It's me again, this time around i want to talk about the Corporate Food Chain. This is a term that I think i heard from a movie but I never really understood until it was my time to join the workforce. When I finally understood what it means I am already part of it and have already realized that I, like most of us are already inside the Corporate Jungle each playing a role in the environment. To be clear whatever I will be putting in this entry is purely out of my own understanding and do not generalize. If in the event this is applicable to your own experience then we are comrades.
As a fresh graduate I wasn't aware that I will be in this system filled of stress and disillusionment, during this time i considered myself in the very bottom of the food chain, a Bottom Feeder, the food for all other species that thrived in the higher levels of the chain. I am a mere fodder to be fed on. This is because i am a greenhorn, plump, inexperienced and ready for picking. During this period i am exposed to different kinds of experiences and people. All of them at some point will use you for their own progress. Being in the bottom may not be lucrative yet it's the one experience that you will never forget. Its when I experienced most of my firsts - first job, first salary, first tasks, first disappointments - everything. It was the first. Being a bottom feeder is the most grueling part of the Corporate Jungle, being there was like not being there at all, because you didn't matter, all your tasks are basic and can be done by anyone - I am expendable. If you believe that you are special, being there will make you realize that what makes you unique isn't that unique after all. This time of your career you may hate yourself for not realizing your dreams, but cheer up, when you pass this the hardest part is still far away.
After getting your experience and after dwelling in the bottom for sometime you need to evolve, how you do that it's up to you, as you evolve naturally you will have to move up the food chain, you become a plant-eater, a Herbivore a regular employee with a steady pay, passive, with his head either looking up or down wherever the leaves may be. It's not that far from where you started but it's progress, no matter how small. Your life in the jungle has been almost uneventful that you sometimes think of quitting or you are missing the thrill and hardships of the bottom feeders. You begin to reminisce the hard times, you start to think if anything you do is something that will improve or will you stay there? During this time you are already aware of your surroundings and had mastered self preservation. You have made alliances and have known who are those you need to save and those you would badly want to sacrifice but can't. During this time experience has already made you an armor but not one that is impenetrable. Your tasks has become easier and you are not one to fall so easily. Your workload has increased and you are now faced with expectations that comes with experience.
As you grow in this jungle, you learn the taste of meat. You may ask me what am i talking about when I talk about Meat. In a layman's term meat pertains to success and achievements. Meat is that savory moment that you experience, and in this jungle, meat can be the increase in salary that I have been waiting for, the promotion you always aspired, or the position that you have strived to get. I, for one would never forget my very first taste of it, and it wasn't even a big success but it was the first. It was succulent, juicy, and flavorful. It was a moment that i will forever cherish. The moment that you have tasted the meat of achievement you will start to seek more of it. Your body will adapt to it, you will grow fangs and you will be faster, more efficient, you will be able to use those of lower tier to achieve your goals. You have now risen to middle management or may be an officer or supervisor. You have been given your lot to manage and you yearn for success to bring you to greater heights. But at this point you are most susceptible to fall to greed, why? You are in a position where you can propel yourself to the heavens if done right or crash and burn to earth if you become greedy. This is also the time when you learn to that you have a lot of your own, a territory, a plot that you and only you control. This is not limited to the work but also people, most of lower phyllon, you now have power no matter how small. But power when held is never really enough, soon you will have to grow and the confines of your small territory will not be enough to hold you or your ambitions. The only way to go is up.
As you choose to move up the chain you learn about a different type of meat, and your first taste of it was different, it was delicious, but it had a bitter aftertaste or maybe it left your mouth with the taste of bile. As a carnivore your know the taste of prey, but this time, your own species is your prey. Your have progressed to cannibalism, success that was taken from people of the same level, whether it's intentional or not it was a success, it may be from a friend, or a boss, it's a success taken not because you wanted but rather you needed it done. When you have done things you need to do because it's a part of your job and you have done it many times you just painted a large bullseye on your back. You have become a predator and a prey at the same time. Your body will again adapt, your capabilities and thinking and your social skills. Your adaptation will help you stay alive much longer and allow you to move up the food chain.
As you go up you realize that your looking from the top of the chain, the apex predator. You have achieved what all others have been wanting to achieve, the sweet taste of success. You knew how many battles you had to go through just to get that spot, and wanted or not you are there. Being on the top doesn't necessarily mean that it's lonely or it's a hostile environment, sometimes if you do it right it's just so good. When you are at the top you have command over everything in the organization, people, property and finances. Your decision will be the one to stir the organization. Pressure is also abundant because you are not just answering to a small group of people, you are now answering to the whole company, and if ever your clients. The top is not a jungle for those of merely muscle it require ingenuity and skill to get a kill or to outsmart a threat, and your corporate life will be a constant struggle between doing what is right for the company and what is right for its employees. this may all sound very scary and most shy away from the top because of this things but one can never be content with what one has that is there are those who rises up the challenge and wins. This time it's all about balance, you need to balance your life in the office and your life outside the office. You need to remember that eating meat every day is not good, at some point your need to eat greens as well, you may be winning deals and bringing home bacons but what if you do not have a home to bring it to. Remember your personality is not just one, your work personality is but one of many faces that you have. People on the top of the chain have their own happy days, and not always threatened, you just need to work hard for it. Something you need to remember about being on top, it's very volatile and you can never be complacent and just like your predecessor you too will face an enemy you can not win against, be it age, skill or technology, at some point you will be dethroned, and how you take that descent will define your character.
On your way down you have two roads that you can take, will you be the wise old man of the jungle or the the scheming scavenger. Being the wise old man you take your defeat gracefully, and most of the time you have descended on your own terms and with your own volition. You have come to terms with you career and have decided to take sanctuary away from the bustling world of the corporate jungle but never really closing your doors. Knowing that your capabilities and connections you still get gains from the chain, sometimes it's delivered on to your doorstep sometimes it's more of a recognition of your brilliance.
Now the second road down is full of malice and hate, you have now become a scavenger, you are vengeful and displeased by your demotion and still clings on to your previous title. Not that it's so bad, you are just ambitious you know what is yours but sometimes you will stop at nothing for success and you begin to forget yourself and purpose. You forget about moderation and you forget about control the only thing that drives you is your motivation. You begin to usurp the top guns and you begin to scheme to gain your spot. The sad part of being a scavenger is that you will see success like they are pieces of crumbs falling off the table and may not be able to appreciate what is in front of you. You have been swallowed by the jungle and can no longer be found. And when the time comes that you have truly lost everything you have no one else to blame but yourself. Ambition is never bad, but it's not the only thing in life.
So now thats it, at some point you are somewhere in the food chain and somehow you have your own struggles to deal with but always remember it's a choice. Success is not only measured by you status or position, but it's something we can defined on our own standards. Do not let other people dictate what you have achieved or not in the end of the day your own opinion is what matters the most. So i'll see you all soon in the next entry. Bye!
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