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Nine to Five Or Nah? – The Pros & Cons of Corporate Thuggin’

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After months of freelancing and interning for various brands, self-starters, and profitable organizations, the interest on my student loans continued to increase and the actualities of adult-hood steadily approached. I constantly battled with returning to my first office job, only to be held back by the daunting reality of how much I hated it there. I hated the atmosphere: everyone pretending it was their “dream job.”, as if they’ve never had another professional aspiration in their entire life. I hated how goal oriented the staff was not, barely achieving their weekly objectives and refusing to aim for monthly and/or annual results. Their complacent, nonchalant attitude towards their work, and their indifference towards competing brands, began to rub off on me, shifting my entire outlook on life. I thrive off competition and exciting energy. I want to feel inspired by leaders and doers, pushed by movers and shakers. No one really seemed to give a crap.

Working so closely with people who didn’t understand why I dreaded arriving to work made everything worse. With at least five people asking me “What’s wrong?”, “Why the long face?”, or “Why aren’t you speaking today?” on a daily basis, I was forced to ask myself: who’s the real downer here? Is it really me or the corporation?

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The thing is: I always spoke to my coworkers.  But soon after speaking I would quickly head into my office, sit upon my plump office chair, and immediately begin working. I didn’t wish to converse throughout the day about topics that had nothing to do with work. Nor did I choose to gossip about my personal life/ out-of-the-office interactions. That’s one thing the world doesn’t disclose about corporate living: The people you work with expect to be a part of your actual life. They think you’ll invite them out, or over to your spot. They feel entitled to be a part of your world. For some reason, your estranged coworkers are so enamored by your presence they want to know everything about you, inside and out. They want to be “friends”, best buds, homies, bro-hams. But you don’t want any of that! You want to go to work, do your work, and never really think about work ever again until your alarm goes off the next morning and you’re facing a hot shower partnered with an Eggo waffle. You want a complete divide between work and your personal life, except for the occasional coworker you’ve bonded with over how much you actually hate your position. Other than that, screw everyone else!

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This is just one con I’ve experienced while working in the corporate world: forced into friendships because we spend 8 hours a day together.

I must admit, there are some awesome nine-to-fives out there, complete with awesome employees, amazing managers, a kick ass atmosphere, company cars, and paid vacation days. There are so many advantages that come with nine-to-fives that I am constantly playing double dutch between the structure of an office space and the freedom of a freelance junkie.

But between co-worker cattiness, corporate etiquette, and ego-filled authority figures, corporate life just isn’t for everyone. But then again, it might just be for you. To help you decide we introduce you tp the Pros and Cons of Corporate Thuggin’:

 

PROS

 

  1. Holiday Parties

Who doesn’t enjoy dressing up in fabulous holiday garb, getting wasted with your project manager, and returning to work on the following Monday crowned the Office Lush? Okay okay, that’s extreme. But all jokes aside, office holiday parties are undeniably awesome. Usually laced with free food and alcohol, it’s a great time to flaunt your best celebratory wardrobe and release your inner glutton. Scoffing down hors d’oeuvres and wine is fun! As long as you’re able to walk at the end of the night and remind your Uber driver where you live.

  1. Benefits

There is no greater feeling than standing on your own two feet, filled with independence solidified by a complete detachment from your parents’ pockets. Landing corporate benefits is a major key to success. Medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 401k and an amazing retirement plan are all necessary for optimal survival. Competitive benefits will have anyone escaping self-employment in search of a corporate career. Besides, you’ll miss the dentist when he’s gone.

  1. A Stable Income

The freelance lifestyle/world of self-employment is often filled with weeks of no pay. Balancing your bills based off the possibility of getting paid can be difficult. A guaranteed check at the end of a two week pay period provides financial comfort and stability. Once you know the amount of cash you’re expected to generate it becomes a lot easier to save money, and rid yourself of financial burdens. You know what to spend, when to spend, and how fast to spend it. A stable income grants you the opportunity to avoid money woes.

  1. Work Day Structure

You arrive to work at 9 A.M., you leave work at 5, and all the time in between is pre-planned by your boss. There is honestly nothing to think about, except the tasks that are pre-assigned to you. You come in with your professional goals set and a road map to achieve each of them. There is absolutely no way you can fail… unless you simply refuse to work and spend your time reading @ImFromRaleigh’s #Twitter timeline.

  1. Set Schedule

Not only is your work day organized, you pretty much have an outline of your entire life for the next year or so. With such organization you can plan your personal life around your nine to five. This includes family trips and vacays, time with bae, or hangouts with the homies. You’re also guaranteed Fridays and Saturdays, granting you enough time to enjoy day parties and an extravagant night life.

  1. The Ability to Enjoy National Holidays

Being a freelancer or entrepreneur doesn’t allow much time for organized fun. You get your thrills when you can, which may not include National Holidays. While everyone’s celebrating MLK Day, you might just be stuck behind a computer finishing up a final project. While working a nine to five you can bet your employer is allowing you a few free days when the holidays roll around. This advantage is not often guaranteed for self-starters and anti-nine-to-five-ers.

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  1. Paid Sick + Vacation Days

You won’t be penalized for your time off around the Holidays, and you’ll be reimbursed for the times in which you catch the flu, or score a cheap plane ticket to Dubai because there was a glitch in the computer system. Nothing beats not working and still getting paid.

  1. The Company Car

This point stems from a very close friend of mine who was struggling with purchasing a stable vehicle. She landed an awesome job and was forced to relocate, but didn’t possess a car that would make the trip from Atlanta to Chicago. Given the company’s funding they awarded her with a company car, a cute jeep that would get her to and from work. I thought such a deed was absolutely amazing, especially for her to be just 23 three years old. I experienced the car first hand during her trip back to Atlanta. I was shocked and amazed at how awesome this was, and convinced that she would stay employed with this company forever.

 

CONS

  1. Seldom Room for Creativity

Because your tasks are pre-planned, creativity is often downplayed within the workplace. They’ve hired persons to devote their lives to the creative aspects of the corporation, and aren’t really looking for insight from the entry level twenty-five year old. You have a great idea? Awesome! We’ll bring it up in the next meeting and pitch it to the marketing team who will then steal your idea and claim it as their own. As an entrepreneur your ideas matter and each of them belong to you, not the team or the company.

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  1. Too Much Structure

Say you’re running a little late and you arrive to work at 9:05 A.M. The functionality of the business will continue despite your five minute mishap, but you will catch hell for your inability to show up on time. Corporate world is structured. Whether in the emails you send, the way you speak to your coworker, where you decide to park your car, get prepared for extreme organization.

  1. Ruthless Authority Figures

I’ve experienced the most annoying bosses you can imagine. From jealous authoritative figures who are insecure about their status in life, to micro-managing bats out of hell, I’ve battled with one head honcho to another. It’s emotionally draining to face a ruthless boss on a daily basis, constantly trying to fulfill their unrealistic needs. I’m personally convinced I can’t work for anyone, simply because your performance is based off how much ass you kiss and if they’ve had their double shot of expresso.

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  1. Micro-Management

As mentioned, the micro-managing manager can be a true pain in the ass. Having someone breathing down your neck while performing tasks can be obtrusive and overwhelming.

  1. Your Cubical

Cubicals feel like death – for the most part. With no true space for yourself, confined to a cubed box squished between co-workers and a lingering boss, the average millennial might have difficulty breathing. As anxiety infiltrates your psyche you can’t help but scream. Quietly of course. The numerous photos of family members and friends posted about your three foot wall just aren’t cuttin’ it, and your thirty minute lunch break leaves you know time to enjoy the sun.

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  1. Boredom

Not only might your cube induce repetitive panic attacks, but the amount of down time you’re sure to experience while completing menial tasks will bore the shit out of you.

  1. Dress Codes

I’ve walked into happy hours ready to attack the bar after a long work day, and possibly exchange numbers with a dashing corporate thug. But to my dismay I’m immediately turned off by gentlemen dressed in matching khaki pants, blue collard button downs, and brown leather shoes. Literally a sea of squares. The pressure to conform to corporate dress codes can down the spirit of any fashionista… or fashionisto. The happiness that exudes when allowed to sport bright colors, flagrant patterns, and trendy shoes is incomparable. Why be confined to blah clothing? Live in color, dress in style.

  1. Rules for Advancement

While working for yourself, your financial capabilities have no limits. Your financial gain isn’t capped. Your paycheck is determined by the amount of work you choose to put into your craft. But in the corporate world, your ability to grow is largely connected to your boss. Does your boss even like you? Does he/she notice your effort? Do they value you as an employee? Are they still upset because you didn’t add sugar to their mocha latte? Okay, we’re exaggerating. But working diligently to please the needs of another person can get a bit tricky. And while you’re waiting for that promotion, you could be creating your on professional advancement.

 The structure of a corporate workplace works for some, while the freedom of self-employment delights the spirits of others. No matter your hustle, no matter your grind, AnnsleighDenise.com supports your professional… and financial advancement.

Did you enjoy this article? Leave your comments in the space below while enjoying a visual from the Corporate Thug himself – Young Jeezy.

Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.

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