Spending so much of my career journey being self-employed has definitely set the tone for how I approach my work, regardless of how I’m contractually obligated to do so. I’ve been spoiled by an industry that keeps me hungry + excited, even after so many years. I’ve been able to adapt + evolve within dynamic roles, whether those roles were at the helm of my own business, or as part of a much larger corporate machine.
I’ve taken a closer look at some of the ways I’ve been able to incorporate this mindset into a corporate 9-5, and am sharing them with you today.
Be a leader, even when you’re not one.
Drive business forward by providing leadership to your team, even if you’re not in a leadership position. Be an example, think on your feet, make decisions, and curate ideas + opinions from your colleagues to set yourself apart as a leader – a trait that can’t easily be overlooked when it comes time for rewards, promotions, or future opportunities.
Keep your eyes + ears open. Everything is your business.
An entrepreneur doesn’t have the luxury of staying within the confines of a job description. Be attentive. Focus on your specialization, but have a general understanding of how the entire machine runs. This knowledge may very well end up serving you as you seek to move within the company or look to make a big move outside of it.
There’s a time + place for feelings – this is probably not it.
Barring serious issues that prevent a healthy work environment, not every personal grievance needs to be brought to the higher ups for a memo/meeting/workshop. No owner or executive wants to waste time playing referee to a fight over food in the company fridge. Time is money – their money. Pretend it’s your money, and choose your battles.
Dress the part. Play the part.
How do the leaders in your company present themselves in the office? In client meetings? On social media? If your goal is to break into that top 1% in your corporate sphere, pay attention to how they behave + start now.
Planning is crucial.
An entrepreneur always has a plan. Chances are, your company has already set their own expectations of you. Quarterly reports, annual reviews, and daily deadlines are commonplace in any office environment. Your personal goals should always be bigger + better. Set expectations of yourself that go beyond what is expected of you, and keep those goals top of mind. They’ll effect every decision you make within the company, and help you to determine how to leverage where you are now to get to where you want to go.
Even in the most structured + corporate of environments, my entrepreneurial mindset has served me well, and continues to do so. The biggest lesson I’ve learned through all of the opportunities I’ve been blessed to have been given, and the lesson that I continue to work on the merit of today, is that even if I’m not the CEO of the company, I will always be the CEO of my own career, and I’ll govern myself by that mandate.