Most of us grew up believing life has a set path. Go to school. Go to college. Get a job. Climb the corporate ladder. Reach the top. Retire at 65. Corporate life was the norm and for many, expected.
An era causing many people to question what’s most important to them in life. Is it the fancy job title, job security and a good salary? Or is it freedom, emotional well-being and making a difference? Is their destiny really corporate life, or were they meant for something else?
As we grow older our values change. The things we once thought so important to us, become not so important at all.
But aside from a change in values – are there any other signs you were destined for something other than corporate life?
Here are 9 signs corporate life isn’t for you:
1) You feel out of place
When working in recruitment, I looked around the sales floor and felt completely out of place.
The room was full of highly competitive, money-driven individuals who thrived in a hardcore sales environment. They loved targets and being the best was their goal. And spending their hard-earned cash on the finer things in life.
I wasn’t interested in making money for either myself or someone else. I simply want to improve the lives of others. And inspire as many people as I can while I am lucky enough to walk this earth.
Whether it’s in terms of your personality. Your ideas. Your values. Or your thinking. If you’re already questioning if you fit into a corporate environment, there’s a chance you were destined for something else.
2) You’re not being your authentic self
Ever feel like you’re pretending to be someone you’re not? Because you’re worried what people would think if you were the ‘real’ you?
Being someone you’re not is exhausting. So if you’re stressed and drained when you get home from work. It could be because you’re not being your authentic self.
Not sure if you are or not? The DISC personality test will tell you who you are naturally Vs when you are in front of others.
3) You get frustrated by the lack of freedom.
Let’s face it. The moment you work for someone else, you’re working towards someone else’s dream. And you will be expected to follow their rules, processes and methods to get there.
If you dislike not being able to do things your way (even though you know it’s the better way). If you perceive your boss or company as short-sighted, unimaginative or a dinosaur in their methods or thinking. Or you feel stifled and unable to express your creativity or ideas. Then there’s a chance corporate life isn’t for you.
4) You’re a rebel at heart
I never liked to be told what to do when I was younger. Particularly by someone whom I perceived as either my equal or less competent. It felt like they were trying to trap me in their box of conformity. And I hated it.
I understand now part of this was arrogance and immaturity. And over time I have learnt the valuable lesson of humility. And not feeling threatened if someone suggests a different way of doing things.
However, being a rebel can be a great thing. Change only ever happens when we are brave enough to push boundaries. It’s the rebels who change the world.
If you have this burning desire to prove others wrong and achieve the unthinkable, maybe it’s time to go for it.
5) You hate the corporate BS
“You have to play the game if you want to get promoted.”
A sentence that used to send shivers up my spine.
Unfortunately, the bigger a company gets, the more power struggles there will be. It’s part and parcel of corporate life these days.
If you’re sick of the political games. The popularity contests. The campaigns for allegiance. The brown-nosing. There’s a strong chance you were destined for something other than corporate life.
6) You feel like you’re on a hamster wheel – and you want to get off
Get up. Go to work. Produce. Go home. Netflix. Bed.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
If you’re bored of the 9am to 6pm. Doing the same menial tasks day in, day out. Or you hate feeling like just another number. Desperately wanting to make a difference and be valued for it. Perhaps the corporate environment isn’t for you.
7) You hate your job
You’re frustrated. Demotivated. Possibly even depressed. You might be self-medicating with caffeine, sugar or cigarettes to get yourself through the day. You hate what you’re doing and hate yourself for doing it.
Maybe getting a different job in a different company would solve the problem. But maybe all of the above are signs you were destined for something outside of corporate life.
8) You dread going to the office
The office feels like a highly-pressurised chamber waiting to explode. The buzz of stress hits you like a punch to your stomach as soon as you walk through the door. And while you want to remain as calm as possible, it’s hard to not get affected by it.
Some companies have got it right and have created a great working environment. But they are few and far between. If you want away from the corporate stress, a career change might be for you.
9) You’re sick of following someone else’s dream
You ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” “Who am I doing this for?” “Why am I earning money for this company, when I could be doing it for myself?”
All perfectly normal and natural questions for someone who was meant for something other than corporate life. The question is, when are you going to do something about it?
Many people thrive in the corporate environment. They love being part of a collective all heading for the same goal. Bouncing ideas off each other and supporting one another in reaching individual and company objectives. For some, simply having the security of a paycheck at the end of every month is enough to keep them happy in their jobs.
For others, corporate life simply doesn’t fit with who they are or what they want.
There is no right or wrong here. It’s simply about figuring out what’s right for you.
What are some of the best and worst experiences you’ve had working in a corporate environment? What would you change about corporate life if you had the power? Please share your experiences and comments below!
Want to leave the corporate world but don’t know where to start? Visit www.zetayarwood.com or email me at zeta@zetayarwood to find out how I can help.
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Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.