There is an odd comfort that comes from commiserating with our co-workers. We may not otherwise even like these people but on this one thing where we spend the majority of our week each week we can relate to each other. There is a common understanding and appreciation for what we all endure to provide for our families. What we go through to have some semblance of security financially at least in our life. Going to work at some companies does indeed feel like a war zone, complete with high stake political games and maneuvers that make a battle field ripe for the taking. It comes down to figuring out where to position yourself for cover and where you are standing when the chips come down.
I never thought I would get there. The point where you go from eagerly excited young solider willing to do anything it takes for the wins to where you just want to get by. Wiser, older, more experienced and familiar with the games played you realize how much you fell for the lies of it all. The promises of rewards, the ability to reach goals in your life that sometimes you don’t even know how you came to want some of those things. Very few of us grow up wanting to do the jobs we have now and no one intentionally sets out to say they want to work in a dull colored low walled cubicle. It certainly doesn’t sound like the adventure stories of dreams coming true for hard work and yet that is the difference between dreams and reality sometimes. Cubicles, neutral toned colors and noises all around us in the pursuit of winning, achieving, climbing up and succeeding.
Through it all we develop these relationships with people that we take comfort in. There’s the person who is always conveniently at the coffee pot when we are that we pass niceties to in the morning. Sharing a joke about wishing it were Friday already. The neighbors to our cubicle who understand the grind of the current projects we’re working on offering brief moments in the day to share frustration. Other team members we enjoy a happy hour with comparing bosses and who is making the latest power play. These people offer us a place to vent, share and compare in the hopes that we find what we are doing isn’t so bad as they have it. It makes us feel better and gives us that ability to push on bearing the stress, management ineptness and challenges that come across our desk.
It is also in these relationships we often get hurt the worst. Someone uses what we told them in confidence for their own gain. Taking credit for our work. The worst though is when it comes from a point of jealousy or spite because we are seen as getting something they wanted or felt they deserved. Good favor with the boss, special projects, a promotion even. Sometimes even just the better cubicle, if there is such a thing, becomes the scorn we bear from others. Most of the time, these things are irrelevant and meaningless in the big scene of making it in the world but inside the office they are inner workings of some of the most fierce battles fought.
An early mentor of mine told me to always be careful who you talk to in the office. Be mindful of the relationships and alliances you form. Sometimes this can be helped and you think you’re doing the right thing only later to realize they are a bigger game player than you thought. No one is exempt from this he advised when there is anything seen as prized at stake. Money, power and position make people do incredibly hurtful things to others. Even if the gain is minute. Sage advice I wish I had followed more often in my career.
This was always difficult advice to follow because the other side of things is the desire to give people the benefit of the doubt. To think they are inherently good, have integrity and are honest. I pride myself on those characteristics and want to believe others are like that too. Perhaps they are I can hear my mentor saying but all bets are off when something of value is up for grabs. Hard realities of this couldn’t be more true I would learn in my career. People you thought you could trust or go to for help not being there when you actually need them. You find yourself alone, isolated and ousted taking the fall for something that rapidly came together for someone else to take advantage from.
This is why I think most people when they reach the peak of their careers start to count down the days to retirement. It happens to all of us. The passion knocked out of us much like any hopes we ever had of having our careers be legendary or even happy experiences. We just want out but the necessity of work for living and saving still a present need. We become wiser to it all of course and tell ourselves just to roll with the flow of it. Find a quiet position and don’t set any expectations or dreams to moving up, making it or more. Just focus on our job, keep our head down and build a life we want outside work. It can be lonely and we may even feel we are missing out at times but our past bruises and war wounds remind us of those hard lessons learned.
The unhealthiness of human relationships in the corporate work setting is what has led many people to strike out on their own as entrepreneurs, side hustlers and multiple job workers. We seek those opportunities where we can feel like ourselves and build relationships with others built on mutual respect and compassion. It is not that our co-workers and team mates don’t care about us but the competitiveness of the corporate work setting prevents it from always being more than casual. I believe this is why so many of us feel lonely and feel like we don’t have friends with long lasting connection. Too many of us have been taken advantage of and are hesitant to trust again.
Yet when we work on something that is outside the corporate space we find those connections are more possible. We can build friendships and relationships that are rewarding, helpful and even healthy. It fills the gap we don’t get in our workspace otherwise. In my own experience building a natural products business while I work in the corporate setting it has create the opportunity for me to stretch myself in skills I don’t always get to use at work. In my business I can test out ideas that would otherwise never even be considered at my job. I can be me. The real me in my work where I don’t have to have my guard up or some label of myself to fit into. Just me.
Selling natural products has created that outlet for creativity in my work that has not existed in years. When corporations speak of innovation it is usually some pre-conceived idea that an executive is promoting and everyone must learn and change into it. In my business, it is what I create, build, shape and change to fit what I like. That is a freedom very few of us have in our work. The ability to make decisions we know are right and not needing multiple layers of approvals and redesigns for is liberation.
I think where network marketing has provided the bad taste for some people is with the dream of escape. It is entirely possible to escape your corporate job building a business with network marketing and that is a powerful appeal. Yet when it doesn’t happen in six months or a year people get sour on it. They are desperate for that out to something that feels incredible but not realizing it doesn’t always happen quickly. There is still work involved and time needed to build it solid but it is possible. It is our willingness to set the strategy, do the work and bake into it the momentum and consistency that gives it life. Making that investment is what sets apart the dreamers and doers. It may mean we are working in the corporate space longer than we hoped but stay steady on course to building that channel out.
Finding those right people to help you in that process is important. Being able to surround yourself with people where you can be you and grow into your business is extremely important. Cut throat, back stabbing people exist on the outside of corporate work settings too. The difference is most people in direct marketing have the experience of what it is like in corporate work and don’t carry those attributes into their businesses. There are however some who don’t have that maturity or experience and this is why vetting your upline and team before you sign up is so important.
It is part healing from and breaking away from the bad traits of working in the corporate space and part emerging as our own person. That blend of work in ourselves and how we see work in our life is what sets us apart as successful in making it on our own in direct marketing. If you have that awakening I invite you to check out our team to see if it is a fit for you. The connection with like minded supportive souls is something not many of us feel open to trusting at first and that is certainly understandable given the warzones of many of our work places. It exists though.
That human connection to others in our work that can be all that we ever once believed it could be. The genuineness of others wanting to see us win rather than looking for ways to knock out legs out from under us for their own self preservation. I found it when I started my own business and you can too. It is where the rules about sharing at work don’t apply and people are accepted as they really are.
Come talk to me directly with the chat box at dragonspitapothecary.com