These two books helped me as a young professional in an enterprise world

Right after school, I had no idea what to do. The one goal I had, passed down from my parents, was to find a good, stable job that paid well. While searching for learning opportunities to further my education, I came across a work/study offer from Deutsche Telekom. They said it was part intern, part study program, and I had actually no clue what that meant, but I applied anyway. I had two job interviews but was very poorly prepared for either one. But they hired me anyway, God only knows why. Looking back now, I would like to thank the people that hired me. 🙏🏻

The study part of the program was well organized and straight forward, so it took a lot of pressure off me, as I knew exactly what I needed to study at any point in time.

This gave me the chance to focus on the work side of the program, and learn how life worked within a huge enterprise. The practical world of work is completely different than the theoretical world of science. In the business world, humans and processes play a huge and important role, which I didn’t learn in the theoretical world of science. There were two really important things that I learned within the early phase of my career and two books that helped me to deal with that.

First,...

...thriving in an enterprise depends a lot on how well you get along with other people and how well you function in the system. By that, I don’t mean trite things like “being a team player”. I mean really building relationships with people and being reliable. It’s about building a reputation so that people know that you are the one who solves problems and pushes the enterprise forward. In many ways, it’s a form of social engineering (the political science one, not the security one). That’s why the book Making Friends and Influencing People by Dale Carnegie was so helpful to me.

While it's always good to be very knowledgable in your field, you can achieve a lot with good social engineering. Dale Carnegie shows how successful people throughout history have influenced people around them by using easy to learn techniques, like remembering and calling colleagues by their name.

Second,...

...success within an enterprise requires the ability to sell other people on your ideas. The primary tool used in business to visually sell your ideas is Microsoft PowerPoint (or any other presentation tool). Got an idea? Build a PowerPoint presentation to showcase it! Need a decision? Use PowerPoint to illustrate the different options and demonstrate why your proposed option is the best. Want to plan the next team event? You guessed it, PowerPoint. Building PowerPoint presentations and other visual assets is an important thing to master in the business world. That’s where the book, Graphics design: the new basics helped me immensely.

It covers the basics of color theory, layouts, and the other details of graphic design you will need to know to create compelling presentations. The concepts I learned in that book still help me to this day. For example, I learned that excellent visuals will more than compensate for minor mistakes in your work. Taking the time to read this book will definitely pay off.

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