“Dear colleagues, after many rewarding years at CubicleSlave Inc, I have decided to move on…”
99,9% of corporate employees, at one time or another, think about leaving their jobs. Their dream may be to start a company, travel the world, write a novel, learn Japanese, meditate in an ashram, train for a marathon, study philosophy, lower their golf handicap, paint a masterpiece or star in a porno, but the first step is always the same: get the hell out of this job. My co-blogger and I felt much the same way about a year ago, and ended up leaving our consulting jobs to start our own company and blog, and in general to pursue a more balanced lifestyle. We now feel it’s our obligation to share what we’ve learned so far outside the cubicle:
Working full-time, pushing a few personal projects on the side and juggling your family and social life to boot is tough. There are always presentations to finish, chores to do, fires to put out, lawns to mow and parties to go to, so no wonder most people never stop to think about the more profound questions in life: Am I happy? On my deathbed, will I be glad about how I spent my life? To really think about these and other questions, it’s not enough to spend five minutes on them every now and then. You need a proper break. Although it might involve some painful soul-searching, you can rest assured that after a prolonged period outside the daily humdrum of work, you will be a hell of a lot closer to answers than you are now.
Usually when you work full-time, you tend not to plan further ahead than next year’s summer vacation. Hell, most people abhor the idea of making 10- or 20-year plans, since they inevitably involve huge life-decisions and possibly admitting that one is caught in a rut as deep as the Grand Canyon. But like it or not, having a general idea of where you’re going (as well as at least rough plans B and C in case things go wrong) not only gives you confidence about what you’re doing, but also forces you to think about your priorities and ambitions. Planning ahead is always a good idea, even if you do change plans every two weeks.