As if we needed more reasons to endlessly scroll through TikTok when we want to escape the real world, Corporate Natalie is one of the latest influencers taking over our feeds. But she’s not doing your typical dance trend or viral prank that we’re accustomed to seeing on the app. She’s tackling work life — specifically remote corporate work in the wake of the pandemic. As a 24-year-old in the corporate world, she satirizes how young people are feeling stressed about most company’s lame attempts at mental health, toxic work cultures, and burnout. Natalie’s funny and relatable anecdotes remind us all (whether you’re a millennial or not) of the ways we can cope with the anxieties of work and office life. We caught up with Natalie on her routine, career goals, and what inspired her to start poking fun at 9-to-5 office dynamics.
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On TikTok, you often joke about staying in bed until the very last minute. What’s your real-life morning routine?
Natalie: I always throw on Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum because it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. I follow it up by filling my brows so I don’t scare anyone on Zoom. From there, I frantically race to my desk and pretend my camera isn’t working for the first 30 seconds while I brush my hair.
@corporatenatalie Shop Sunday Riley’s C.E.O 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum w/ the link in my bio and get your ✨wellness✨ in check @Sunday Riley @sephora #SundayRileyPartner #corporate ♬ original sound – CorporateNatalie
How did you get the idea of starting a TikTok page about workplace culture?
Natalie: Burnout is certainly a real thing. When the pandemic first started, I think we were all a bit uneasy in terms of job security and the future in general. I personally was working about 85 hours a week in fear of losing my job. I’m incredibly thankful to still be employed now (at a different company), but I think that the overcorrection that most of us experienced in the early days of the pandemic still remains a bit in today’s culture. In my first viral “Day in the Life” video, I flipped the trend on its head with a bleak rendition of a day in my life as someone working from home and my following really grew from that. I started getting millions of views, which was crazy.
Let’s clear the air that you’re actually very happy in your current full-time job. Is your digital persona anything like Natalie in real life?
Natalie: My current working environment is the farthest thing from toxic, and I’m very thankful for that! ‘Real Natalie’ could not be more different from ‘Corporate Natalie.’ I like to say she’s a character I play because she really is just that. The people, mannerisms, and phrases that I exploit on my platform make me cringe when I hear them in real life on my Zoom calls, and I think that’s why so many people relate to them. I think my followers are starting to get a better sense of my ‘real’ personality through my Instagram stories, but it’s always hilarious meeting fans in public and they think I’m some incredibly serious corporate person.
@corporatenatalie‘Virtual talking stick’ has me almost pressing send on my 2-week notice #corporate #workfromhome #9to5 #fyp♬ original sound – CorporateNatalie
You were pretty new to the workforce when the pandemic hit. What’s been the hardest part about working remotely? What helps you cope?
Natalie: I definitely miss the social aspect. It gets lonely being in my room, mere inches from my bed, for hours at a time. I think the loneliness factor is something that my followers can agree on, and have often messaged me about, which I can empathize with. With frequent short walks, a commitment to working out, and eating semi-healthily, I’m able to be my most productive. I also really value my weekends with friends. I think unplugging and spending quality time with the people you love is how to truly make life worth living. Plus, since the pandemic started, I’ve learned that exploring passions is incredibly important. For me, it’s content creation. While it’s undoubtedly stressful at times, having this creative, comedic outlet has given me a chance to exercise part of my brain that I otherwise might not have in my daily routine.
What’s your ultimate career goal? Do you plan on staying in the corporate world full-time?
Natalie: In a faraway future, I see myself doing something that marries content creation with a more traditional corporate job. I think social media is an incredibly hot space, and I’d love to help a company I believe in achieving social media success from the inside out. I do have dreams of being on Saturday Night Live one day, too.
A lot of your current TikTok content focuses on work-from-home life. How do you plan on evolving your content?
Natalie: I hope that I’m able to expand my realm of comedy into a few other areas like dating, being a young millennial, etc., so my entire social media career isn’t riding on remote work. I’ve always been involved in comedy, so hopefully, I can find a way to — in corporate jargon — pivot. That being said, I think that companies are seeing the value in allowing their workforce to choose the right option for them, whether that’s being fully remote, hybrid, or in-office, so I don’t think the work-from-home option will ever fully disappear.
@corporatenatalieThat went super well😌 #workfromhome #corporate #neighbors #millennial #fyp♬ You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
A lot of people don’t realize that it’s a lot of hard work to be an influencer. What do you find most rewarding about the experience?
Natalie: I’m incredibly lucky to have met so many awesome influencers and creators throughout this journey. I’m definitely closest with @Rod and @Corporate.Bro (Ross) through Corporate Natalie, and of course, I am forever thankful to my best friend Victoria Garrick for teaching me the ropes of influencer life and always encouraging me to put my content out there. She’s quite literally my #1 fan. I’m also lucky to get to work with incredible brands that I genuinely believe in. I think the coolest thing is being able to truly have ‘influence’ over such a large community. While it’s a ton of pressure, it’s kind of a beautiful thing to have a community that genuinely wants to listen to what you have to say — or, in my case, what I have to joke about.
@corporatenatalie#ad It’s a full-time job. Idk what I’d do without Dell Latitude’s passwordless log-in 😈 #corporate #9to5 #fyp #Dellinsidecircle♬ original sound – CorporateNatalie
How do you handle a case of the Sunday Scaries?
Natalie: My roommates and I like to watch at least a full season of Shameless on Sundays — we are slightly addicted. I’m also thankful that I live very close to my parents, so I often surprise them with a visit.