jump the cliff!


If you wake up in the morning and feel a fatalistic dread of going into your 8-6 corporate job, then write your resignation letter today – or at least start making plans to. It helps to have some savings or a plan of what you will do, but anyone can just stop working and chill. And I mean it. (If you still thrive upon working at least 10 hours a day + weekends + blackberrying over dinner, then stop reading this post…)

There are many books out there that give you a systematic guide to giving up a corporate job, making your plans to travel the world what not. All good. But I’d say, the ultimate quality / preparation whatever you want to call it, that you need to have, is simply, FAITH IN YOURSELF. Even though the whole world thinks you are crazy for giving up your to-die-for job, when you are burdened by mortgage payments, 2 kids who need to go to school, a wife or husband used to the current lifestyle, and a 6-digit credit card bill, have confidence in yourself that all of issues will work out even if you don’t have a paycheck every month.

If you find yourself saying, or writing an email to your friends saying “It’s so tough at this job, complain complain complain, I would like to quit but…” then check yourself. You are giving yourself excuses to stay in your comfort zone. It is very comfortable sitting on a big fat fluffy cushion indeed. And I sat for so long. It took me going through a year of seeing doctor after doctor to finally realize, I’m sitting on my own legs and cramping myself. It has been a good run in all fairness, and I can’t say I loathed all the time working in a big corporate – in fact some of it was very fun and exhilarating. I also learnt a lot of soft and hard skills which I always took for granted. Training in areas such as effective leadership and management, risk analysis, need-based sales all seemed mundane, and yet so valuable when I’m now away from the corporate greenhouse and trying to set my own course.

So, it is now time to stretch my legs and take a leap. Long overdue.

Once you have this conviction, this courage, then you can jump down this cliff through the mist. You don’t need set in stone plans of what you will do everyday after you quit, nor do you have to have a plane ticket in hand for your next vagabond journey. And kid no one, the risks are there. You might break a leg in the process but you will heal. And after this rocky cliff where you camped for the last XX years, thinking it’s such a comfy bed, perhaps then you will actually land on soft luscious grass that you’ve dreamt of sleeping on when you toss at night and the stones stab your rib cage.

It’s a chance you owe to yourself, and to your partner, your kids, your dog, your cat, your creative juices, your dreams, your aspirations.

I know it won’t be easy. It took me a year to come to a conclusion that I can resign from my full time job and still live a happy life, and maybe even happier one. Possibly, I will go back to a corporate in the end and by then hopefully I can manage the balance better, but at least I am giving myself a breather to think of what I really want to do. A step back to review my life. Maybe you need some space too to clear your mind?

Un-trap yourself. Anyone can do it. Stop saying “…but…”

9 Responses

  1. Mr. Independent says:

    Life is best living when the impact you make, makes it worth it for someone else to be living as well….

  2. adeline says:

    Working is just a small part of life. Life means much more than a job. Although you have quit your previous job, you are pursuing a real life. It’s worthwhile.What a person really wants in her/his life is necessary for every one to take time to figure out. I think you have got it. Many people have not made this question clear. It’s easy for someone to make a decision to jump out the comfort zone as long as he/she really grasps the essence of life.

    • nochnoch says:

      @adeline: yes, and sometimes i think it takes jumping first so we have the time to think, or be pushed to jump such as mt case. But we all need to think about what we want in lifr!!

  3. smatsu says:

    Highly agree NochNoch. It’s very hard to disentangle oneself from the ideas and expectations of a job, but it’s so important to wake up and do what we think we should be doing, i.e. fulfillment. Otherwise the prospect of waking up at 7am to “put in time” becomes such a long and tiring responsibility, that we eventually burn out. It’s not easy by any means, and we are definitely not taught to live life this way. We are rather taught that “bad things” or extreme risk will befall upon us, so we shelter and hold on to those jobs for dear life. However, the reality is different. Not that it’s not stressful, but just more empowering to mske those decisions on our own.

  4. nochnoch says:

    @smatsu: hope what you will be doing next year will be fulfilling for you! i’m still trying to find out what that will be for me… xx

  5. […] feel that nothing can be changed so deal with it. Others are scared of taking that plunge. And yet others are unable to do because they have a family of 8 to feed. We all get caught up […]

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  7. […] our feet off the ground, our eyes blindfolded, and doing a backward flip from 10 storey high to somewhere in the unknown. We know we will land in a soft pool of cotton candy and care bears and yet we are afraid to […]

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.