vision”, or “mission” says, nobody cares about you

So, the onus of taking charge of your life is on you. Don’t let people exploit you. That one pending report can wait. Go home to your real life.

#5: Like life, the corporate world is unfair too

Politics, sycophancy, and pseudo-nepotism thrive in office buildings and breakout areas. Many deserving people are overlooked; and many that are just jazz and noise make it to the top.

Make sure you “take” credit for your work. Don’t wait for the universe to serve you your comeuppance. Shed your inhibitions. Be shameless.

#6: It’s full of Harvey Dents

The face people put up when they are around you in a dull, lifeless building with depressing lighting, the one that beams up when you cross them with their “employee of the year” coffee mug, is a facade. It’s all (mostly) a facade. While it is always good to reciprocate the (although forced) etiquette, just don’t fall for it.

#7: The sugar-coating

Everything is befuddled to make it more appealing. Starting from your job title and description to the words used by that one automated mail every year from your CEO thanking you for your “indispensable contribution to the company’s enviable growth story”.

#8: “Everybody lies”

On their resumes, during their appraisal discussions, at team lunches. I have never, in my life, seen a truly honest resume (including mine).

#9: Interns are treated like shit

Post our summer placement stints at IIM-A, most drunken nights were interjected with horror stories during the 2-month internships.

#10: Meetings will take up half your life at work (so basically a quarter of your total life) and they never get anything done.


This article first appeared on Quora.



About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!