I've worked in a corporate office job for the better part of 15 years, so I think I have a few tips I can provide on this topic. Here is my guide for surviving a corporate career.
Be positive and professional: I remember a manager talking to me during my career about employee attitudes. The manager said he would rather have an employee who was just ok at the job, but had a great attitude, then someone who is really talented, but is a constant negative energy that brings down the whole team. Your best bet is to keep a positive and professional attitude. Even if you're overwhelmed, just take things one task at a time, and you'll be surprised how it all works out. You'll feel better about yourself and have a better reputation if you remain positive and level headed even in times of stress.
Believe in your coworkers, work as a team: We are all at the corporate job for the same reason, to make money so we can live, take care of our families, and enjoy our time outside of work. Give your coworkers the benefit of the doubt, most people want to do a good job and have the best of intentions. Trust your coworkers to do their part and have an attitude of "we're all in this together". There are times when you will be up and there are times when you will be down. Sometimes you will be the high performer, and sometimes it will be your coworker. The key is to ride it out and keep working hard and continue to be a team player.
Don't take things personally: On this one, what I mean is, when someone sends you a text in two words asking for something, they don't really mean it in any derogatory way. They are probably driving or in between meetings and can't stop to type out the details. I actually don't mind direct communications and have really changed my style of communication to being more direct and informational. Sometimes if you get into too many details or try to be personal, then it makes it so the important information doesn't get across as effectively. Short, sweet, informative, and professional is really all you need to communicate effectively. Once you start to communicate this way yourself, then you'll stop taking short communications in anyway as personal. Also remember that most people are wrapped up in their own pressures and problems, the same as you are, so their behaviors likely have nothing to do with you.
Don't get too wrapped up in what you can't control: In our corporate office lives there are going to always be things that we cannot control. Luckily my office values the employee opinions so we always have a chance to give input. Sometimes that input may still not make a difference, the key is to be flexible and realistic. Why stress about a decision made that you can't control, just go with it, things are probably not going to be as bad as you think.
Be productive with your office time so that you can spend more time doing what you love: We have to spend plenty of time at the office every day, that's what a full time job is. We have to be there when the customer's need us, and so some of our time is spent with reactive tasks, but the other time is proactive. Make sure that when you have the time to do the proactive tasks, you do them, get them done. Then you don't have to spend extra hours at the office to finish. I like to think of how I can work smarter, not harder. Is there a resource I can delegate to so that it allows me to finish something sooner and more efficiently? Is there a tool that will help me do something faster? Maybe I have to invest a little time to learn this tool or resource, but in the long run if it will make me more productive overall, it may be worth the invested time. Do the hardest tasks first.....on this one I'm thinking of the tasks that take the most time and concentration. Usually I try to come in nice and early in the morning and work on these types of things before the distractions of the day really get going.
Have some office style: This is my favorite one of course. I'm lucky as my office tends to be a little on the casual side. So I can get away with wearing dark or colored denim with boots, tops and sweaters. The picture in this post is of a typical work day outfit for me; DL denim and Red23 leather patch sleeve asymmetrical tunic from Due Donne boutique, Matisse boots from Miss Meers. If you are planning to go for a manager's job, you may want to step up the corporate style....you all remember that saying, dress for the job you want right? That's what I do with my casual glamour wardrobe. I like being an individual contributor so I don't feel the need to wallstreet up too much. On the other hand, I love to dress in my colored denim and boots and enjoy maintaining my casual glamour blogging persona :). The other thing about dressing for work is that you'll feel more confident and productive when you are in a well put together outfit.
Keep your desk clutter free, be organized on your computer: I don't even really decorate my cube too much or anything, I like it to be tidy and try to keep my computer work generally organized by creating folders for documents and emails. I don't like to print things, I'd rather just have electronic files so I don't have lots of papers.
If you have any career tips you'd like to share, let me know!