Breaking News: Corporate world is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, quite a number of people actually dream about leaving behind the corporate life. It could be due to the hectic 9-5, countless late nights at the office, office politics or even personal reasons to chase their dreams and build their own legacy. What about you? Have you considered retiring from the corporate world to become a full-time freelancer, kickstart your own business or simply follow your passion? Perhaps you did, but feared the “what-ifs” or maybe you are unsure of how to face the potential hurdles that might follow?
Well, fret not. For those who are pondering upon the idea of leaving the corporate world, here are the Do’s and Don’ts learned from those who have made the leap by quitting the business realm.
Do Save Up
One of the main reasons people fear leaving their steady paying job is the financial freedom that is tied to it. Questions like how to afford rent, food and other basic necessities without the steady stream of income would come to mind. That explains why it’s important to save up as much cash as possible while earning that steady paycheck, in order to sustain the lifestyle and serve as backup for the post-corporate world days. Money does not guarantee success, but it does allow us to sleep soundly after making that difficult decision of resigning. Moreover, the current market condition is rather unpredictable which makes quitting anything at any time even more challenging. The key here is to anticipate the change and save in advance.
Bonus: Keep in mind that you will need to reassess your current lifestyle and if the cash flow can support it.
Do a Test Round
This is a very important and smart tip. Consider doing a trial run to make your life changing decision more concrete. For example, if you want to start a business, consider a part-time job over the weekend in a similar industry to gain more experience and ideas on how to kickstart your own business after leaving your corporate job. For those who want to venture into an online business, you can set it up and get it running in advance - that way, once it takes off and requires more of your attention and time, you can easily switch career paths.
Bear in mind that there would be many changes and need for adaptation once you escape the corporate world. For instance, you can no longer stick to the daily routine that you were once so used to; no more colleagues and office ambience; complete freedom and control over your time throughout the day, and many others. Therefore, a test round is very much needed to sort of give you a preview and help prepare you for the change.
Don’t take any big risk (yet)
Ask yourself why do you want to leave the corporate world? Is it solely for financial wealth or to follow your passion? Reason being, it turns out that choosing your dreams over money would more likely result in a fruitful long-term decision. However, you must be realistic and put a cap on the amount of risk you are willing to take. In the beginning, it’s best to play it somewhat safe and build your foundation first. Eventually, you can set a practical timeline and set short-term goals to measure your progress. More importantly, always believe in yourself - if you are very doubtful or skeptical about something, then it is probably not worth the risk.
Don’t resign without a plan
We know that planning is key, and that applies to this situation as well. So, start by drawing up a budget and list down all your monthly commitments - fixed expenses that are inevitable. This would include mortgage payments, car installments, insurance, utilities, groceries etc. Also, be sure to include any future expenses that are significant in amount such as car insurance renewal or your child’s college fees. Based on the projected expenses, think about how you are going to continue affording everything. Are you planning on a freelance job or a new business venture is already in place? Remember to make a plan for at least 3-6 months and conduct your research accordingly to avoid any regrets.
To sum up - if you find yourself thinking about leaving the corporate world and starting fresh on your own, make sure to consider the do’s and don’ts above. This will hopefully help provide a smoother transition and prepare you for the next stage in your career and life.
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