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Why I Quit My High-Paying Corporate Job To Be Unemployed

What the heck am I doing here? It’s 7pm on a Thursday, I’m 11 hours into an 8 hour working day, I’m late for dinner, again, and the cursor is blinking at me menacingly from another faceless spreadsheet…surely this can’t be life…can it?

Today I’ve decided to share my personal story with you on how I felt completely stuck working the 9-5 corporate job, how that was reason enough for me to quit my job to become unemployed, and how this made me find my inner self and what I am truly looking for in a career and life.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is my personal story on how I escaped the corporate treadmill and how it led me to discover the beauty of remote work. There are so many less drastic ways that you too can start your remote working life, which I will cover in future posts, but here I’d like to share my story.  

 

The senior year slap in the face

 

For 1.5 years I worked at Unilever, ranked 8th on the Top Attractors List 2016 according to LinkedIn. Though the company offers a comfortable existence, a secure job and above-average pay, I couldn’t bear to stay any longer. Here’s why:

 

 1. I wasn’t passionate about the company and its product.

2. I’d joined the corporate treadmill and completely lost sight of what life is really about

3. Inevitably large companies become all about results and as an employee you feel completely expendable.

4. I hate the 9-to-5 work-for-work lifestyle and being stuck in the same office all-day-err-day.

 

Only one week back in the office after a two-month graduation trip, I got the “senior year slap in the face” – Is this what life looks like after graduation? Have I studied my entire life, to live like this?

In the weeks that followed, I remember feeling completely lost. I had become so caught up in work and general busyness that corporate work demands, that my entire existence revolved around the company and its survival – at the expense of my own. Anxiety, insecurity, and uncertainty dominated my feelings. I felt like I had no idea about what I actually wanted to do “for the rest of my life”. All I knew is – it’s not here. Once I’d come to that realization, it was reason enough for me to take the leap and dive into the unemployment in order to make a fundamental change to my life.

(Update: we’re currently working on writing a complete step-by-step guide on how to transition from your 9-to-5 to a remote lifestyle, so you don’t have to plunge completely in the unknown like I did. It’s the guide I wish I had when I started out! You can grab the first two chapter for FREE HERE.)

 

So I’m unemployed, now what?

 

I can’t pretend that it was a clean break for me from the corporate world. As a protection mechanism from the scary thought of needing a solid income, I’d started two job applications for two reputable corporate companies by the time I left my regular job. Luckily, I got rejected at the very last application round for each, which then forced me to take the next steps that helped me to find out what I am really looking for in a career.

 

E-Guide 2019:
“How To Work Remote, Travel the World & Live Life on Your Own Terms”
GET FIRST TWO CHAPTERS FREE HERE

 

1. Find your inner self

People nowadays are in a constant “going” mode. From primary school, to high-school, directly to college with numerous side-jobs and extracurricular activities, and ultimately to finding a full-time job ASAP – because that’s how society taught us life should be. This makes it easy to forget your childhood fantasies, inner interests, and true passions when choosing a career after graduation.

As someone who’s made the transition already, my number one advice for someone in a similar situation would be: Take a step back from this rollercoaster, and think “What do you really want to do? What are your true passions?”. Take the time to stand still, let life sink in, and find your inner self. These activities have helped me a whole lot in this journey, and I’m sure will help yours too:

 

  • Health & well-being: How you feel depends on two factors: your mindset and your body. The first, and I’d say most important, thing to do on this journey is to take care of these two pillars that determine your state of being. You could do this by practicing mindfulness, going to the gym, and eating healthy food for example.

 

  • Knowledge is power: I used to be the type of person who thought that reading books and watching videos other than Netflix was a waste of my time. I was already using my brain too much while working my butt off – how the heck am I supposed to absorb even more brain-intensive information?! But then I found the power of self-development materials: reading books, articles, blogs, watching podcasts, and TED presentations changed my life. It’s crazy to see how these resources can literally open your mind (thank you Lean In, Rising Strong, the 4-Hour Workweek, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling, Elon Musk, and The Remote Lifestyle among many others).

 

  • Clean up your life, clean up your mind: You’ll be surprised how a clean life will clear your mind. Delete and sort your email inbox, computer, phone, tablet, etc.  Do a BIG clean up at your house: Throw away EVERYTHING you haven’t touched for the last year (yes, including clothes, those messy drawers, or even stuff from your childhood. If you haven’t used them in the last year, you won’t look for them in the future either).

 

  • Journal writing: If you feel stuck, unfulfilled, and you experience feelings like anxiety, insecurity, and uncertainty in your current life – no worries, I felt the exact same way! After reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown, I found that writing can be a valuable tool to clear your mind, understand your true feelings, and rise strong from facedown moments in your life.

 

  • Learning new skills: If like me you take the leap from your corporate life and you now have all the time available while being unemployed, you can find out what truly interests you and focus on improving those skills. Pick up a childhood hobby (like playing piano or reading, as for me) or find out that your interests lie in learning an entire new skill (like coding or blogging for me).

 

  • Solo travel: After I quit my job, I booked a one-way ticket to Thailand to have an adventure with… me! I’ve done a lot of long-term travels with friends before, but I believe the magic of living on your own in a new country & culture is key to the journey of finding your inner self. Now, a few months into my trip, I can say it has already been the best experience of my life – and I would recommend everybody to do a solo travel at least once.

 

2. Find out what you’re looking for in a career

My journey to finding my inner self through the activities mentioned above, allowed me to truly understand what I am looking for in a career and in life:

 

1. I need to do entrepreneurial & meaningful work within the tech industry

2. I need to have flexible work hours

3. I need to be location-independent so I can travel as much as I want

4. I need to work in an environment where employees are valued and work-life balance is respected

 

These insights led me to discover the beauty of remote work, which fulfills all of my requirements and as I’ll cover in future posts, is more attainable than ever before! This finding meant a dramatic shift in my career focus and eventually even the creation of my own startup “The Remote Trip”.

 

Now, four months after I quit my high-paying corporate job to be unemployed

– I can still say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

 

I hope, if you are one of those 52,3% people who are unsatisfied with their job, that like me you‘ll trust yourself and take the leap and quit your job in order to take steps that will allow you to live the life that you want, even if that means being unemployed for a period of time. I hope you’ll find your inner self and what you’re really looking for in a career. Don’t be fooled by living the life that society expects you to live. You only live once – it’s time to take control.

 

E-Guide 2019:
“How To Work Remote, Travel the World & Live Life on Your Own Terms”
GET FIRST TWO CHAPTERS FREE HERE

Amy F. 

Creator of The Remote Trip

1 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Millennial Bossreply
September 08, 2017 at 07:09 AM

Great job taking the leap and following your passion. I’m too scared to do that myself!

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