WWe’ve all been there. I’m not going to dwell on the downsides of corporate life because, well, many are universal and each of us has spent more than enough time lamenting them I’m sure.
Rather, I’d like to explore with you the steps that go beyond it. I want to talk about the hope that there’s something else out there more worthy of your life and effort. I want to celebrate the decision to go find what that is, to discover yourself and recognise what you can really offer this world – on your own terms. And I want to support you with all my heart and mind to take that step, to make that leap of faith and to build for yourself a life and livelihood that’s true to your needs, wants and calling.
We all have it in us. The journey is far from impossible – but it sure helps to have a plan.
So, how does one go about breaking free of the corporate trap? While there’s no instruction manual, no blueprint for the maze, there are some general principles which – if kept in mind – will make your landing a little softer and help you hit the ground running.
1. Decide what it is you want. This doesn’t have to be your deep, foundational, meaning-of-life-and-everything want (although if you know that bit already, you’re a step ahead!). This is simply an understanding of the changes you intend to enact – what they are and why you desire them. The “why” is vitally important because it will serve as your fuel to get you to what you want.
2. Plan your exit. As tempting as it may be on some days to just throw your hands in the air and storm out, that’s rarely the best way to approach important life decisions. Having a timeline (with dates) in place that takes into account your finances, personal life, health and other factors will not only give you more confidence when making a change but will also help cushion the impact of any unforeseen events.
3. Go for it! You know you can do it, and so do I. It can be a scary and sometimes lonely thing to head out on your own and follow your heart. The comforting familiarity of an old corporate trap can start to look quite attractive in retrospect, when you’re breaking new trails in unfamiliar territory. Always remember to sound in with your values and motivations – they’ll keep you on the track that’s truly yours to form.
Of course, general advice and theory are all well and good – but what about the practicalities, the approaches and functional techniques which countless corporate escapees have used successfully in the past? There are certainly heaps of those out there too. If you’re interested in learning about them, I invite you to join us for Slow School’s course on just that topic.