Why the corporate world does not work for so many of us…

Escape the City
Aug 20, 2015 · 9 min read

We are our jobs.

Before we escaped, Rob found himself at an awkward British drinks party. A girl engaged him in conversation. Within seconds, inevitably, she asked him what he did. When he responded ‘I’m a management consultant’ she said ‘don’t take this the wrong way’ — as if there was a right way to take it — ‘but you look like one’.

The emperor’s new clothes.

Hans Christian Anderson tells the story of how a fabulously rich, powerful and egotistical emperor is promised a new suit of clothes by two weavers. The clothes are meant to be invisible to those unfit for their positions — stupid or incompetent. When the Emperor parades in front of his subjects in his new clothes a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”

Politics and bullshit.

Why is it so hard to be yourself at work? People who work in big corporations often don’t speak like normal human beings. We caught the bug ourselves and ended up using ridiculous expressions like ‘let’s get our ducks in a row’ and talking about things like ‘capacity’, ‘learnings’ and ‘leverage’.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

It was the 28th of April 2008 and Manchester United (one of Rob’s true loves) were playing Barcelona in the European Cup semi-finals that evening. The football fans amongst you will appreciate the pain of this story. The rest of you, just imagine that you were planning to spend your evening doing something really important to you!

  1. We weren’t developing skills that we valued.
  2. And so much of the work we sweated over just didn’t seem to matter.
  1. Mastery — the urge to get better and better at something that matters to you.
  2. Purpose — the yearning to do what you do in the service of something larger than yourself.

The 21st Century Career

Do work that matters to you — do it on your terms. Perspectives on the new world of work — collected by Escape the City. www.escapethecity.org

Escape the City

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Do something different. We are on a mission to liberate talented people from unfulfilling corporate jobs. www.escapethecity.org

The 21st Century Career

Do work that matters to you — do it on your terms. Perspectives on the new world of work — collected by Escape the City. www.escapethecity.org