Is It Difficult To Survive In Corporate? An Honest Guide


As you are about to start a new job, or you’re struggling in a job, you might wonder, is it difficult to survive in corporate?

It is difficult to survive in corporate when you’re an authentic, intuitive, honest, sensitive, and straightforward person that cares more about people than money. Staying true to yourself and living an unnatural corporate life that is money driven is stressful. An ego-driven person finds it less difficult to survive in corporate.

This article is filled with information and confirmation on why the corporate world is hard to survive. Plus, I’ll share more tips on how to survive corporate life and how to leave the corporate world, so continue reading.


8 Reasons Why Corporate Life Is Difficult To Survive

The reason you’re reading this article and knowing that corporate life is a survival means that you’re not true to yourself. And I mean that in the most sincere and loving way possible because I want you to live your best life. So let me continue to explain more.

Survival mode means that you’re just trying to get through the day. You don’t feel joy, ease, or lightness when you’re in survival mode. And this physiological and psychological response to your life causes stress. You release stress hormones and activate your stress-response systems to prepare your mind and body to combat danger and handle threats. It’s a beautiful system to keep as alive. But you’re not in a direct life-threatening situation in corporate life, but your body thinks it is. So why is that? What causes stress?

Let me share a couple of reasons you experience stress in corporate life and it feels like a survival.

1) Internal Battle Ego vs. Soul

The deepest reason you experience stress and feel like you’re in survival mode within the corporate world is that you have a battle inside you between your ego and your soul.

Your ego is your false self and created by society, upbringing, and your experiences with the outer world. Your soul is your true self. And you’re conflicted now. You have the mind (ego) with screaming thoughts and a soft voice from the heart saying other things. And this causes stress.

The outside doesn’t match what is going on on the inside. If you want to get rid of stress, you need to align the outside world with your inside world. That’s how simple it is. Aligning the outside world with the inner world creates flow, easiness, and abundance in your life.

But I know it is not as easy as it sounds because we live in an ego-driven world. Fortunately, this is rapidly changing. Especially the corporate world is ego driven because everything runs on fear, power, money, lack, self-serving, competition, and control and is very future-orientated.

The corporate world is not a good match for a human being with a soul. Yes, it is true that you can earn money (a lot), but that also comes at a price. And over the years, you may discover that this price is simply too high.

The key to happiness and abundance is to starve the ego and feed the soul. So it is important not to confuse the voice of the ego with the voice of your heart and intuition. See the image below.

2) Increasing Responsibilities And Higher Demands

For the last couple of years, the pressure has been building up. The corporate world asks much more from its employees than ever before. This accelerated with the arrival of smartphones, where all humans were reachable 24/7, and companies to this to their advantage. The lines between working and off hours have become blurry, with often no compensation, benefits in return, and a lack of appreciation.

For employees, it has become more difficult to set boundaries and maintain their mental and physical health. The same job now causes more stress than 10 or 20 years ago due to the increasing responsibilities and higher demand, plus all the constant stimuli from phones, tablets, etc.

This situation causes more stress for all people in general, but also on a personal level when you can’t meet the high requirements. You go in survival mode.

It is no wonder that more and more people experience burnout or burnout symptoms, which include physical and emotional exhaustion, because they are dealing with immense stress trying to meet expectations and rising demands. According to a recent online study: 76% of U.S. employees are currently experiencing worker burnout.

3) Honesty Is Not Appreciated

Many people experience the fact that they can’t be honest in the corporate world. Advice and opinions are not often asked, and bosses expect you to cooperate instead of criticizing decisions.

This means that you often have to watch bad ideas crash and burn. And this can be difficult when the direction of your company is going right, but you know with every fiber in your body, it should go left. Going along with bad decisions when you know better can makes corporate life difficult to survive. It is like splitting yourself up in two directions all the time.

4) You Feel Competitiveness

Even though you have coworkers and you need to work together, there is a competitive dynamic in the office that everyone is aware of but is also the elephant in the room no one talks about. If you’re not a competitive person by nature, then this atmosphere can be very stressful for you.

5) You See Through The Politics

At many companies, there is a lot of politics going on. Perhaps you experience favoritism and sucking up to the boss that feels unnatural and dishonest. And when you see through these things, it is hard to shut your eyes to them. Also, when you want to have a promotion or want to be assigned a fun project, you almost feel forced to go along with these political games as well, even to make a chance.

And this can feel like you’re selling your soul to survive in this type of atmosphere, or you feel you need to do this in order to keep your job and survive the life of paying bills, mortgage, and whatnot.

6) You Can’t Be Your Authentic Self

Many companies ask for you to be a professional. This often means you need to dress a certain way, act a certain way, say certain things, and, more importantly, avoid certain topics. In order to be able to survive corporate life, you need to take on a character role and stay away from your authentic self to fit in. This causes dissociation from your true and authentic self and causes stress in the long run.

If you need to play this character 40+ hours a week, you’re living a double life for the majority of your life. At a certain point, the lines become blurry, and you don’t know who you are anymore. Your identity is too attached to your job position. The longer you play this character, the longer the stress builds up in your body until there comes the point where you’re body says NO. And you have a burn-out, which your body gives you the most obvious signal to change your life around and work towards the life path that aligns with your soul’s purpose.

7) Corporate Life Is Future Orientated

All businesses have goals to work towards. This means your daily tasks are all focused on achieving a certain goal in the future (targets, as companies like to call them). Although a goal can be beneficial to have a direction in life and a focus point, it is also unhealthy. It is very stressful always to be busy trying to reach targets that are in the future.

Living in the future or past is stressful. Only in the present moment is where you can experience calm and happiness. Thinking you have control over what happens in the future causes worry because you can’t control the future. And you don’t know how things go. Also, living in the past often causes sadness. Being in a future-oriented environment most hours in your week keeps you in survival mode.

8) Corporate Life Is Unnatural

Let’s be honest. We think we can survive in the concrete jungle, but that is not who we innately are. We are human beings that thrive in nature and not in concrete buildings. It is just who we are. We need nature to survive. And we’ve lost that connection. And that is why you experience the feeling of survival. It is just your body giving you signs of what it truly needs to survive.

How To Survive Corporate Life

Suppose corporate life feels like survival, then I wouldn’t recommend maintaining this life for too long as it makes you sick and unhappy for all the reasons I just mentioned above. But sometimes life is what it is, and therefore it is best to have some tools in your toolbox to help you survive the corporate world in a better way.

Tip 1: Remind Yourself Who You Are

Knowing who you are and reminding yourself every day about your qualities and values outside work, helps you to stay centered and in balance. If you can’t be authentically yourself during working hours, you need to catch up during your off hours. Therefore make sure you express yourself that aligns with your heart and soul during off hours in the way you dress, eat, drink, and do things. Make room for the things you love to do.

Tip 2: Keep Your Radar On

It can be beneficial to be reserved in expressing your true thoughts and feelings towards coworkers and bosses until you can fully trust the person in front of you. People can wear a high disguise because often the stakes are high. Everyone is surviving because everyone has high bills to pay, mouths to feed, and mortgages to pay. Unfortunately, we think this lifestyle is normal, but it is not. It is extremely unhealthy.

And in survival mode, not the best of people comes to the surface. People do many harmful things to other people to keep their heads above the water. Just be aware of this.

Tip 3: Don’t Take Things Personal

You’re replaceable. You’re a number in corporate life. Money is more important than people. Keep this in mind, and don’t take things personally when it comes to corporate decisions. It has nothing to do with you. It is just business.

People will suck up to their boss, project assignments are unfairly distributed. It all has to do with corporate politics. Accept that everyone has their own agenda and reasons.

Tip 4: Don’t Attach Your Self-Worth To Your Job

A lot of people make the mistake of marrying their job. They become their job. Their identity is their job position. Their self-worth is attached to their job performance.

As you understand, this can go wrong very quickly because when everything turns south (even though it is not your fault), your self-confidence and worthiness go south too.

Your worthiness is not attached to your job. Doing your best is enough, and when the moment that it isn’t, it is time for you to go.

Tip 5: Do Your Job

If you do your job to the best of your ability, be on time, and give what they ask (within reason), they have nothing to hold against you. And if they have nothing to hold against you, then the focus is not on you and makes your corporate life easier.

Tip 6: Take Enough (Mental) Breaks

When things get too much, it can help to take a break and a breather to maintain your balance. I know certain jobs come with limited breaks, but you can work around them. And be creative such as listening to calming music while you work or going to the toilets a bit more often.

For example, go on nature breaks as much as possible to compensate for the time spent in an office. Being in nature and breathing in fresh air cleanses your aura and clears your mind. This helps you to tackle the rest of the day a bit better.

Or you can bring nature into your office as much as possible such as plants, and minerals (Himalayan Salt Lamp), wear Crystals, or take your pet to work to help you stay sane.

When things get heated, or you feel things are boiling inside, pause and count to ten or even a hundred. An even better way is to meditate during work as much as possible because being aware of your breath keeps you calm and centered.

How To Leave The Corporate World

When you know the corporate world is not for you, it is time for you to leave it. And go towards a much more happy and healthy life that aligns with your soul. And here are a couple of tips.

Tip 1) Believe In Yourself

You can do this and keep reminding yourself of it. Doing things that align with your soul opens up a new world for you that might be scary and unknown territory but is filled with joy, excitement, and abundance. Do as much meditation and positive thinking exercises to keep you on the right track. There are so many opportunities (with the energies on earth right now) for you where you can do things you love and make money as well. Check out this Ikigai module to help you on your way.

Tip 2) Leave Part-Time (First)

Offer yourself as a freelancer and establish a healthy distance between yourself and the work environment. You can even do this with your employer. This way, you have all the benefits of being in charge of your own hours while also being of value to the company and getting a paycheck.

You can even do this part-time to dip your toe in the water first before you take the leap. Once you’ve established a stable business, you can leave the corporate world for good.

Tip 3) Don’t Rush It

Rush comes from the ego. And the ego is fueled by fear. Therefore making rush decisions is never a good idea. Let the decision to leave the corporate world soak in for a while and make the conscious decision to leave when it is the right time. When you feel it is the right time, instead of thinking about it. Feeling and intuitive decisions are peaceful and never rushed.

Tip 4) Save, Save, Save

If you want to leave the corporate world, that often means you also leave the paycheck that comes with it. Therefore it can be helpful to save up enough money to buy you time to explore new ways of making money.

Another thing you can do is to cut down on your expenses. You can reconsider your living situation. A smaller house means smaller expenses.

For example, we sold our house and live in a caravan for the majority of the months in a year. This way, our living expenses are much lower, which enables us to live the way we want. And don’t feel the pressure as much to earn a lot of money to be able to pay a mortgage and gas bills. We are free and can travel the world, work, and live independently.

But you can also save a lot of money in other ways.

Read more: How To Save Money? | 30 Expert Tips

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 200+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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