With the state of the economy as it is, the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the corporate corruption of recent years, I don’t think anyone will be surprised by Jodi Hudak’s comparison of a corporation to a prison, and anyone who has worked in corporate America probably knows what it feels like to be a prisoner at work-trapped in a job you hate, or with coworkers you dislike because they mistreat others and back stab, yet you cannot leave because your livelihood is dependent upon that job.
In “Revealing the Truth Behind Corporate Prison Walls,” Jodi Hudak details how she began her career in corporate America with high expectations. She wanted to work hard and move up in a company, but she soon discovered that as hard as she worked, she couldn’t get ahead; promotions were not based on hard work, talent, or merits alone, but office politics, backstabbing, and one’s success in practicing the Seven Deadly Sins.
Hudak illustrates her points about corporate America with many of her personal work stories. I was not surprised by her stories, having escaped corporate America myself, but I did find that reading her book was a cathartic experience for me. It both comforted and alarmed me; it made me feel I was not the only person who had been in these situations, and it made me realize how much the corporate hierarchy is broken and controlled by greed, envy, and childish antics that result in bullying, dishonesty, and overall corruption. Part of the problem with corporate America may have to do with capitalism, but part of it also has to do with the basic ills of human nature. Hudak held strong to her ethics throughout her years in corporate prisons, but ultimately, she realized that rather than fighting or trying to fix what could not be fixed internally, at least not by her, she freed herself from the situation. Hudak makes it clear that if enough people will also seek their freedom from this system that no longer works for the majority of those involved, eventually the system will have no choice but to change.
In the book’s preface, Hudak discusses some of the frustration she experienced in the corporate world, frustration that will sound familiar to many readers, and why she knew she had to find a better way to support herself:
Despite my reputation and accomplishments, I have been squeezed out of multiple jobs. It has become impossible for me to survive the corruption and politics in the corporate world. I have found that too many people succumb to the corruption and politics, at least to some degree, even if only by turning away from it with a mob-like mentality. It is because I refuse to lose my integrity, chip away my character, or damage my dignity that I made the choice to break free from the corporate world where I had confined myself for far too long. As a result, I am able to look at myself in the mirror with self-respect. I refuse to give my power to the corporate leaders who feed their egos and cause destruction by cultivating corruption.
…I am astonished by the number of people who have also unknowingly shackled themselves to a specific way to earn an income-a way that blocks, and often is destroying, the pathway to their dreams. Until now, I was unaware of another way for someone like me to make a living. From what I can tell, it seems most people are in the same predicament.
Hudak’s solution to this predicament is starting a home-based business, being an entrepreneur, and being your own boss. Rather than making other people rich at the expense of their own happiness and sanity, enterprising people can establish themselves as business owners while providing greater job security for themselves and their families.
Hudak’s stories, centered on examples that illustrate the Seven Deadly Sins in corporate America, will make readers rethink their own job situations as they find their experiences mirrored in Hudak’s. This book does not offer all the answers to finding freedom, since different people will have different talents and preferences, but Hudak offers some basic first steps toward that goal that can be achieved with a little creative thinking and pre-planning. Leaving corporate America to be an entrepreneur can be frightening, but Hudak clarifies that you don’t have to quit your job tomorrow-you can work toward your goal and build your financial security and personal business until you are ready to leave your day job permanently.
“Revealing the Truth Behind Corporate Prison Walls” is organized into twenty short chapters that allow for quick reading and are accompanied by a series of questions that ask people to reflect on their past and current job situations and plan for the future. The questions are not difficult but provocative; they are questions everyone who is dissatisfied with his or her current employment situation will benefit from asking so he or she can start on the path to financial and career freedom.
As someone who once felt the same frustration in his day job that Hudak describes, and who spent considerable time working toward becoming self-employed, Hudak’s story fully resonated with me. I encourage people to read “Revealing the Truth Behind Corporate Prison Walls” and to take Hudak’s message to heart. A better option does exist beyond being a prisoner to a job that offers you no loyalty or stability. You can be free. Let Hudak help you move toward that goal. It can be scary, but trust me, it is better to make the move than to spend life in fear behind bars.