Archived entries for Corporate Confinement

My Generation

Yes Yes, I know it has been an extremely long time since I last posted, but I read this really interesting quote today and I felt like posting it. The quote is from Penelope Trunk the founder of Brazen Careerist blog.penelopetrunk.com. Anyhow, I just thought that it rang very true.

“How can you tell if a member of Gen Y hates his or her boss?”

“You can’t. This is a non-confrontational generation. They change politics by voting, not screaming in the streets. And they change the workplace by quitting, rather than complaining. This is a generation that enjoyed mutual respect with their parents and their parents’ friends. Gen Y at large feel uncomfortable being openly confrontational than other, less cared-for generations.”

Not saying I hate my job or anything like that, I’m just saying that this quote was pretty good at explaining my generation’s “apathy”. (Please do not think I think that my generation is as apathetic as previous generations would like to think)

The Lurkers: Why Socially Awkward “Supervisors”
Make Me So Uncomfortable

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So today I am deciding to vent about something. Something that has bothered almost every since I started working, but especially since I started at the new company I am at. What is this something you ask? It’s The Lurkers. The Lurkers are the people at your job that just happen to always be right behind you, the lurkers are the ones that seemingly appear from out of nowhere whenever you least expect it. Throughout my post collegiate career I was fortunate enough to only have to deal with two; all I can say is…I can’t stand The Lurkers.

I will admit that my mind drifts at times, probably because I have very little passion for the work that I do; this is probably why I am great prey for the Lurkers. I have noticed that the Lurkers tend to have impeccable timing; they can always show up when you are chopping it up with a co-worker, or when you are reading an article on the web that has nothing to do with your job. Yes I will concede that I probably should be doing work (for explanation of why I am not busy see this post), but that is not my problem with The Lurkers, my problem is that they don’t say ANYTHING or if they do it is of little importance.

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Reasons Why People Become Lifers Continued:
Helplessness

**Note: This post is a response to a comment that was posted by one of my readers, Ralph. Ralph has a great site that deals with attaining success and maintaining a lifestyle that is conducive to success. Check it out @ http://potential2success.com/***

Last week I wrote a post about what causes people to become lifers. One of my readers, Ralph, added a pretty good comment where he included helplessness as one of the reasons people wind up becoming lifers. Ralph went on to describe the fact that some people feel as if they are not qualified, perhaps because of lack of education or other reasons, to do anything but the job they are doing so they don’t try to do anything else. I thought this was such a great comment, I felt like I should expand on it.

I have met a few people that feel like they are lucky to be in the position they are, and because of this they may not work to meet other goals they would like to set for themselves. Some people may think that because they lack higher education or come from a modest background they should consider themselves lucky to be where they are. While it is true that coming from a rich family or having higher education can make success a little easier to attain, just because one may lack those things does not mean that they can’t make an effort to try to work towards the life they desire. When I hear people say they don’t have an education, or that they are not rich and that’s why they cant’ truly be in the position they want to be in, I simply reply why not. History is littered with examples of successful people that lacked education, and/or rich parents. Continue reading…

The Lifers: How and Why People Become
Unhappy Lifetime Employees.

I have met various type of people since I began my sentence in corporate servitude. I’ll never forget a conversation I had with one of my past co-workers, who was about for years older than me, about the categories she put different workers in. Of all the categories she mentioned, none scared me most as the “lifers”. The lifers are the employees that are dedicated to the company. The lifers are the ones that would never dream of quitting. The lifers are the ones you see in the grocery store with the company t-shirt on Saturday. They’re the ones that have been with the company for more than 15 to 20 years. They’re the ones that bleed the company colors. They are the ones that every new entrant to Corporate America with an entrepreneurial spirit should be scared of becoming.

How does it happen? How does one become a lifer? Since I am not one (and have no aspirations to become one) I can only offer thoughts and conjectures. I have a few reasons why I believe people become lifers. One of the primary reasons is that they drank the company kool-aid. Another reason is safety, but ask yourself, is one truly safe when solely relying on employment from an external source? A third reason is indolence and comfort; and yet another reason is fear. I have only given a brief introduction into the reasons I believe people become lifers here, but worry not; a more in depth discussion follows after the jump.

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Coming out of The Rut.

Too many vacations that last too long, too many movies, too much TV, too much video game playing – too much undisciplined leisure time in which a person continually takes the course of least resistance gradually wastes a life. It ensures that a person’s capacities stay dormant, that talents remain undeveloped, that the mind and spirit become lethargic and that the heart remains unfulfilled.
-Stephen Covey, Author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Once you leave college a lot of the spontaneity that your daily routine used to have is gone. If you try you can keep the spontaneity in your life but it is hard. I have said this in previous a previous post, but once you start working a 9 to 5 the days get very monotonous and the time just passes quicker then you would like. A lot of times your day may go something like this: Wake up, get dressed, eat something on the go for breakfast, get on the same road that you commute on every day for your morning drive to work, arrive at work, settle in, spend your next 8 hours working on a project, assignment, or task that you have been working on for the last six months. If you are lucky your projects change frequently, if you are unlucky you have been doing the same repetitive task for the last 5 years. When you finally to get home from your commute from work to home you rarely feel like working on a side business, going to the gym or taking part in some other productive activity, so what do you do? Most likely you will take part in a few of the activities that Mr. Covey mentions in the quote that I began this post with, thus falling into what I like to call The Rut. To digress for a quick second, if you are working the good ol 9 to 5 and you are not that far removed from college, the problem of taking too many vacations that last too long, as described by Mr. Covey, is not a problem you have to worry about, companies make sure you can’t do that by instituting the crazy leave policies, I wish I had the problem of being able to take to many vacations, okay now back to the topic of this post.

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Working For A Small Company –
7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Do It.

Of course I want to work for myself and that is my overall goal. I still feel like you are not truly financially independent unless you are working for your self. However, I will concede that I have noticed some benefits from working at a small company as opposed to a larger company. Granted, I have not been at the new company that long, but here are a few of the things I have noticed.

  1. More interaction with company leaders.
    One of the biggest problems I sometimes experienced at the larger company I was with was that I did not get to interact with real decision makers, matter of fact they didn’t even know my name. I could sometimes interact with mid level managers pretty well, but the people that really made decisions were hard to speak to. It’s kind of hard to learn how the real decision makers got where they are without ever getting to talk to them. When I say decision makers, I mean your VPs, Presidents, CEOs, and tech directors. I am talking about the people that don’t have to ask to permission to get something done, I am talking about the people that give permission.
  2. Continue reading…

Working for a Big Company vs Working for a
Small Company.

Making My Decision To Move To A Small Company

When I made the decision to quit my first postgraduate job at a large (20,000 people large) successful consulting firm and go to a small startup-consulting firm, I felt like the decision was huge. When I notified my old job most of my co-workers had mixed reactions, some told me I would be running back, other’s told me that I should do it now since I am young and could afford to take the risk. After working at the large firm for close to three years I was beginning to get comfortable and to some extent lazy. I will never forget what one of my co-workers, who was a subcontractor from a small company told me; he sent me an email saying that I was about to make a great decision and that working for a small companies has advantages and disadvantages, but that it would force me to work harder and tap into my innovative entrepreneurial spirit. After a month of weighing the pros and cons, I made the switch. Continue reading…

A day in the life of a 9 to 5

I saw this commercial while I was on vacation, I immediately found the link on YouTube and emailed myself the link. This commercial is crazy, because it is a perfect example of how 9 to 5 life can rob you of your essence.

Epiphany For The Day

I feel that at least once a week I have an epiphany: some idea I feel is so profound that it will change my life. I tell friends and family, and I think they will be amazed at how profound my thoughts are, but after about a week or two I forget about the epiphany. Anyhow, my epiphany for this week’s is this: I, like most other people, lack control of my life. I know, it’s a strange concept, especially since we humans have free will and the ability to make decisions, but I firmly believe that a large portion of the humanity is bred to accept the fact that they don’t have control over their lives and not even notice.

Two events occurred this week that made me realize how little control I have over my life. The first event occurred at the doctor’s office. While sitting in the docs office this week, I noticed a sign that basically informed me that I was obese. I immediately realized that I had to exercise and change my diet. So now, in addition to the project that I am trying to work on I must also incorporate the gym into my daily schedule. The second event that occurred revolved around a conflict of schedule between the company I work for and a class I was schedule to take, basically I have to make a choice between taking a class I am interested in and attending a work related event; what sucks is that this work related event is on a weekend, which is supposed to be my time. Anyhow, these events made me realize that our lives have to be planned around our jobs. More and more I am starting to believe that the only people that really have control of their lives, aside from the super rich, are entrepreneurs.

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Pay Me For My Work, Not My Time

As I have said before, I recently switched companies. One thing that I used to hate about my old job was when I would finish work too early and have nothing to do for the rest of the day. I found a much similar situation on my first project with my new job. I am a consultant for a small company, which pretty much means we work as sub contractors with larger companies. However, I don’t feel that the problem of pay for time rather then pay for work is unique to my field. I talk to a lot of people about this issue and it seems to a problem across multiple industries. Now the problem does not really apply to people that are hourly employees, they are explicitly paid for their time, I am talking about salaried employees.

Continue reading…



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