Tuesday, December 13, 2005

How Working on the Client Side Can Jump-Start Your Career

A job with an established manufacturing or retail company is an excellent way to start your climb to the top! In such an organization, there will be set infrastructures and processes to provide you support and education as you take those first uncertain steps along your career path. Sure, the learning curve is steep, but as soon as you learn how it's always been done, and that breaking from tradition is frowned upon, you'll have no problem navigating your new "office space."

One of the most important lessons to learn is that of responsibility. You'll be informed, regularly, possibly even daily, of how your job (or potential loss thereof) contributes to the bottom line. If you're in marketing, you might be responsible for managing communication with an ad agency to generate effective marketing materials. This means you can boss them around and make them say "How high?" every time you say "Jump." Every time! But remember that responsibility can be taken lightly or not at all; one of the benefits of the many-tiered bureaucracy of which you are now a part is what's known as "passing the buck." Should you ever be accused of any sort of wrongdoing, simply blame your boss, or the ad agency, or the drugs. You'll get nothing more than a slap on the wrist, guar-an-teed!

And let's not forget the wide world of office politics! Staying late to work on a presentation for the VP is almost as important as making sure Susie's presentation deck includes a picture or two of her making out with the copy boy at the Christmas party. That's called getting an edge on the competition. And Mark, in accounting, who cut your budget last year? An anonymous tip about some illicit internet videos that mysteriously appeared on his hard drive should do the trick. It's all part of playing the game. A rumor here, an "accidental" reply-all email there, and now you're playing to win!

In sum, working at a large company is a great way to start learning the skills you need for a successful career. The 9-to-5, the water cooler, and the Casual Friday are all a part of moving on to that next life stage. Good luck!

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