Questions And Answers About Leaving The Corporate Rat Race.
At the end of 2011, I posted by letter of resignation, leaving the corporate rat race as you can see in the picture. A picture that was ‘upscaled using AI’. I was tired and I was suffering from an horrific burnout. But although it was a difficult step to take, I had been preparing myself in different ways for a long time including teaching as business schools and writing columns and blogs and short ebooks as you can see on my LinkedIn profile.
Here are some of my honest, #cutthcrap, answers to the questions executives, managers and employees in the corporate world have been asking me online and offline for a very long time:
1. How do I know if it’s time to leave my corporate job?
This is a personal decision that depends on your individual circumstances including the current working environment you are wokring in. Some common signs that it might be time to leave include feeling burnt out, unfulfilled, or unappreciated at your current job. If you’re constantly stressed, unhappy, or struggling to make ends meet, it’s worth considering whether there might be a better way to live your life.
Another sign on the wall might be that research has shown that a lot of people will be loosing their job or are already loosing their job in your industry because of AI.
2. How can I make a career change without losing my income?
There are a few ways to make a career change without losing your income, but depending on your age and the salary you get now, there are no guarantees. One option is to start a side hustle or freelance business like I did at ABN Amro between 2001 writing and selling eBooks online before leaving the corporate world completely in 2011, while you’re still working your corporate job.
This will allow you to test the waters and see if you’re actually interested in pursuing a new career path outside of the corporate world before you take the plunge. Or what is even more important: if you have the right mindset and skills to work in a non-corporate or non-government organisation.
Another option if you can, is to negotiate a severance package with your current employer, which will give you some financial cushion as you transition to a new job. Depending on the country and your function, what you get will be very different of course.
3. How do I budget for a lifestyle change?
Leaving the corporate rat race often also always means making a lifestyle change, pivoting your life completely and that can include a reduction in income. It’s important to 1) look carefully at your current expenditures and suppress as may non-necessary things as possible. 2) create a budget that reflects your new spending habits, not your old ones! This will help you avoid going into debt and ensure that you can still afford the things you really need and want in your new life.
4. What skills do I need to succeed in a non-corporate job?
The skills you need to succeed in a non-corporate job will vary depending on the role, the function and the industry you’re in now and what your next step will be In any case, personal right-skilling is key whatever you want to do next. However, some general skills that are often in demand include flexibility, adaptability, communication, and problem-solving. Due to the Democratization of AI and the Great Ai-Layoff, you will need different skils all together. Depending on the career change you want to make and be more creative and productive using AI as a manager, employee or HR-professional in any type of successful AI-powered company:
5. How do I deal with the fear of uncertainty?
Leaving the corporate world can be a scary prospect, and it’s normal to feel nervous about the unknown. Especially if you have been working in a corporate environment all or most of your working life. The best way to deal with this fear is to do your homework, focus on the positive aspects of your decision and to get help from somebody who actualy did it and you can trust. Remember that you’re making this change because you want a better life for yourself and possibly for everybody around you.
Finally, one of the most important lessons I learned and I have learned every single day since I posted that letter is that leaving the corporate rat race like I did in 2011, is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs along the way, it will be a ‘bumpy ride’, while you are ‘pivoting your life’.
But it is possible to create a life that is more fulfilling and meaningful for you personally and people that you love.
Do you want to know how you can leave the corporate rat race with modules from this new program ‘Leaving The Corporate Rat Race’ and learn the relevant soft- and hard skills including the right AI skills for your specific next career move or career step? Then send me an email using this form. Then we can immediately make an appointment for an online or offline introductory meeting and you can start quickly.
Sincerely, Tony de Bree