“O Tell Me The Truth About working at big corporates”

People normally chase opportunities.

Candidates name them so often during job interviews: “I applied to this big company because I believe this could be a great opportunity”.

What opportunity means is subjective.

For neo graduates, opportunity is a synonymous of “chance to get to the top”, even when this means accepting to take a certain amount of risk.

There are no opportunities without risks.

Job opportunities know no differences: when you choose them, the negotiation is not just a matter of money, it’s a matter of a compromise between risks and perceived chances to get closer to your dream.

In fact, jobs are often referred to as “career opportunities”, especially when they relate to “white collar” positions in Corporates.

What is the meaning of “opportunity” in corporates?

If you have the chance to talk and dig into it with corporate employees, you’ll find out how that several experiences share a common fil rouge.

Most of them, those who did not reached the few pyramid leading roles, even if they had been assigned with some kind of “matrix functional role”, will complain about the fact they had not been offered of a real chance.

This is because they do not see (or pretend not to see) that they give has granted part of the “chance” they have been given to.

What chances have they been offered?

First chance: being in the game. Yes, they forgot they have been chosen as participants of a game where actually only one in a million (or millions, depending on the size of the corporate) wins.

They lost, or better, they haven’t won so far.

That’s because they compromised by self convincing of those “fake” careers steps human resources are generally great to invent. Fake careers steps made by differentiations based on the enormous EGO we have.

Team leaders have a touch screen mobile phone, the rest will have the common one; “key supervisors” will be allowed to park the car in a special area, the rest will not. Others will have company car, and “labels” prefix to your name in order to­ highlight seniority.

That’s it.

Why is it so?

Corporates need employees willing to do what they are asked to.

All employees should be that way. If you accomplish your tasks efficiently and without mistakes, you simply do what you have been asked for, and already paid for. There is not, and there should not be any special reward they owe you. Your salary is already a market determined compensation.

That’s a part people tend to forget.

Second “easily forgotten chance” is the fact that corporates have given you a chance to live with minimum risk. The bigger the corporate, the smaller the risk. In fact, you are paid even when the company does not make profit, and it’s hard or almost impossible for you to lose your job.

Moreover, the effects of missing your responsibilities are at the minimum level: even if you manage a small budget, they are not actually your money, and even if you make big mistakes like ruining a thousand euros mainframe with a wrong command, you will never be charged for it.

Of course you could be put off the game. Of course you could be punished, or mobbed, but the consequences are at really low.

Please, pay attention: I am not saying you responsibilities are minimal if you are a corporate employee. I am saying that the consequences of giving up are minimal.

That’ s the extra “pillow” that comes with you salary. People tend to forget this. People just pretend to be seen, to be rewarded, to have other “chances”.

But it doesn’t work this way.

Think about entrepreneurs, or employees of very small companies, always on the “front line”. They experience direct feelings about their work. They often decide, they discuss with the big boss on Sunday mornings.

If they are valuable, and market is good, they certainly grow and can reach higher salaries, responsibilities and satisfactions. They are Marco, Giovanni and Michela, they are not code 2547 or 98.

These are jobs for restless, highly motivated people. Even a flue can be a problem cause they and they only manage that business.

Of course, mistakes and a strong wind market changes can blow their job away, that’s the risk.

Am I saying then that working as an employee for a corporate does not require any effort nor responsibilities?

Not at all.

I am saying instead that some corporate employees are really heroes.

Who are they? Well, I am talking about those used to taking responsibilities, used to really take care of their job.

If you work in the “little”, that comes naturally, you either do this or you are rapidly kicked out.

But those corporate employees who really care about any activity, who keep doing their best even if they know that this is not a parameter that will be considered when it will be time to be rewarded, they are really great.

Some corporate employee keep giving themselves all in every single task, in every single project. And they do that even when nobody will ever notice this, even when their direct boss cannot even remember their name.

They simply work this way because that’s the way they are. Period.

That’s their way, they don’t know any other. It doesn’t matter if liars make career, if opportunities are given randomly, or by nepotism.

If you are this kind of person and you dive in the corporate ocean, this is the extra risk, not the opportunity.

What is best then?

Of course, there is not an answer. It depends on you.

I simply noticed it is difficult to admit our compromising. And much easier to complain. Certainly, we all forget.

Please do not forget valuable people. But if you think that being valuable gives you certainly a chance to the top…forget it.

Good luck.

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