General Question

fremen_warrior's avatar

Myself Inc. - how does working in a corp. affect you?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5505points) August 19th, 2011

Here is a question for all you Jolly Jellies who have experience working for big corporations: how do you adjust to the standards/procedures/whatever and remain relatively sane? Adjusting to the work environment and fitting in is one thing, but not letting it change you is another – any tips for not letting the BS at work affect who I am?

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10 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Don’t ever forget that you’re not married to your job. At anytime you have the option of quitting if you start to feel it’s negatively affecting your mental health.

bkcunningham's avatar

Keep something beautiful near your work space. Be it a photo of family (even if it must be kept in your desk drawer), flowers, a painting you love, a book…

Don’t get caught up in office cliques and gossip.

Take a few minutes every hour to be aware of your breathing. Breath deeply and relax.

Don’t procrastinate.

Keep your work space organized.

Ask your partner to help you be aware of any changes in your attitude or conversation or whatever that could be caused by work. Ask this favor before it happens and have a planned release for job tension or frustrations. Perhaps a date night or an order in night with a favorite movie.

Best wishe. Don’t forget, sometimes change can be good.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It was a huge adjustment going from working in hotels where we got the job done fairly quickly to working in a corporate office required lots of level of approval. It became worse as the company grew.

What helped was in seeing the successful results of a project by getting buy-in of those that played a part in its success. It was a lesson in the value of being strategic vs. being reactionary.

I also learned that The Golden Rule was not effective, But The Platinum Rule was. For example, there was a time where 11 people reported directly to me. Some preferred communication via e-mail, some wanted phone time, others wanted face-to-face, and there was one that needed little to no interaction. I learned to treat them as they wanted to be treated and not based upon my personal preference. My job as a manager was to support them, not the other way around.

Another work life lesson is that my supervisors typically have a lot more job stress than I did. I just wasn’t aware of it unless they talked about it, which was rare. There were a couple of times when I went to my supervisor and said, “Do you need any help?” Some may call it brown-nosing, but that wasn’t the intent. From each experience offered up, it kept me busy and helped in learning about the business. Some of them really made me stretch past what I thought were my abilities.

I also stopped looking at supervisors as someone I could not go to when I felt overwhelmed and needed advice. They too are human. It’s a shame that some people find this to be an uncomfortable risk to take.

Bellatrix's avatar

I still don’t like the politics and the ridiculous elements of working for a large organisation. I don’t like having a fairly long drive home but I am sort of thankful for it. It gives me chance to de-work… I listen to Alice Cooper on the radio and by the time I am home… mostly I am over the work crap. Plus, I am myself at work. If people don’t like that… well tough shit. Really. I am not going to pretend to be something I am not. If I don’t fit, so be it. Really though. If you are doing a good job, in the environment I work in, you can really be quite individual. In fact, even those who aren’t doing a good job can be very individual.

poisonedantidote's avatar

After working for a couple of big companies, my personal rule is now to never work for a big company. If I don’t get to know the owner personally I’m not interested.

Ideally, you should work for your own company, making sure your effort goes in to making you money instead of working for someone else and earning them money. Failing that, work for a small company, and never ever work for any kind of chain, franchise or corporation.

This wont be the most matture advice perhaps, but my suggestion is to make your self feel better by cheating them out of paychecks. If you are stuck for some reason woring for a big company, lie, cheat, skive, and do everything you can to take advantage of them and use them. You can bet your bottom dollar they will be trying to use you.

Nullo's avatar

I’m fine adjusting as long as they changes are doable and make sense. My job tends to make me surly, but that’s more to do with the clientèle than the rules.

Gabby101's avatar

Try to find a couple of advocates to help you get your work noticed, get good projects and get people interested in you. In large companies, you can’ get ahead just by being a hard worker or producing good work, you need someone higher up than you praising you to others. If your current boss isn’t doing it for you, find someone who will – even if that means changing jobs. The politics and lack of accountability will always be there, just realize it’s a game and don’t dwell on it too much. Also, don’t burn any bridges – even though it seems like you could get lost in a big company, you can’t – there are always people to share stories from years ago about so-and-so and people will ask around before hiring you to see what others know about you.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Take a note from Beyonce and develop your own Sacha Fierce. When you walk through the doors you become the “work you” and you focus on emulating who you need to be and doing what you need to do to kick butt. When you leave then you can be yourself again, leave the work you in the closet until you have to go back. That’s what I do, it works out fairly well….

augustlan's avatar

In my experience, there are pros and cons to working for both big corporations and small businesses. I actually found one corporate environment more ethical than several of the small companies I worked for. There was a lot of accountability built into the corporate system, while working for Joe Blows there was nobody watching what they were doing, and believe me, some of them took real advantage of that. Most of the small business owners were good guys, though, and you definitely have a larger presence and impact working for them.

Anyway, wherever you work, it’s important to stay true to yourself. Follow the rules, but don’t become a drone. Remind yourself daily that your job is not your life.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Thank you everyone! :-) As I get used to my new-ish office surroundings I am discovering new ways to forget all about it. I have recently rediscovered the sauna, the swimming pool, I started running more regularly – it seems the more PE I have, the less all that stuff seems to bug me. Good luck to every corporate jelly out there! :)

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