With a new year on the horizon comes new opportunities for professional growth and development. If you are just entering the workforce, or feel it’s time to look for a new job, there are many elements to pay attention to.
Once you determine what kind of career you are interested in, you will then have to decide if you want to work in a small or big business.
While small businesses offer a variety of rewards, the benefits of a corporate job can be both overwhelming and exciting. There are plenty of misconceptions about corporate culture, but in reality, big businesses have a lot to offer. Many provide employees with extensive training, diverse benefits, and ample opportunities for professional growth.
If you feel like corporate America might be the right move for you, be sure to take note of a few large points before making your decision.
Get Comfortable With Teamwork
Working for a large business usually means more group or collaborative work. If you are someone who prefers to work alone, be prepared to change things up. This doesn’t mean you’ll never have individual tasks, but rather you’ll be working towards a team goal on a larger scale. There are many benefits to teamwork —stimulated creativity, diverse ideas, and increased productivity— that make it so efficient.
Whether you are working an administrative desk job or are in an artistic career, creativity is a trait that should never be overlooked. Working with others allows for ideas to flourish, as you are surrounded by new thoughts and perspectives that you may not have thought of before.
Many times, a teammate has the missing piece that you need but just can’t put your finger on. Also, note that creativity doesn’t just relate to art; creativity can be drafting a captivating email or coming up with an innovative marketing pitch. Any industry can benefit from individual creativity no matter the application, and working on a team supplies that flame of development.
Each employee has a different point of view and can provide a unique contribution to a shared task. By joining a team, you now are a part of a melting pot of knowledge that benefits all the contributors as well as the desired outcome.
Members of the team are likely to walk away from a project knowing more than when they started. At the end of the day, a group will likely come up with a very well-rounded solution or idea, compared to one individual with a single point of view.
One of the major benefits of teamwork is the feeling of working towards a greater purpose. Whether you are on a team of 5 people or 50, you now have a group of hardworking individuals that you can utilize when you need them.
It is much easier to stay on track and be productive when you have teammates to encourage you and hold you accountable. For the occasions where you need advice, direction, or even just a sounding board, having a teammate is a great resource.
With so many employees currently remote, there have been many hurdles in virtual team times and communication. With platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, employees have been able to get a form of “face to face” interaction with their team and keep a strong connection as they work towards their goals.
Take Advantage of Big Business Benefits
Bigger businesses likely offer extensive benefits for full-time employees. To learn more and take advantage of the available benefits your company offers, speak to an HR representative, read up on the company website, or use third-party tools like Glassdoor. Here are a few benefits—big and small—that corporate companies may offer.
Health Insurance. Full-time employees are likely offered plans for health insurance, which covers annual physicals, doctor’s visits, and certain medications. The other essential health benefits that private health insurance plans cover are:
- Mental health counseling
- Emergency services
- Outpatient care
- Pre-natal or newborn care
- Pediatric care
- Rehabilitative services
- Laboratory services
- Preventative health
It is important to note that “coverage” does not mean free. With an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, you will pay a predetermined amount out of your paycheck.
The price differs based on the company and the plan, as some employers pay the full premium, and others will just contribute. In general, the lower the monthly premium, the higher the co-payment and deductible. The higher the monthly premium, the lower the copayment and deductible.
Another term to be aware of when discussing insurance is deductible. A deductible is the threshold of out-of-pocket expenses before insurance starts to contribute. If your company offers a high deductible plan with the deductible set at $1500, you would be responsible for paying up to $1500 before the insurance company starts paying their share.
A copay is a fixed amount that you would pay for specific types of care. For example, with a copay plan, you may be responsible for paying $25 per doctor’s visit. The out-of-pocket maximum for copay plans is often less than high deductible plans, however, the premium is more expensive.
Vision insurance. This is another benefit that employers may offer. Vision insurance helps to cover annual eye exams and prescription eyewear. Approximately 75% of adults need eye correction—and if you are one of them— take advantage of this coverage and update your prescription annually.
These days, having the ability to buy glasses online gives you plenty of stylish options and makes staying on top of this task completely doable. Since this is a benefit that not every employee is fortunate enough to have, it’s important to take full advantage of it. Whether you wear glasses or have 20/20 vision, it is critical to have regular eye exams to ensure that your vision is the best it can be. These annual exams not only check to see if your prescription has changed but also check for eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and so much more.
There are so many daily activities that impact our eye health, from our diet to the amount of screentime. According to WebMD, nearly 60% of Americans use a digital device for at least 5 hours a day, and 70% use more than one at a time. All of that screentime has been known to cause dryness and eye irritation, which is especially significant to employees that work mainly on the computer.
Digital screens emit large amounts of blue light, which is a short wavelength, high-energy visible light. These HEV (high-energy visible) blue light rays are more scattered and not as easily focused compared to other visible light. What does this mean? It means that when we stare at a computer, our eyes struggle to focus due to the noise screens emit. This can cause digital eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and irritation.
To prevent this, you can look into blue-light blocking glasses, lenses, or screen filters. For a non-prescription option, you can look into blue-light glasses to wear while you are headed for heavy screen time. If you already wear prescription glasses, you can upgrade your current lenses to prescription blue-light filtering lenses, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Screen filters are another option if you prefer not to wear any eyewear, and they will filter the blue light as it comes off your computer, tablet, or phone.
Health benefits. Separate from insurance, corporations may also offer additional health and wellness benefits. This could be a company-sponsored gym membership or fitness program, which is beneficial to both the company and employees. Studies show that exercise stimulates more productivity, drive, and engagement.
On top of this, employees that prioritize their physical health are likely strengthening their immune system, which leads to fewer sick days and an overall healthier workplace. As far as employees go, you get a free gym membership, a feeling of appreciation from your business, and the opportunity to make your physical health a priority.
Another added health benefit could be a company mental health counselor or connections to mental health professionals in the area. 1 in 5 adults have experienced some type of mental illness, however, many do not seek professional help. Counseling can not only help reduce anxiety and stress but also overcome past traumas or developing concerns. Mental health is a crucial concern that has only worsened after the recent COVID-19 shutdown.
The CDC conducted a study across adults in the U.S. that showed 31% reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 13% reported having started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide. Mental health matters, and needs to be a priority just as much as your physical wellbeing. If your employer offers mental health resources, do right by yourself and keep both your mind and body healthy.
Paid Time Off/ Bereavement. Arguably one of the most common benefits of a corporate job is paid time off, otherwise known as PTO. PTO and bereavement are allotted hours you earn to take personal time away from work.
The amount of PTO differs based on the company, however, universally the time can be used for vacations, sick days, appointments, or other personal reasons. Bereavement is specifically reserved for a leave of absence due to a death of a family member or loved one. In many cases, bereavement is also paid leave, but it’s kept separate from the employee’s regular paid time off.
Company discounts. It can never hurt to check if your employer offers company discounts on software, equipment, or even community activities. Many large companies have relationships with clients, where they will offer employee discounts.
These can be discounts to local sporting events, company-sponsored recreation leagues, or big-name discounts to companies like Apple. Make sure to be aware of these opportunities and take advantage of them whenever possible.
Build Relationships With Coworkers
Relationships within the workplace are integral to both the company culture and your employee health. Big businesses can be intimidating for getting to know new people, especially with 22 million Americans working fully remote.
Numerous studies have concluded that the lack of socialization was easily one of the biggest downsides of remote jobs. Relationships in the workplace offer support, encouragement, and overall happiness to employees. Social interaction is essential for human health, benefiting our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Connecting with coworkers—on screen and in person— is important to have a healthy workplace environment.
Conclusion: What to Expect From Your First Corporate Job
Every job, business, boss, and employee is different. Do some research on companies you might be interested in working for. Read about them, check if they have a benefits page, and look up reviews on the company atmosphere.
Understanding a company’s structure will help ensure that you are getting the most from your new job. Remember, no situation is perfect. Ask questions and make sure that everything is laid out on the table before you take the plunge into your new career.