A lesson from corporate life

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

As you grow older, you’ll start to realize that a significant amount of the tasks and endeavors that compose your day to day life will be, for lack of a better word, pointless. So how can you keep yourself from descending into nihilism?



I recently graduated college, and as any man, at some point, for some time, in my opinion, should, I started working in order to be financially independent and start my professional career. Regardless of your position on corporate jobs or on the correct way to go through life, there are some lessons that only working for a company will teach you.

Regardless of your position on corporate jobs or on the correct way to go through life, there are some lessons that only working for a company will teach you.

Incompetence is the norm

One thing that I have found in the few months that I have worked for a traditional company is that incompetence and inefficiency are way more normal than I initially thought. Most people do their jobs in a mediocre way, not out of spite but out of laziness and simply because that’s the norm. This presents an opportunity: anyone that actually tries to do a good job will stand out from everyone else.


Incentives and performance

The problem with this is that on many occasions there are no incentives to do your job to the best of your abilities, for a multiple of reasons: one, you can be fairly comfortable and successful without too much effort, and two, most of the things you do are not critical, so if you do them wrong, nothing too bad happens. Unless you are a surgeon or a pilot or any other professional that cannot allow himself a tiny mistake, you can be mediocre and get away with it. So why the hell would you try to stand out and do a great job, if you can stay comfortable and not get into any trouble? Well, because it’s the right thing to do, for one. And also because you will be so spectacularly unique that your professional career will flourish tremendously.

Unless you are a surgeon or a pilot or any other professional that cannot allow himself a tiny mistake, you can be mediocre and get away with it.

It’s easy to succumb to social pressure and allow yourself to be mediocre and not put ant effort into the things that you do. But you should absolutely try to do your best, always. Even when the task at hand is not critical, not important, and when you can get away with a shitty job. This is absolutely necessary for personal development, because if you forget this, you’ll become used to doing a shitty job, and when something critical actually requires you to do your best, you will not know how to do it. Additionally, it is dangerous to realize that what you do is not critical, because once you accept that, nihilism is the next obvious step.


The important lesson then, is this: you can get away with being mediocre, most decisions that you take in your day to day corporate life are pointless, and this is the norm in most jobs. But, you should always try do do your best, and find meaning in doing the best job that you can in any endeavor, because otherwise you’ll become bitter, lazy, boring, and nihilistic. Even if most of the things that you have to do don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, they matter in the sense that the way you attack them determines the kind of person that you will become. Will you be a mediocre, nihilistic, bitter member of the mob, or a chad, based, overachiever that excels at everything that he does? It’s up to you.

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