Many of us wish to climb the corporate ladder until we reach the top but it isn’t an easy task. You may think that the benefits of being top dog in a corporate company outweighs the consequences but first, read about this man who used to be the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a chemical company who shared his experience with Humans of Kuala Lumpur.
In case you didn’t know, Humans of Kuala Lumpur is a social advocacy platform that shares stories of the people living in Kuala Lumpur. Their thought-provoking stories often touch Malaysians’ hearts, which serve to change, influence, inspire, educate and create change amongst Malaysians.
Recently, one of their stories went viral and certainly gave many people food for thought. The aforementioned COO shared his story where he managed to break free from the chains of the company after he found out that this was not the life he wanted.
In less than 24 hours, his story reached more than 24,000 shares and had many netizens talking about their similar life experiences. He described his life when he was COO of the company and the office politics involved, which made his corporate life unpleasant.
“I am embarrassed to tell you the things I used to do in corporate. When we wish to fire people who work in corporate jobs, instead of offering a severance package, we make life very difficult for them. We humiliate them in meetings, we tell them they are not performing, we restructure the organization and reduce their seniority, and put junior people as their bosses. Eventually even the strong cannot tahan and they will leave themselves. This is what they taught me in corporate, and this is what I did. But you don’t realise it will all eventually come back to you.”
He continues sharing about the ugly side of corporate culture where once you reach a senior manager’s position, the office politics would get even worse. Jealousy, backstabbing and undermining was the norm, which allowed him to see the dark side of human nature.
He seemed to have made it, being in one of the top positions in the company after so many years in the corporate life. However, one day, he had enough and just decided to quit his job, which caused many people to ask him, “Why did you quit corporate?”
He replied, “One late night I looked through an old photo album of my family – of my lovely wife and children and I realised the past 20 years passed by in a blur. I could barely recall my children growing up and that my wife has become older – it was like I just woke up from a coma and I had lost my memory. I regretted this bitterly and it was at this moment I decided to fix my life.”
After thinking it over, he decided to start his own business and live life by his own rules. You would have thought that seeing as he did not have a cushy salary anymore, his financial situation would be worse. Yet, he says that he is actually saving more money now as he can finally manage his finances properly and cut away the unnecessary luxuries.
Currently, he has his own humble chemical business and during the weekends, he would cart the unwanted items in his home to a flea market to sell. He has been selling at flea markets for two years and is much happier than being a big shot in a corporate company.
The man finishes his story saying, “I’m grateful I’m given a second chance in life. This is my second chance. Once you declutter your life, you can focus on the things that really matter. During my corporate work, I reported to the board and I had up to 10 bosses. But now I just have one boss. My wife! This is my life now, it’s a lot simpler, but I’m happier.”
Would you make the same choice as him?
This article was published with permission from Humans of Kuala Lumpur.
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