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March 14, 2008

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.604043.27

Sounds like you work in a large corporation.

In my experience, PERCEPTION IS POWER in the corporate world. Its not what you do, but rather what you are seen to be doing that counts. Personally l was a performance type person. Do the job as efficiently and effectively as possible, dont talk it up, let the result speak for themselves and dont dawddle around after hours looking like lm ‘committed.’

Unfortunately, that gets you nowhere. You gotta cultivate perception, connections and networks. You gotta attend stupid corporate social functions with a bunch of hacknied dullards in whom you have no interest and would go out of your way to avoid in any other circumstance. Go to their dumb dinners, after work drinks, golf weekends, team building bullshit swinging on ropes adventure type guff, xmas parties, talk to their spouses and act as if you like them all.

If you are into Machiavellian subterfuge, you can go a very long way in that world. Some people can put on the mask, play the game, say and do the right things, all the while having no respect for their collegues and being quite happy to take home their fat pay cheques and larf at everyone behind their backs. Fair enough.

Managers sit around trying to look busy half the time. Shuffling paper from one end of the orifice to the other, sitting around talking about stuff versus doing stuff at a ratio of about 100:1, redefining language and tasks and structures to justify their existence. Essentially, the managerial class have hijacked the means of production and do a great job of taking credit for shit they dont do. Contriving huge remunerative packages for doing f all. Its a very cynical, self-serving, self-validating vortex of pick pockets.

It all politics. If you are a real TOP performer you can actually not play the usual bum licking festival that is corporate management career path. However l suspect that this approach limits scope.

You can either play the game or not. l couldn’t wait to get out of that environment and after about 6 yrs made my move into private business. Basically saved very hard, augmented with a bit of cash on the side and bought into a very modest business with partners. It turned out to be a very good start.

Its not that hard to do, the main obstacle being a self imposed mindset of ‘it cant be done’ or ‘its a tough world out there’ ie, giving up before even trying. Interestingly, once you start thinking you can get things done, then you start to believe and, shock horror, they get done. Your mind starts to work differently, looking for and seeing opportunity. Things fall in to place, because eventually you get consistently ‘lucky’ by putting yourself in the ‘right place at the right time.’ In other words, when you get lucky… you are ready.

Corporate culture went to the dogs a long time ago and sure, its satisfying to blame some group or other, in a self indulging scapegoating sort of way, but that ignores the true nature of the corporate beast. Do that and you will just end up moving from one dog to the next, looking for a different corporate culture that does not actually exist.

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