ART BY ESTELLE ZHOU
By RENEE WANG
You have probably heard the mantra, “Work hard, go to school and get a good job” more than once in your life.
It is common knowledge that most people in their adolescent years are exposed to the premise that getting a good job leads to a happy life. Usually, that “good job” refers to a 9-5 corporate desk job that provides a high salary, security, and various other benefits for employees. Benefits can include health insurance and a 401K retirement plan with additional add-ons to their daily lives. All in all, it is perceived to be the best work conditions any employee could desire.
Nevertheless, although corporate life seems beneficial to families looking for long-term financial security, everyone should keep in mind that it may come at the cost of giving up certain dreams, passions and even freedom.
Essentially, getting corporate desk jobs in top companies like Amazon or Apple means studying hard and getting into a good school to be accepted. Even then, it is still difficult to get a guaranteed spot in the company. According to a Glassdoor survey, on average each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes, where 4 to 6 get an interview and only one will get the job.
So, with the struggles to get into a good school and graduate to land a corporate desk job, one question remains: was it worth it in the end?
According to the New York Times, a senior at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture Matthew Crawford states that desk work comprises a series of mindless tasks under long hours. Many ex-employees of desk jobs can agree that repetitive practice leads to incredible dissatisfaction in their work. An example of that is Evan Lundy, a former employee of a national firm handling bankruptcy cases for banks in Jackson, Mississippi. Although Lundy was successful in the eyes of his peers, he found himself tired out of corporate life, worrying about deadlines and working long hours.
Many of those that work a corporate job agree that they get sick of working at a desk where you would have to crunch out numbers and wait on your manager’s next instruction. According to Forbes, an account from an employee of an anonymous company states that even when their coworkers always look bitter and unhappy, no one will talk about it publicly. It proves that although working at a successful company may seem prestigious, the work environment can cause many damaging effects to a person’s health due to the mindset of maintaining a perfect public image to coworkers. So, while the benefits of a desk job might be safe for the future, the downsides can become detrimental in the long run.
Of course, it really is dependent upon an individual’s financial situation and some might even find quitting a corporate job in favor of pursuing a passion to be unrealistic. However, what most people should know is that as time goes on, priorities change.
In the end, many ex-corporate employees look towards the option of self-employed jobs or are migrating into fields that they are personally passionate about. The differences between freelance and office jobs vary, but in the end, it all depends on what you value the most. Some might say that their hobbies are worth the risk of giving up their job. As a result, a freelance life revolves heavily around an individual’s independence and creativity for themselves compared to an office job. It also benefits society as well, because rather than looking for the approval of higher-ups, self-employed jobs has led many individuals to have a more open mindset to help others.
In addition, having an office job easily allows individuals to fall into a repetitive schedule, and they may never imagine a different occupation or pursuing another dream. Work becomes easy when people are motivated, but more importantly, when you actually enjoy the work. When a job is not, work gets tiresome and feels like a chore for five days a week. This is why many encourage an individual mindset with self-made decisions that are not restricted in an office.
Obviously, everyone has a different opinion on what they are willing to give up, but corporate desk jobs often can be more suited to those that can take the pressure and harshness of the work culture. At the same time, it is still important to remember to explore your options first and what is best suited for you in the working field.