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Why do positions in corporate America have such a negative connotation?

People today tend to think "corrupt" when they think of people at the "top of the totem pole". There is often the dilemma of taking the high-paying corporate job vs. the low-paying job that is more in-line with ones values. #business #small-business #corporate

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Hagen’s Answer

Hello Brandon,


You raise a legitimate concern, but in my experience that's not really how things work. High pay or power isn't synonymous with corruption or a loss of values. I am fortunate enough to be paid well and allowed to perform my role in line with my goals and values. So it is very possible to have both.


However, there can be an undertow associated with being at the top of the totem pole. In some ways it's a personal decision, but the higher you go the more mundane your role can become. Money rolls up hill and the more senior you are the more likely your job will have a heavy doses of finance whether it be budgets or sales. I found that tedious, but some people love it so that will depend on how you like to spend your time.


In addition, the greater your sphere of influence and responsibility, the more likely you will experience intractable problems that ache but for which there is no cure. Senior managers simply have to live with the reality that not aspect of a business is going to work or is worth the money and energy to fix. It's like a wound that doesn't heal - it's not terminal but you won't like it either. So your comfort with stress and ability to make stressful and often unpopular decisions will determine whether senior management is a fit for you. Some people cope better than others. I didn't cope that well and I learned struggling to cope with a role which I found dull and repetitive constuted two strong incentives to chose a different path. However, even senior management's success is closely tied to reputation and trustworthiness. People like to do business with people they like so while some scoundrels do succeed through lies and trickery, that's actually rare. Most people in business like and care about their customers and are looking for a win win relationship. The exact nature of what a win win really means does get complicated and it's not always as clear as you'd expect, but people who live by win lose are not the norm. It's not how business works.


Instead of worrying about values, I would think about how you want to spend your day. Would you prefer to work alone at your desk manipulating numbers? Do you value interacting with people? Are you any good at either of those? Programmers spend all day programming and seem to love it. I would get cabin fever. I like to move around and meet new people - be surprised by my day. There are lots of ways to plug into the corporate job market and getting as clear as possible what style of work is the best fit for you will spare you a lot of grief working in a job people told you you should love, but you don't. That may or may not put you at the top of the totem pole, but if you like the way you spend your time, you'll likely be good at it and you'll likely want to treat those around you with dignity and respect.


Hope that helps,


Hagen

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Richard’s Answer

It's what you make it. Perception is reality. In any job or career anywhere you want it to be something you're passionate about and makes you want to get out of bed to fulfill. Like anywhere, in America, some people don't choose a job or career for the right reasons and don't muster the courage or motivation to pursue what they really love. Take chances in a field or organization if you think it's something you'll love but know you can always change your mind. Life is too short not to do something you love. It will bring happiness to other places in your life too, and who doesn't want that. 😉

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Caroline’s Answer

Hi Brandon!

I think it really depends on the company. My experience in the corporate world has been great. I know certain companies have very hierarchical structures that make those at the bottom feel less than. Other companies have flatter structures, however, and much less of a focus on hierarchies. Again, I think it really depends on the company, but instead of looking at jobs as "high or low paying" focus on the experiences you would gain and if it is a good fit for you.
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