How to Survive in Corporate America
A few years ago, I plunged head first into Corporate America after a decade of working for myself, and honestly, there are still some days I feel like I’m a spy behind enemy lines.
A huge reason why I worked for myself for so long (and still do in some capacity) is because deep down inside, part of me is anti-authority.
You’ll never find me yelling, “Fuck the system! Burn everything down!” while standing on a desk at the office (mainly because I don’t currently have a desk at the office…or an office).
My flavor is a little more subtle and based on the idea that none of us know what the hell we’re doing — teachers, parents, and CEOs included.
In my mind, people in the world of business decided to try and make sense out of all the chaos by doing the same thing we all do:
They made everything up.
From “synergizing” nonsensical words into existence to the very concept of a “pre-meeting,” business people started making this stuff up in order to maintain some semblance of control in a very out-of-control world.
I figured instead of fighting it, I would help others steer into the skid.
So, grab your company-branded coffee mug, get cozy at your desk (wherever that is right now), and make sure you’ve checked all of those “important” emails.
Whether you’re just entering the workforce or you’ve been around for awhile, here’s how to survive in Corporate America.
Accept your time isn’t your own
One of the hardest parts of joining the rat race was acknowledging the fact I no longer controlled all of my time. It was bizarre waking up and seeing tentative meetings already on my calendar from people I had never met (and then receiving a LinkedIn invite soon after). Can you imagine if this was standard practice in real life? Picture random strangers (or even *gasp* your in-laws!) claiming chunks of your time without asking first. It would be absolute madness.