Corporate America: that big money-making machine in which employees are nothing more than faceless cogs.
It’s a trope as old as time.
You’ve seen it played out in movies and books and comics:
Soulless offices in city skyscrapers.
Endless rows of gray cubicles.
Unhappy workers are treated like just a cog in the machine.
Greedy fatcats laugh in their corner offices as they rake in the cash off their employees’ hard work.
These may seem like exaggerations, but there are plenty of people who have horror stories of giving over years, or even decades, of their lives before they figured out how to get out.
Here’s the good news: There are more alternatives now than ever to working in corporate America. The only question is: What path will you take with your career?
What is corporate America?
Corporate America refers to the unique working style evident in many large corporations based in the United States.
The definition itself is tied up in some of the depictions you’ve seen in pop culture. “Mad Men,” “Office Space,” “Wolf of Wallstreet,” and “Severance” all offer their own take on corporate America, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
One of the funniest and most harrowing dissections of corporate America is in the classic film “Hudsucker Proxy,” in which Tim Robbins starts out working in the mailroom of a horrifying corporation and works his way up to the top.
Though every show and movie has its own version of what corporate America looks like, they share some commonalities that can be found in many businesses in the US (and around the world):
- The business is large in terms of the number of people it employs and the revenue it pulls in.
- The owners/managers of the business value profits over all else, including employee well-being.
- Employees who aren’t in the C-suite are treated poorly. They’re underpaid, undervalued, and typically jaded and resentful.
Recent changes in the American business landscape have altered some of the aspects we’ve come to expect from corporate America.
For example, in the past, corporate America was often characterized by bland, boring interiors (cubicles, gray walls, etc.).
Now, there are some large corporations, most famously Google, that have done away with these unpopular design trends in favor of community space, colorful interiors, and even things like slides and swimming pools on site.
However, there are still people that find working in large corporations to be unpleasant, even with these benefits.
Why Corporate America is an American problem
There are big corporations all around the world, so why does corporate America get such a bad rap?
That’s likely down to the laws and culture that dictate how many Americans earn a living.
First, Americans work longer hours and get less paid time off than most European countries. American workers in many states are not guaranteed things like paid family leave or more than a few vacation days—things that are standard in many other countries.
Those who seek a lifestyle of excess, luxury, and absolute financial security may be willing to put in extra hours and dedicate themselves to the corporation. But parents and young professionals who want time for family or want to do more with their lives might find this a very difficult environment to work in.
Does that sound like you? Then there’s good news. You can get out of corporate America and still make a good wage.
The alternative to working in Corporate America
Imagine having a job where you can choose your own hours and take on as little or as much work as you like. In this job, your hard work is rewarded and your position is secure. You get paid even if you aren’t “bringing in the big bucks” all the time—and it’s not a dead-end job. This job has plenty of opportunities to move up or advance your career through skill-building and training.
Now, does that sound like your dream job?
Then it’s time to ditch corporate America and start working for yourself.
If it sounds daunting, don’t worry. You can be an entrepreneur without all the hassle of trying to come up with a new and unique business idea that you have to get off the ground all on your own. You don’t need a business background or a fancy degree—you just need to do something that you’re good at and passionate about.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it easier than ever to launch a career as an entrepreneur. More businesses are run completely online, making it easier for just about anyone with an internet connection to start a business of their own.
We’ve got a number of articles that can help you start a career as an entrepreneur:
Why you should become an entrepreneur
When you become an entrepreneur, you get to have complete control over your own career. You set the hours and you set the goals. You also have the convenience of working from the comfort of your own home office (or even your favorite coffee shop).
There are lots of opportunities out there for freelance workers and contractors, most of which can be done remotely. A quick search online will reveal job openings for writers, illustrators, computer programmers, photographers, designers, and even virtual assistants.
You can earn a good wage working as an entrepreneur in any of these careers. All you need is dedication, a strategy, perseverance, and some creativity.
Picture it: you sell your services to clients, find a contract job, relish the freedom of being your own boss, and pursue something you really enjoy.
Maybe that something could be working in direct sales.
What are direct sales?
Direct sales happen when a manufacturer uses sales representatives in a non-retail environment to sell their products directly to customers. Direct selling includes anything from the good old-fashioned door-to-door salesmen to makeup catalogs and cookware parties. But, these days, many direct sales happen online.
Direct selling is like freelance sales work. You work as a contractor, promoting and selling products to people in your network and beyond. While some employers may feel that they “own” you because they pay you, direct sales companies empower you to make all of the decisions for yourself.
Like freelancers, direct sales representatives have a lot of flexibility in their jobs. That means that you can have the perfect balance between work and family/personal time (so that you don’t end up like Tim Robbins in “Hudsucker Proxy”).
You also have the opportunity to do more than sales. Take up a side hustle, learn new skills, or get a degree that will let you take the next steps toward the career of your dreams—whatever feels right for you. The options are endless.
Corporate America sucks, so try something different
The American dream has changed. In 2020, 3.2 million Americans decided to start their own businesses, half a million more than the previous year. Back in the day, people wanted the prestige and wealth that came with a high-profile corporate job. Providing for yourself and your family was more important than being there for them. Corporate culture has been shaped by the sole desire to succeed and reach higher in the power structure—and it sucks.
There are so many other opportunities to make money without the stress and long hours of a corporate job. As an entrepreneur, you can have full autonomy over your career and your life while still making more than enough money to pay for your education or support your family.
As a direct sales company, Vector Marketing offers plenty of employment possibilities for anyone who wants to escape the world of corporate America and work for themselves instead.
Are you ready to start your entrepreneurial career with direct sales? Learn more about working with Vector Marketing.