She explains how she never felt passionate about growing someone else's business and was not comfortable working in a corporate environment.
Authenticity seems to be a huge ask when companies look for employees. Many interviews are structured in such a way that the true selves of the candidates come to the fore. However, it is challenging for an employee to feel an attachment to growth in someone else's establishment. Moreover, surviving in a corporate environment requires extra effort to alter oneself according to what is expected from the role. Being true to oneself does not seem like a viable concept in such an environment. Hannah Shirley–who goes on TikTok by @hannahshirleyy–discusses how difficult it is to pretend to be passionate about someone else's growth.
Shirley shared that, in her opinion, corporate jobs feel like full-time acting gigs. She explains, "Why do we show up every day pretending our genuine passion in this lifetime is the growth of the business?" There is no sense in this pretense. Ultimately, the business is only providing the employee with its monthly salary. Any extra profit and growth it is enjoying is not going into the employee's pockets.
Shirley also questions the way people conduct themselves in a corporate environment. "Why do we go into meetings using really sophisticated language just to prove to everyone how smart and polished we are when we know we're not using that language outside of work?" she asks. The point is to get the message across and wouldn't it be easier to communicate it in a simple language. This culture does not have any logic, according to Shirley. It is only in place to foster a competitive environment, which is not healthy.
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Shirley has shared the video, keeping in mind her own experience. She was employed with the ed-tech company Udemy and left it to become a content creator to build something she could call her own. Through this video, she wants to create a change in the workplace environment. In her opinion, the removal of pretenses will aid individuals in enjoying a healthy work-life balance. While talking about her own experience in such a setting, she told Insider, "As a Gen Zer especially, I'm questioning why we do a lot of these things. I felt like I was kind of putting on this mask and being uber-professional just because that's how all the other generations have set up the corporate world to be."
In Shirley's opinion, having to pretend constantly has an adverse effect on the mental health of individuals. "It doesn't feel like we can really live our lives when we're just so drained — especially mentally, sometimes even physically — from the character that we play at work," she said. "Office culture should be a little bit deeper than what projects you have going on on your team."
The comment section was in agreement with Shirley. @msbrittanymel had an answer as to why people participated in such behavior, "Because bills don't pay themselves, girl." @its.sav.rae believes that more can be done by removing pretenses, "We could all speak casually and probably get more done, to be honest."