Recovering Corpoholics Podcast

Ep 1 - Are You a Corpoholic?

In today’s episode, we’ll discover what is a Corpoholic and how you can start recognizing the signs if you are one so you can quit playing the corporate games and have a career on your own terms. 

Find the show notes for this episode at RecoveringCorpoholics.com/1. 

Ok so let’s jump right in in and answer the question you all are wondering, what is a Corpoholic?

But first, let me explain the difference between a Corpoholic and a Workaholic. 

A workaholic is someone who works like crazy. They are constantly busy and always feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. They get stressed when things stop them from working and they just can’t seem to relax as there is always something more they could be doing. 

Being a Corpoholic is similar and has all the symptoms of a Workaholic, but with one difference… your identity is tied to your work and what you do. I’ll go more into this but let me share with you how I first identified this. 

When I first started my journey from my 15-year corporate career to entrepreneurship, my eyes opened up to things I had no idea were happening. 

I knew I was a workaholic, but I also loved the corporate world, especially in the Big 4 where you have a great salary, bonus, random gifts, the status you have everywhere, the benefits, the success) aka everything but the work, but I had no idea just how "corporate" and how much of my job I had become. 

And it all started when I met someone new who said, “Tell me about yourself”. 

For the longest time, my reply would be, "Hi, I'm Felicia, I’m a consultant at one of the big four accounting firms. I have been there since 2009. I work on this type of work for these types of clients." 

Sometimes I even threw in that I have my MBA or add in some of the extracurricular things that I was doing if I really wanted to impress. And you know working at a Big 4, you can really get caught up with all of your accomplishments and amazing things you’re working on. 

But when I left my corporate career and was asked shortly after to "tell me about yourself," I had to catch myself. Who was I? What could I say? 

Of course, I had scripted a perfect response to the question (because #Corporate), but it was the first time where I hesitated as I thought I didn’t have some overly impressive thing to say (and it did not help that the person I had met just stated they received their MBA from Harvard). 

So it got me thinking, who was I now outside of my corporate career and more importantly, why did I care so much about impressing this other person. This person didn’t even know me! 

Or was it that I was trying to impress myself? I realized in that moment that my career had made up a huge part of who I was. And that’s OK, but for me, without my big 4 name and title behind me, I almost felt like me on my own wasn’t good enough.

 

No wonder why people don’t leave miserable jobs! It’s like losing a part of yourself. I knew I had a problem and that’s what led me to start Recovering Corpoholics. 

So, What is a Corpoholic?

A Corpoholic is a person who experiences a strong desire to succeed. So much so that they place success above all other obligations, including family, friends and their personal life.

 

Their identity is usually tied to their corporate role and achievements, and some may experience identity issues if their role or achievements are ever compromised. 

 

On the other side, A Recovering Corpoholic is a person who is tired of putting success over their family, friends and personal life. They may love their job, but they are NOT their job.

 

They may "circle back" on their personal goals from time to time, but they always have "bandwidth" to make themselves, their loved ones, and their community (outside of work) a priority. 

Take a quick moment and think to yourself, which category do you fall in? 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you identify:

  • If someone leaves you a negative performance review, does that impact you personally?

  • If you were to introduce yourself to someone without saying a job title or anything not work related, would you feel like something was missing?

  • Do you often take on extra work or say yes to work you don’t want to do because you think it will make you look better or get ahead?

  • If someone asked you what you were up to in life, would you only have work things to say?

  • Are you unhappy or unfulfilled at work but for some reason, can’t get yourself to leave?

  • Do you think a higher position or more money will make you happier/solve problems in your life?

 

If you find yourself saying yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone. And there is no problem with any of it as long as you’re OK with it. 

Now if you answered the questions with a caveat, like Yes, but it’s because of XYZ, just think if you are really OK with that response or are you trying to cover up the fact that the statement might be true. Because that’s what I did.

For the longest time, I put my “success” and wanting to be a "Partner" above everything else in life. I worked crazy hours (too many all-nighters to count), cancelled on friends and family so I could feel like I was "getting ahead," didn’t take care of myself – and I can go on and on. 

And the worst part about it all is I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about this for the fear of being thrown under the bus, I mean, its everyone out for themselves in the Corporate world.

 

And also - for the fear of being embarrassed as if you’re not in the corporate world, everyone only sees the outside perks and tells you how good you have it and how you should be grateful. 

I want to change this. And I want to change the way we work and change the way we experience life. 

 

According to Forbes.com, the #1 regret people have is "working so much at the expense of family and friendships." I am happy to say that this won't be a regret of mine. But Will it be for you?

It’s time to take back control of our careers, quit the corporate games we fall victim to and find work that means something to us. It’s time we put ourselves first. 

We spend 1/3 of our lives working, maybe a little bit more for some, and, in my opinion, that’s too much time to be spending unhappy, pretending to be something and do something that we don’t actually want.  

That’s all for this week’s episode, I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for listening and I’ll see you next week. 

Stay Inspired and Live Powerfully!

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