Corporate Work: A Great Place to Start and Grow Your Career

If you’re one of the lucky ones who always knew what you wanted to be when you grew up, by all means follow your passion—be an artist, musician, firefighter, scientist, teacher, nurse, or whatever else calls to you. It’s never too late to chase your dreams!

But if you’re like me and never had a career calling, or your passion won’t pay the bills, corporate work can be a great place to start and grow your career (and maybe even spark a second career someday).

Benefits of Corporate Work

As someone who spent 25+ years working in large and mid-size technology companies, I experienced my fair share of disappointments and frustrations. But I also gained an appreciation for the many upsides of corporate work.

In fact, my corporate career provided much more than I ever thought possible.

As I shared in a prior post, I mostly stumbled into my career to earn a paycheck. Then I spent the next 26 years learning how to advance and climb the corporate ladder before taking a career break a little over a year ago.

Now that I’ve been away from corporate work for a while, I look back on my career with gratitude. I worked with some phenomenal people. I traveled all over the world. And I ate way too much free food embarassed.

But there are 3 ways my career benefited me most, and why I believe corporate work can be a great place to start and grow your career.

1) Financial Foundation

Let’s start with the most obvious benefit of working in corporate America—dollar, dollar bills y’all.

Companies can pay big bucks to their employees, and not just to the ones higher up in the food chain. Many professional roles at the average Fortune 500 company pay more than $100,000 a year. It’s not far-fetched to find yourself in the top 10% (or even 5%) of earners after advancing at a Fortune 500 company for a few years.

And the corporate payout continues for those who are seen as top talent, or higher up on the career ladder.

If your company recognizes you as a top performer or high potential employee, congratulations! You can expect to receive higher than average pay increases, yearly bonus payouts, special one-time bonuses, and annual equity awards, which can grow larger and larger with each passing year.

Bottom line, if financial security is important to you, growing your career in corporate can be a great option!

2) Lifelong Learning

After graduating college, I thought my schooling was over. Little did I realize my education was only just beginning.

While I expected to receive on-the-job training so I could become a better worker-bee, I didn’t realize my corporate experience would provide an abundance of opportunities to get outside my comfort zone and make the most out of my potential.

If you love to learn, and professional development and personal growth are important to you (and I hope they are!), then corporate America has much to offer. Companies know that advancing their employees’ education is good for business!

The sheer volume of programs, trainings, resources, and experiences available to employees in corporate America is enormous. There really is no excuse not to continue your education after joining the workplace.

While some development opportunities are only offered to high-potential employees,  or those higher up in leadership roles, the majority of corporate programs, resources and experiences are open for the taking.

And lifelong learning is essential for career advancement. If you’re serious about getting promoted, you’ll want to make the most out of what your company offers.

And who knows, maybe someday you’ll want to take what you’ve learned to do your own thing… like a second career.

3) Setup for Second Career

Corporate work doesn’t have to be your forever career. Starting and growing your career in corporate can also provide a great foundation for a second career.

In the future, you may decide you’ve grown tired of corporate work and want to do your own thing. Maybe you want to start a non-profit, work as a consultant, or become an entrepreneur.

I know plenty of professionals who were inspired to start their own business based on unmet needs they discovered while working in corporate.

Or colleagues who leveraged their corporate experience to start a new career path—marketers who started creative agencies, program managers who became consultants, executive who became coaches, etc.

There’s no question that my corporate career put me in a position to start my second act in building out Finally Promoted.

  • Corporate work inspired me to want to help great professionals get promoted.
  • Corporate work connected me with super-smart colleagues who I recruited as business advisors.
  • Corporate work helped me become better – a better writer, marketer, speaker, thinker, leader, problem solver, project manager, planner, and much, much more.

The point is, corporate careers can equip you with the skills, knowledge, connections, and confidence for whatever you may want to do next.  

More Ways Corporate Work Can Be Good For You

Bottom line, I believe corporate work can be good for you. It can be a great place to start and grow your career. Maybe it will turn into your forever career, or maybe it will inspire you to start a second career. Either way, corporate work can offer much more than you may think.



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