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…”