Working for the Evil Empire: Yay or Nay?

Have you ever picked up the phone and heard the beautiful words: „You got the job! You start on Monday!”? Chances are, you have, and you were overjoyed! But what if people on the other end of the call belong to the Super Evil corporation, someone you just despise with all your heart? Or that job they offer is just… Meh? Is it time to break out the yellow legal pad of pros and cons, or is it better to go with the flow and see where it gets you?


Some statistics about job reality may be inflated, but the youngest employable generation has been hit particularly hard because its members used to expect much more from the job market than it could realistically offer. The disillusionment was brutal, but it seems to be working. There is a growing trend among Millennials to accept more jobs. Or even any jobs!

Previously, an average bright young graduate would be quite satisfied just giving up if a perfect job was nowhere to be found. However, we already know that that is not what Millennials are looking for career-wise, as they are fussy about the same things as any other employee and want job satisfaction along with good working environment. They did, however, get rid of the whole „do what you love, and you won’t have to work a day in your life”.

The post-Obama America is still trying to find its new pace and direction under new management, but Millennials are largely responding by becoming more and more realistic about their expectations. This includes job hopping – moving to a new company or job within 1 or 2 years of employment. This used to be the defining characteristic of the group, except now they take jobs quite outside of their comfort zones. Financial specialists may go into recruitment, techies seek jobs in the service industry and humanitarians start to use Coursera liberally to gain their tech chops. Personal rebranding is now an accepted career move.

So, logically, that means you can take any job, even at a company you dislike. If you’re a Millennial, you are likely to gather whatever experience and get on to the next gig, so quality of the job takes second seat to its perks and paycheck. Now, if you are NOT a Millennial, your standards are likely different. Historically, you’d prefer a steady job with long career growth potential, somewhere where you can settle in for the long haul. You’d like to answer the classic five-year question truthfully. What do you do, then?

Don’t take the job.

There is a very simple approach: not taking it, and looking elsewhere. Unfortunately, this path is tricky. You can wait for a great job to come, only to find out it doesn’t want you, because you’ve stayed out of the market for too long. Alternatively, there simply may not come any job for you at all. For many, not doing anything is actually preferable to having a bad job. Their argument is that it’s better to wait it out, or concentrate on creating a start-up, coming up with the next great unicorn of an idea. Will that realistically pan out? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Supposing you weighed all the advantages and disadvantages of just passing on the opportunity, take a look at the latest employment figures, and make sure you understand them. Many people who don’t take jobs, any jobs, eventually fall through the cracks. Juli Niemann of Smith Moore & Co, a Saint Louis-based consultancy, says the following about people who decide to turn down all employment due to it not fitting their requirements. „They’re not even in the numbers; they’re not in the count. They’ve been looking for jobs for so long and can’t find the jobs that they’re simply not even trying anymore.” This is the depressing view, but many opt to be unemployed. Of course, there’s always door no.2…

Take the job.

You could always just get that hated job! Maybe you will even like it? Many experts advise this, considering the current labour landscape. However, with your job satisfaction being low, there is a chance of burning out way too early. Stay too long in a job you hate, and your job will also hate you, leading to a vicious circle of low productivity keeping your morale low, impacting negatively on your productivity and so on.

There are ways to cope, however. Most career advisors will tell you to try to evaluate the personal benefits before taking the job. You have to ask yourself several questions. Will this position open doors for you, or close them in the future? Are there any valuable, realistic alternatives to the job and are you sure you could be offered something better? Finally, do you know all there is to know about the company – perhaps your view is skewed and it’s not „an evil empire„?

In many cases, that final answer should be the most important one. Many prospective employees come to the job market with high expectations, stemming mostly from their perception of the company. Even a job opening in a beloved company is greeted with cheer, while an actual 2nd or 3rd stage of recruitment at a company you abhor may be treated as the necessary evil.

Changing this perspective is as much a career strategy as it is something to do for your own peace of mind. Once you are in, the despair or dissatisfaction may very quickly set in, influencing your performance in a bad way. You won’t change the company on your own, not unless you’re its CEO. But you can start thinking differently, or move within the company to a better, more attractive position once you are in. The thing is – you need to be in it, to win it.

So bottom line is: any job is good, if you can make good out of it. If not for the world, then for yourself. And you can always make sure you keep a promise you made to your younger self of making a world a better place… Just, you know, perhaps five years down the line


to pick up the phone – podnieść słuchawkę
chances are,… – możliwe…, prawdopodobnie…
overjoyed – nie posiadający się z radości, uradowany
evil – zły
to despise – nienawidzieć
meh – nijaki, mdły (pot., slang.)
to break sth out – wyjąć coś, przygotować do użycia (pot.)
legal pad – notatnik, zeszyt do segregatora
pros and cons – za i przeciw
to go with the flow – płynąć z prądem
inflated – wygórowany, sztucznie nadmuchany
employable – zatrudnialny, nadający się do pracy
to hit sb hard – boleśnie/mocno kogoś dotknąć
disillusionment – pozbawienie iluzji, przejrzenie na oczy
bright – mądry, błyskotliwy
graduate – absolwent
to give up – poddać się
sth is nowhere to be found – czegoś nigdzie nie ma, czegoś nie da się znaleźć
X-wise – względem X, jeśli chodzi o X
fussy – tu: wybredny, wybiórczy (pot.)
to get rid of sth – pozbyć się czegoś
pace – prędkość, tempo
under new management – pod nowym przywództwem, pod nowym dyrektorem
to respond – odpowiedzieć, zareagować
job hopping – częsta zmiana pracy
defining characteristic – cecha wyróżniająca, cecha szczególna comfort zone – strefa komfortu techie – specjalista ds. technologii (np. IT), technolog/inżynier (pot.)
humanitarian – tu: osoba po studiach humanistycznych
liberally – liberalnie, hojnie
to gain one’s X chops – zdobyć wykształcenie/zdolności w zakresie X
rebranding – zmiana wizerunku/kierunku kariery
whatever – dowolny
gig – fucha, robota
to take second seat to sth – zająć mniej ważne miejsce, być mniej ważnym/istotnym od czegoś perks – benefity, dodatkowe świadczenia paycheck – wypłata (US)
historically – historycznie, zważywszy na poprzednie działania/statystyki itp.
steady – stały
to settle in for the long haul – przygotować się na dłuższe posiedzenie/zajęcie
truthfully – prawdziwie, zgodnie z prawdą
elsewhere – gdzie indziej
tricky – podchwytliwy, trudny
sth is preferrable to sth – ktoś woli coś od czegoś
argument – argumentacja, przekonywanie
to wait sth out – przeczekać coś
to come up with sth – wpaść na coś, wymyśleć coś
unicorn – spółka, która krótko po rozpoczęciu działalności zarobiła 1 mld dolarów; pot. o bardzo udanej idei start-upu
to pan out – potoczyć się, rozwinąć (o sytuacji)
to weigh sth – rozważyć coś
disadvantage – minus, niekorzyść
to pass on sth – nie wykorzystać szansy na coś, nie skorzystać z czegoś (np. oferty)
figure – liczba, statystyka
to fall through the cracks – zniknąć z widoku, zawieruszyć się (np. w biurokratycznej maszynie itp.)
consultancy – firma zajmująca się doradztwem, firma consultingowa
following – co następuje
to turn sth down – odmówić (ofercie, propozycji)
to fit sth – pasować do czegoś
to opt to do sth – optować za (z)robieniem czegoś
labour – praca, rynek pracy (UK)
landscape – krajobraz
to burn out – wypalić się (np. zawodowo)
vicious circle – zamknięty krąg, błędne koło
morale – morale
to impact on sth – mieć na coś wpływ
to cope – poradzić sobie (z czymś)
to evaluate sth – ocenić coś
all there is to know – wszystko, co należy wiedzieć, cała informacja
skewed – wypaczony
empire – imperium
prospective – potencjalny, przyszły
to stem from sth – wywodzić się z czegoś
perception – postrzeganie, odbiór
opening – wakat
beloved – ukochany
to greet sth with cheer – powitać coś z radością
to abhor sth – nie cierpieć czegoś
peace of mind – spokój wewnętrzny
despair – desperacja, rozpacz
dissatisfaction – niezadowolenie
to set in – wywiązać się, wdać się
to be in it, to win it – aby czegoś dokonać, należy się postarać
bottom line – podsumowując, na koniec
down the line – w przyszłości, za jakiś czas

by Prochor Aniszczuk

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