For those of you that saw my last post regarding my return to corporate life, you may be interested in how my first week went.  Instead of giving you all the boring details, I thought I’d provide my “Top 5 Lessons” I learned after 5 short days back.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. In 4.5 years away from corporate life, a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same.  I played “catch up” for the first few days on technology and processes.  It’s amazing how much being one version removed from what you were used to when you left can throw you off.  That said, I have to believe that compared to a new employee who has never been there before, I have a leg up.  I feel like I know at least 70% of the people I see in the hallways, and at the end of the day, people are what get things done.  I only wish they were in the same job they were in when I left so I knew which one of them to talk to when I need help!OfficeSpace_111
  2. It’s easy to get pulled into the overwhelmingly fast pace of a big organization.  Big organizations have a lot going on, and each of those projects has its own gravitational pull.  If you aren’t careful you can get sucked into that orbit and lose focus on what you are supposed to be doing.  Knowing that from the beginning has allowed me to keep my distance while still observing this “solar system” from afar.office_space
  3. You can have just as much impact as an individual contributor as you can as a manager.  I’ve done both, and both have impact.  The key is framing your role in regards to what impact you can have for the good of the many regardless of the scope of your role.  The more you can focus on this the easier it is to push toward a bigger purpose instead of getting buried in isolated minutia. header-office
  4. Cubes are not life giving, connections are.  For this reason I have chosen to keep my workspace as spartan as possible to allow for nomadic roaming and satellite locations across multiple departments. Going in with a coworking and collaboration mindset keeps things fresh and much more focused on opportunities to learn from others.office-space
  5. You are the job you create for yourself.  If you allow the words on a job description determine “what” you do, at least in terms of activities and responsibilities, you can quickly lose sight of the purpose of role itself.  That doesn’t mean you ignore the job description, but you need to dig deeper into your role by talking to people you serve to truly determine what you can do to assist them.  But more importantly, you need to get to the “why”.  Why do those you are serving find what you do important.  And next, why do you get excited about delivering that value to them?  Then build the way you do your job, your personal delivery system, around creating that value.


I’m considering providing somewhat regular updates out here on my return to corporate life to help me reflect on what I’m learning.  But that will be determined on 2 variables… both of which you control.

  1. I’d love your thoughts on what I’ve written via comments below.  Agree?  Great, tell me why.  Disagree? Excellent, share your different view.  Trying to sell me SEO? Don’t bother, just click here and save us both time.
  2. Share your own “top lessons” reflections so I can learn from you.  The more discussion, the more we learn together.

Until next time…