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Woman shares 13 valuable lessons she's learned working in corporate: 'Use ALL of your PTO'

They range from how to utilize one's yearly paid time off to things to keep in mind when looking for another job.

Woman shares 13 valuable lessons she's learned working in corporate: 'Use ALL of your PTO'
Cover Image Source: TikTok/taha_haha_

A TikTok user recently went viral on the platform by sharing some helpful things she has learned and realized about being a corporate worker. In a series of three videos, Michelle Taha—who goes by @taha_haha_ on the video-sharing platform—listed 13 tips for folks who are employed in office environments, ranging from how to utilize one's yearly paid time off to things to keep in mind when looking for another job. The series has gained more than 2.5 million views since being shared late last month and even sparked discussions about some of the points Taha shared.


In the first video of the series, Taha mentions five things to keep in mind before giving your all to a corporate job and putting yourself at risk of being burnt out. Here they are:

1. "Use ALL of your PTO every year. No one cares that you worked instead of taking time off. You're just making your own life harder."

2. "If you're not getting some kind of raise year to year, find another job. They don't care about you."

3. "Having a job that requires a work cell phone isn't cool, it's exhausting."

4. "Being the hardest working person doesn't get you as far as you think it would."

5. "Saying 'no' is sometimes necessary."

As Taha points out in her video, every employee should take full advantage of their PTO every year despite some companies projecting the message that taking time off—even if it is a break you've earned and fully deserve—is "selfish" as it puts more work on your coworkers' plate. The important thing to remember here is that it is actually an employer's responsibility to staff their workplaces appropriately so that workers taking time off does not impose an undue strain on others or pose a risk to the organization. Additionally, as the TikTok user points out, working yourself to death is not a good plan of action—unlike what some bosses would have us believe—because it rarely, if ever, results in things like raises and promotions.

@taha_haha_ Personal opnions. What are some things you’ve learned/realized after working as a professional? #corporatelife #workfromhome #businesswoman ♬ original sound Taha_haha_


In the second video of the series, Taha shared five more lessons she has learned over the course of her corporate career:

6. "Always be open to better opportunities. You're replaceable and they'll be fine when you leave."

7. "The best managers are the ones who started from the bottom."

8. "Don't wait for your performance evaluation to ask for a raise."

9. "The odds of you getting a job somewhere are much higher if you already know someone working there. 'It's all about who you know,' is real AF."

10. "If your company offers EAP (Employee Assistance Program), use it! Often you're given free counseling sessions and could even qualify for FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)."

Taha elaborated on her eighth point in a separate video in response to a follower asking how one could ask for a raise before they're up for a performance evaluation. She recommends that you broach the topic with your higher-ups during a quarterly discussion or at the mid-year mark as the merit salary adjustment or cost of living increase is pre-determined and approved and therefore, non-negotiable. As for how to have that conversation, she says: "Give hard facts, 'These are the ways I've exceeded expectations while meeting deadlines and completing projects beyond the scope of my role.'" On the other hand, according to Taha, it's best not to complain about someone else making more than you or claim you need the raise to afford something you've been meaning to buy.

@taha_haha_ Reply to @hamsandwich85 REMINDER these are my personal lessons I’ve learned and things that have worked for me. What are some things that have worked for you? #corporatelife #workfromhome #businesswoman ♬ Comfort Chain - Instupendo


Last but not the least, the final three lessons shared by Taha are:

11. "Interviews are just conversations. You have to like what they are selling too."

12. "Sending the same resume to every job is a big mistake." 

13. "Read and understand a company's drug/alcohol prevention plan. Testing positive for an expired medication could get you fired." 

@taha_haha_ #13 tends to suprise people. Do you have any questions about this one? #corporatelife #remotework #businesswoman check out the other two posts and let me know some things youve learned! @taha_haha_ @taha_haha_ ♬ original sound Taha_haha_


Several other TikTok users agreed with Taha's advice and added some of their own, emphasizing the importance of not making work one's entire life and prioritizing their health and happiness before anybody else's business. "They don't put your job title on your tombstone. Stop stressing out. You are here for a short time. Enjoy yourself," wrote a commenter, while another said: "We have to break out of this cycle of letting capitalism overwork us. We have needs and we all deserve a well-rounded life."

@taha_haha_ Replying to @scotaz What questions do you have?? #corporatelife #workfromhome #businesswoman ♬ Forever - Labrinth


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