A lot of entrepreneurs can claim they’ve never had a ‘job’ but many of us do for the sake of stability and comfort while building our ventures. I have no shame in admitting I’ve worked for a corporation but it was for the experience and knowledge I was able to extract from it. It was an opportunity for me to learn how enterprise level companies function and operate but at the same time it made me realize 10 very important things about the rat race.
1) Your six figure salary you dream of isn’t really a lot of money. Sure, on paper we all dream of making ‘six figures’ aka the $100,000 mark. It actually is really respectful and anyone under the age of 25 who can command $100,000 in a corporate America role deserves high praise and respect in our book. But you must not forget about something we all fall victim of and that is TAXES. After taxes, you will be lucky to clear $6k a month on a six figure salary. So the reality is, it’s a lot of money for most people but for entrepreneurs, it’s a miniscule number.
2) Jealousy is a bitch. Don’t think that you will make friends at your work place with everyone or even your close co-workers. The moment you somehow manage a nice car or luxury goods will raise a lot of questions and jealousy towards you. Workplace equality is really non existent these days and your peers will be suspicious if you have other ventures going on or if you got a raise even though it’s not their business.
3) People will settle for average. You will notice that a lot of the people you work with have been there for years. They might even still be in great positions but still not at the management or executive level. These people tend to settle for less or average because they are complacent, comfortable, or fear change. That’s ok for them but this mentality can be toxic to you. It’s pathetic to see people with decent skills and talent not try to better themselves.
4) Slow to hire, quick to fire. There’s so much bullshit and politics in corporate America that it’s almost comical. I’ve seen my fair share of firings or lay offs and sometimes it’s really expected based on performance and other times it’s done without merit. There’s always two sides to every story but the moral of this story is that nothing is ever guaranteed. Always watch out for yourself.
5) Big companies with big revenue still run into issues. You would think that a multi million dollar company would have it’s shit together but that is far from the truth. I’m talking about management structure, technology, processes and logistics, service, etc. You will never run into a company that is smooth sailing. Every company will have their faults even if they aren’t noticeable. We are all human after all.
6) Being the top dog isn’t as important anymore. After working with one of the most dominant companies in a specific industry, you’d think the services and products would sell themselves but they really don’t. It’s been very noticeable how businesses are actually going away from working with large corporations to smaller companies that still can perform the same service but offer far better customer service and establish real personal relationships with their customers.
7) Companies have zero interest in you. Companies exist to turn a profit and the only way they can do that is by putting talented people in positions to help the company with the bigger picture. You will hear customer service goals or crazy sales numbers but the reality is that companies want to make the most money possible and you are there to make them richer rather than you. Truth be told, you are replaceable and you are just helping someone with their dream rather than yours.
8) Entrepreneurship is usually frowned upon. When you work for a company, any outside side work is usually frowned upon, even if not directly related to what you do at your day job. If you have any ideas or active ventures, shield it from coworkers and only share with others you can truly trust. If your entrepreneurship ventures come to light and matters get escalated, they will certainly use that against you in your firing. So be smart and don’t active engage in your business until after hours.
9) The grass isn’t always greener. I’ve had countless coworkers move onto new companies with the promise of more pay or better company culture to only encounter a way worse work experience. It’s so hard to gauge a companies vibe and employee personality through a job interview and the truth comes out only after you start your job. If you must move to a new company, try to do your best due diligence possible to ensure the move you are making is an upgrade rather than a lateral one.
10) Work for a tech start-up. I really think everyone should work for some type of start-up and it doesn’t have to be tech related. After working for a company that grew rapidly, it had substantial changes in the culture and work experience suffered as a result. To work at a smaller company allows you to oversee much more of the company direction rather than just one aspect if you were at a larger company. The opportunity to be part of the growth of a company is an experience unlike other and trust us when we say these experiences will definitely help when it’s time for you to jump ship into the world of entrepreneurship.