Today marks my first anniversary at The BBC.
Flashback to the unforgettable moments that made me want to work for the BBC until the day I die:
That time I got training from the BBC Academy in Salford and got to visit Manchester
Where I met incredible people from different parts of the business (some have become friends!)
When I got a private tour of the BBC Newsroom, the envy of news organizations all over the world and the beating heart of the BBC
Finally putting faces to people I’m constantly on the phone with, not to mention having after-work pints at proper English pubs!
Getting global recognition for projects we work on (who doesn’t love winning?!)
But these moments don’t happen every day, and certainly not to every one.
A lot of the time it’s about surviving in the corporate world – and for me, that’s both in the realm of the satellite office where I’m based, and the realm of the complex organization that is the BBC as a whole, in all its Britishness.
So without further ado, here are some corporate lifebuoys that have kept me afloat the past 365 days:
- Step back and observe
When I was new, I was overeager to make new work friends, make a huge impact in my role and in the office culture. I was fueled, energetic and ready to lend a helping hand and make a difference and impress my colleagues. While I was commended for my burning enthusiasm and bright ideas, I was also told to step back and observe. Priceless tip from my line manager.
Especially if you’re new, it takes time to adjust to the new environment and fully grasp how things operate. Be patient. You can learn a lot just by taking the back seat, observing how people behave, how they accomplish tasks and how they interact with one another. “Proceed with caution,” as they say.
- Steer clear from gossip
It isn’t always easy to pinpoint and identify the rumormongers in the office but you will find out over time and repetitive exposure. At the beginning, it seems harmless and relatively entertaining, but things can escalate quickly and turn ugly.
Plus, it’s not great associating yourself with people that treat the work place as a schoolyard and feed you nothing but negativity and stories that ridicule people you work with – how sure are you that those stories are even true in the first place? Could they be doing the same thing to you when you’re not around? It’s best to just stay away. You have nothing to gain from it.
- Know and build your alliances
You need to have cheerleaders. These are the people who know you, like you, trust you and will support you throughout your career whether it be championing your work or being your personal advocate.
There’s no real shortcut to this but making sure you do a stellar job at every opportunity that arises while being respectful and personable to those around you is a great way to start. Take the time and genuinely be interested in getting to know the people around you – no one is saying be their new best friend, but always be kind.
- Create your work stamp and be known for something
While it’s great to have cheerleaders, let’s not forget your sole purpose of being there is to do your job.
Own your role and deliver beyond expectations. Take responsibility for the scope you look after and be an expert at it so you can truly add value and evolve professionally. Set your goals and manage your expectations. Don’t be the person that finds a problem in every solution. Stop complaining and just work hard.
- Work-life balance
As much as possible, I step out for lunch, try not to bring work home, and avoid checking work e-mails when I’m outside of work or on holiday.
Setting these three rules for myself has not only made me more productive and efficient, but also allows me to take care of my mental and physical well-being: I get to stretch my legs and have my lunch hour to get fit or catch up with friends, I have the after-work hours to pursue other goals and hobbies, and when I’m out, I’m able to fully enjoy the moment and be present in the experience. Don’t let work take over your life because there’s much to look forward to.