How to live a happier Corporate Life.
Corporate life is about structure and organisation. The word itself derives from corpus, meaning body, and reflects a single entity made up of individual parts working individually, together. It’s part of the reason why corporate work retains such a bad rap. Corporate life is seen as being a cog in the machine, separated from personal goals and success, instead focused on the whims and victories of a greater entity. It conjures images of Winston Smith squirrelled away in the Ministry of Truth or the bureaucratic bowels of Dostoevsky’s The Double.
To an extent though, this is more outdated perception than reality.
The corporate world is enormous and varied. It provides work for millions of people of all sorts of backgrounds and skill sets. If you feel as if corporate life is getting you down, perhaps you need a change in perspective. Business and industry move quickly and relentlessly, there’s always a focus on the next thing. It’s a world of ever-changing challenges and opportunity that afford a clear-cut and secure lifestyle. You’re here for a reason right? Look back at your career path and how you came to be where you are. Recognise your own contributions and successes that can so often get lost as new projects come in.
Corporate life has changed, and is changing, it’s offerings are more varied and skills are more transferable. A graphic designer at a marketing company may sit at a desk in a highrise to work but is his profession really comparable to that of a sales analyst on the next floor? Our perceptions of corporate life are more based in how we see bureaucracy, another necessary part of society, and how it puts the collective before the individual. Where really though, is the shame in being part of a team? In working together to reach a common goal? Corporate life brings you closer to a group of people, people you can rely on and who can in turn rely on you. You may feel like a cog in a machine but no machine can function without it’s cogs. There’s a certain narcissism to how people critique those who choose a corporate path. That corporate people are less unique or inspired, as if their work is less important, meaningful or impactful. As if being the head of yet another failed startup, or self proclaimed ‘entrepreneur’ gives someone a moral high ground.
There are many walks of life, and like it or not the corporate world is a major player, and it’s participants shouldn’t be ashamed of that. It brings its own pros and cons, just as any professional environment does. There exists great variety and great opportunity in the corporate world, and being a part of it does not diminish you as an individual with your own goals and ambitions. In many ways, it nourishes them.
We also need to get past the idea that the way we make a living is our only defining trait. If you’re unhappy in a corporate job, it might not even be the job but rather that you allow the job to be the defining part of your character. There are lots of ways we can vary our lives and inject fun into each and every part. Check out some of our other articles, here (fun article), here (career change article). And remember that there’s no harm in structure, in cooperation and asking for help once in a while. If you want to get more out of your corporate life, you’re in the right place.