Don’t be a survivor in the corporate world.

Working in a big corporation can be many people’s dream career since school. Your parents and teachers asks you to follow the rules and one day get a job in a company where you can spend the rest of your life. On top of that, get a mortgage, get married, have kids and hopefully retire with a home paid off and some form of pension to live on after retirement.

The thought of retirement can be quite scary. Your kids does not want to stay with you, your friends could have mobility or health issues, they may die off one by one before you do. If I am lucky to stay healthy, I could do some traveling or just sit on a chair and read a book. Your bank account savings will go down by the day. Will you die first before your account balance goes to zero — what happens to the other way around? Government support is very minimal for many countries, you may be lucky enough to be in the developed high tax places so that you don’t have to beg or live on the streets.

Most people will fall in the above category because no one thinks that far ahead of their lives and if we change our mindset, we can do much better before it’s too late. I am not saying we should all go out and start our unicorn businesses, it could be too risky for a lot of us. If you are a survivor in a big company, you will definitely end up with a boring retirement.

My definition of a survivor is:

  • Do bear minimum as being told what to do
  • Too afraid to break the rules
  • Not asking for what they want
  • Work enough hours per HR policy
  • Don’t want to offend people
  • Walk around with a fake smile
  • Give other people the responsibilities, no ownerships
  • Make sure not to make big enough mistake to get fired
  • Rather hide in the toilet and play with cell phone if they have nothing to do
  • Don’t know why they are there and no purpose. Don’t care.
  • Happy to return home because they cheated the company for a pay check with just enough or less than expected amount of work

This is what I called a survivor in the corporate world. All dead woods. These people are costing companies billions of dollars and destroy morale in the team where non survivors would leave or get frustrated so much that they rather turn into a survivor themselves. The worst is, companies are not doing enough about this. The mid level managers are hiding this from the shareholders. The only time when they may get ride of some dead wood is when there is a cost reduction initiative, but again only as needed and keep the rest just in case they need a spare pair of hands later.

What can we do about it?

We can create many initiatives to have high performance teams, better hiring, better coaching and training etc. But we have done all that. Does it really work? Maybe case by case.

It needs to come from within that person. They need to know why they are there, how to appreciate life and what it means to them. We all need money to survive but if we can use the same time to add much more value and don’t settle for a normal retirement, then corporates will not need as many people, morale will be much higher and as an individual you may have higher chance of getting promoted with more money to enjoy a better retirement. You will be much happier as a result.

  • Live by the minute
  • Plan by the day
  • Help others
  • Stay hungry
  • Keep learning, its fun
  • Picture your retirement lifestyle you want
  • Behaviour is everything
  • Ask the whys
  • Have goals and mentors

I want to make the work environment a much better place, it needs start with individual mindsets. Please, if you are a survivor now, is it worth it? Question yourself, what you are doing to your life. You are rotting. Must make a change now before it’s too late. Don’t be a survivor!!

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Also recommend articles from Radiate with Betty , one of my favorites.