At one time, people actually used to work 40 hours a week for a decent wage. However, today it is becoming more and more common for people to work 50 hours or more per week. People are finding it difficult to make the choice between their career and their family. By working to find alternatives to the traditional Corporate America job, people are not only becoming more creative in making a living, they are ensuring that their families truly do come first. Corporate America is changing as a result of a changing demographic, and not for the better.
When many people who value their family over their career choose to leave Corporate America to start their own businesses, work for smaller companies, or work on-line, the people who are left at the larger corporations tend to be more career driven. In a sense, it is a self-fueling phenomenon. The worse the competition (as a result, hours) gets, the more likely people who value their families are to leave.
Unfortunately, as the competition gets worse, some people begin doing just about anything to get ahead. As the work-life balance gets more skewed, the worse business ethics tend to become. It is a sad correlation, but it is there, as much as people try to cover it up. In addition, people become so focused on getting ahead that the actual work keeps getting pushed further and further to the bottom. This trend only makes life worse for those employees who choose to stay at the bottom level in order to spend more time with family.
So what does this mean for Corporate America beyond increased competition between employees? For one thing, the truly creative people – the ones who won’t say just about anything to get head – are leaving in droves. With Corporate America already at a loss for truly creative ideas (the technology sector excluded, of course), one can’t help but see the demise of Corporate America in the days ahead.
As much as things truly need to change in Corporate America for it to be truly restored to its former glory, I’m not one predicting the demise of Corporate America. It is simply going to adapt, just as it has since the founding of the republic in 1776. I believe that we are currently witnesses to a profound change in American business. As more people leave Corporate America, they aren’t leaving the American workforce (which is wonderful news for our economy), they are simply working in different segments of the economy.
Instead of working for large multinational conglomerates, people are working in smaller companies, on-line, and starting their own businesses. The American Dream is no longer for people to work for one employer, one large fatherly company such as Ford or GM, for their entire career. It is now to own your own business or to be your own boss (freelance writing, for example). Personally, I believe this to be a fundamental change in our economy and a big step forward for many people. As the traditional assembly line jobs for companies such as GM and Ford disappear, people are craving stability. As a result, they are turning to their own devices. After all, you can really only trust yourself.