In today’s post, I will tell you about my experience in working in a corporation. Fortunately, this stage of my life is already behind me. In this post, I want to pass on my experiences after a few years spent in a large corporation and working there as contractor.
Due to the fact that I am an analyst and my current job often takes the form of freelancing – it also happens that I work on a long contract, for example for a large corporation – for several years.
From conversations with friends or younger people who are just starting their professional career, it is often heard that the corporation is a place where you can definitely earn a lot of money because there is a possibility of promotion and everything is well organized and functions properly.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case and to confirm this thesis – I already have a few real-life cases about which I will tell in today’s post.
I emphasize once again: these are not some theoretical considerations of a person holding the position of an academic lecturer, but specific situations, supported by examples and own experience, which cause one or another attitude to work in such organizations.
Some hunters of various conspiracy theories and observations of the geopolitical situation claim that in fact large corporations rule the world. In turn, the apparently power National Governments are on their string and carry out their orders.
An example would be the recent Facebook digital tax situation and the case of Australia buckling under pressure – not so much by the corporation itself as by the people who are addicted to it.
If large corporations have power over people and their needs – then democratic governments – to fear losing their jobs – are de facto their slaves.
When we observe the alarming rise in importance of some international organizations, we can get the impression that there is a grain of truth in these theories.
This is because in democratic systems it is people who indirectly choose their representatives and these representatives, fearing the loss of public support, will do everything to please these people.
Blocking Facebook or Google in a given country may cause a greater rebellion in the population than raising the prices of bread or other basic goods.
Of course socialist governments have to raise taxes and they have to take those taxes away from someone. And as you know, the easiest way is to take a weak one who does not have an army of lawyers from a large lobby with him and such things.
Therefore, any wonderful ideas of taxing digital giants or smartphone taxes – will always be passed on to small, humble citizens – who will pay for the distribution and waste of public funds.
However, let’s leave conspiracy theories and geopolitics of large corporations aside and return to employment in such an organization
How to define corporation?
At the beginning, we will tell you what is the characteristic of working in a corporation in contrast to working in a small family company or your own business (self-employment).
What usually comes to mind first is that corporations are organizationally big. Of course, there are very large and slightly smaller corporations, but it is the hallmark of any corporation that their organizational structure is complex.
The complexity of the organizational structure is so great that it is often very difficult to identify a person who is responsible for a task. Not to mention the person or persons who are really responsible for the management of the corporation.
What is fuzzy responsibility?
The phenomenon of the so-called fuzzy responsibility is a feature of probably all corporations that I have dealt with or have dealt with.
What is the practice of fuzzy responsibility in a corporation, or in other words: the lack of personal responsibility.
Well, if we want to arrange consent, for example, to buy a new device or hire another person, such a decision is never made by one person.
In this type of organization – each supervisor has his / her supervisor and decisions are not made personally and independently. You can appoint your immediate superior – but the decision is not up to him – in matters of greater importance – the college of unspecified people takes part in issuing the decision.
In a corporation, there is a magic word like procedures.
Procedures typically require more than one person to complete a task – so the simplest decisions sometimes take weeks.
People who have worked in such a place know what the hundreds of e-mails, teleconferences and meetings are, the fruit of which is not to solve the problem, but to create new meetings and arrangements to remove responsibility and cover themselves with risk analyzes, legal issues, GDPR and so on.
Another feature of the corporation – apart from the complicated organization and the existence of procedures – which is actually the result of the above two, is a very long time of decision making.
It is not necessarily a decision to buy a new device for the company or hire a person. The long decision-making process also applies to activities strictly related to the operational activity of the enterprise.
In a small company, the decision to change the price of a product offered on the market is often spontaneous or very quick, preceded by a condensed analysis – in order to react quickly enough in time. .
However, in a corporation, everything has to go through the procedure of 20 departments of personal data protection compliance analysis, and so on.
All this means that issuing the simplest decision must be supported by the opinion of the legal department, often requires a decision consulted with external lawyers, audits and all this costs money and requires a huge amount of time.
If something takes time, it also requires money, so each decision-making process is very costly.
Only in a corporation I have encountered such a waste of money – both due to the expensive cost of decisions and time, which always works to a disadvantage.
If it is necessary to react quickly to a suddenly changing market situation – corporations will often lag behind small companies.
And to understand me well – it is not about wasting money all the time, but wasting money on strange, often unnecessary goals.
And this is often done when employees demand a raise because they are poorly paid.
This type of phenomenon can be very demotivating and frustrating for the crew – who begin to lose faith in sensible management.
When everything goes well in the corporation, operating profit indicators grow – we spend money on various stupid things and do not necessarily think about the people to whom we owe this success.
However, when more difficult times come, if only due to worse economic conditions and time, the process of frantically looking for savings and creating nonsense recovery plans begins.
Usually, the first to get the rebound of bad management are regular employees and job cuts. The famous reorganization and liquidation of positions most often concerns a lower-level position.
We come here to the last but most annoying feature of the corporation – heartlessness.
Are you a man or human resource?
In a corporation, a Man – employee is only a database entry or a cell in Excel. We call it human resource.
He often does not know his supervisor who is over his immediate superior.
Therefore, he has no influence on the decisions made in the corporation and his vote is completely ignored.
Even if your supervisor and you work in the same building, there is often a huge distance between the managerial staff and the lower-level employees.
Personally, it seems to me that this heartlessness aims to distance people from each other and not allow them to make a bit more friendly and private relationships.
Some corporations’ privacy and security policies even prohibit any non-professional contacts. And it is not only about the so-called male-female relations between employees.
Not only that – in these politicians – the prohibition covers not only the relationship between the superior and the subordinate, which of course I understand and I support it as much as possible.
They are also unpleasant about any co-educational connections between employees from the same department and employed in the same position. In such cases, the subordinate-superior relationship does not exist at all.
In a corporation, you have to be a cog in a machine, a working cell in Excel that brings measurable profits to the organization with its daily work.
You are the ant that works for the success of your department. In turn, your department and its director work on the results by reporting to the board.
The management board, in turn, works to be able to boast of good results at the investors’ meeting
After several years of working in a corporation for which I devoted a lot of health and precious time of my life – I can now say.
Yes, all the things I mentioned are 100% true.
In a corporation, you are a slave to the system that forces you to work superhuman in the name of soulless consumerism and the appearance of success – paid for with your own health and lack of relationship with private life.
For several months I have been free from corporations and I must admit that the quality of my life has increased dramatically.
Finally, we have some time for our own hobbies as well as walks and other such things.
Overall, I am more rested and certainly less stressed.
I will come back to this topic, however, the only thing that I can publicly declare is that I will never return as an employee to the corporation. Even at the cost of my quality of life deteriorating.
Of course, I can cooperate and be a contractor, but only as my own company and on my terms – as an independent entity – outside the machine for squeezing our life out.
I don’t want to look like the withered orange in the illustration of this article.