Offender: The corporate ‘journey’ and its dreadful variations
What does it mean?
Any sort of progress at work – i.e. the daily 9 to 5.
Related jargon includes pathway, destination, adventure, quest, battle and venture plus the adjective epic.
Who uses it?
Mainly men – and mainly on Linkedin. On this cursed site you cannot move for white-collar marketing professionals called Steve orating their ‘epic mission towards growth’, ‘gruelling battle against negativity’ and ‘projected pathway to profitability’. You will encounter Jared from ops pontificating on his ‘quest for absolute efficiency’ and occasionally his ‘legendary strategic initiative’.
To conflate the daily grind with an epic 10-year mission sailing across some especially deadly seas to reassert your place as the rightful king of Ithica is, frankly, deluded.
Should we be worried?
Yes. To go to work is not to undertake the hero’s quest. Unless you actually are in the military, most employees aren’t soldiers on a battlefield. To conflate the daily grind with an epic 10-year mission sailing across some especially deadly seas to reassert your place as the rightful king of Ithica is, frankly, deluded. It also does our man Odysseus a disservice.
You are not fighting the six-headed monster Scylla when you encounter a disagreement over marketing strategy with Sam from Sales. To inflate the importance of work in this manner is ultimately an exercise in ego enlargement.
Growing a company or a division is not akin to saving humankind – and that’s okay. No one will die – or be confined, forever, to the Underworld – if your consultancy firm doesn’t hit its growth goals. This isn’t life or death, and that is something to be celebrated.
What could it be confused with?
- Legendary Greek king of Ithaca Odysesseus’s travails in The Odyssey
- Taking the 7:56 from Leatherhead to London Bridge via Epsom
- Summiting Mount Everest
- An acid trip
How do we get rid of it?
Fight it on the beaches. Fight it on the seas. Wait – no. None of that: if you see a post on Linkedin with any variation of the term quest, mute the poster or disconnect.
Embrace the dullness of work. Hit the small targets. Disentangle your identity from that of a soldier’s. You might find it empowering.
Corporate ick rating:
9/10 – no one’s job is that important. You’re not a hero, you’re a minion. Embrace it – and if you’re posting on Linkedin, frankly, it’s more relatable.
Do you use it? Do you have a worse offender? Are your colleagues guilty of corporate icks? Email us at email@example.com