I’ve been thinking a lot about how corporate employment is much like school. It shares so many of the undesirable features of mainstream education that it’s kind of scary. And, I am not sure what’s worse— that corporate employment is like school, or that school is like corporate employment?

How similar?

Well, you’ve got bureaucratic paper shuffling (unfulfilling work) in place of wrote-learned regurgitation (standardised tests). Mediocre bosses obsessed with company policy in place of nagging teachers obsessed with school rules. The carrot of grades is replaced with a monthly salary and the occasional promotion. As for the stick, you have the threat of being fired in place of detention and being expelled.

What’s more, you find the mixture of school bullies, quiet kids, nerds etc. Though that probably reflects the intrinsic diversity of the human animal and its varied tendencies rather than features of the system.

Anyway, the central point is that the world of corporate employment, much like mainstream education, is structurally set-up in a way that stifles the human spirit. That stifles the inherent creativity within us. In fact, both school and corporate employment seem more like systems of imprisonment to me. The former being a nanny service for churning out an obedient work force, of course!

Not inevitable

There is one thing I haven’t quite figured out yet. If much of mainstream school is a nanny service so that workers can go to the factory, what is the factory for? I suppose the factory is what keeps the wheel of modernity turning. The wheel that turns, so corporate workers can go on doing jobs that they hate, in order to pay for things that they don’t need, while having other people raise their children at school, enabling the cycle to repeat.

Unlike children however, adults have the ability to be free, but we choose to act like kids. We choose to live on autopilot, on a pre-ordained path that happens to be the societal norm at the time. Few pause to question their actions and choices. Heck, few are even in touch with how they really feel. It is much easier to find an escape or get suckered into keeping up with the Joneses, than it is to take a good hard look at reality.

Corporate employment is like school, but you have choice too

Breaking free may seem hard, but that does not mean that we must lose our personal agency. That we must ignore the true state of affairs. In fact, acknowledging the truth of your circumstances with real clarity IS the first step to breaking free!

A deeper awareness of yourself and your circumstances is what enables choice.


life coaching londonHarsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.

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