‘Let me sing and do my thing and move to greener pastures’ – Ed Sheeran
Moving from my previous roles to my current one was possibly the best decision I ever made; aside of moving from the suburbs to London. The capital city gives back what it costs, and is home to a multicultural, inclusive (aside of rental costs) attitude rarely seen elsewhere in the UK. It is the centre of historical artefacts, international business and law-making. The move gave me time to find a job that makes me want to get up for work in the morning, a job that will begin my career. Reflecting upon the time this took to take scary steps towards an unknown future (such as voluntarily becoming unemployed), I couldn’t help but wonder. How many graduates are swallowed into corporations detrimental to their previously chosen career, and how many long-standing employees are still bound by those same contracts 50 years later? Do corporations swallow our pre-employment career goals? Even worse, do they swallow our personalities?
After encountering the punishment of corporate censorship in a small incident where I wrote about and successfully offended a local entrepreneur of the porn industry (where do I begin), I found myself questioning the true purpose of ‘corporate’ nature, and it’s importance. Everybody involved in that particular case knew I was only practicing my freedom of speech, based on my outlook. Corporate personalities are everywhere; dressed in poker faces and rigid suits. Professionalism is tasteful until personalities are swallowed in meetings and choked by ties; to what extent do corporations restrict our personalities? How many times did you lie today? Lucky enough to experience one mere occasion of corporate restriction, I had to edit my article in order to keep my job. How many more are victims of the ‘Corporate Circle’ and how many more freedoms have been sold for a monthly paycheck with uncapped commission and a company car? A highly recommended read in The Guardian demonstrates the nature of a ‘corporate cult’ and their ‘lovebombing’ practices that encourage the intake of graduates.* There is much more to be said on this, not least a mention of the attacks made on graduates from universities outside of the ‘elite’. The Corporate Circle doesn’t have a gate, it encloses the employee with contracts that involve hours of work limited by acts of law made in the early 20th century; sleep-deprivation, after-work drinks and the growth of an online presence mean business never sleeps, and the corporate personality remains switched on. With emotional intelligence at an all-time high, when did we decide to continue with a money-over-morals suit and tie attitude, suited only to the benefit of the minority? How far do companies own us?
One of the hardest things to establish in life is what you want to achieve. One of the most important things is to try to achieve it; whatever it may be. Whether it’s that you want to be a pilot, a mother, or want to travel the world; modern life gives us the opportunity to ‘have it all’. Taking advantage of that is not as easy; bank notes, ticking clocks and an inability to prioritize under the limelight of an ever-pressuring media ensure we are blinded by choice. If you can’t have it all until you’ve tried a lot of it, experience is key, and patience is an all-time virtue. On the subject of patience, next week will involve a much lighter observation of tube behavior.
*Follow this link for the recommended read: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/city-corporates-destroy-best-minds