Is it ever too late to escape from Corporate America? Even for a serious career change? –GoldenStLiberty
Absolutely not. In fact, if you are asking that question then you already know the answer.
Here’s the thing about “Corporate America”
A) your boss usually sucks and someone eventually stabs you in the back. It’s inevitable.
B) fluorescent lights (why are fluorescent lights so annoying?)
C) 50% of your income is taxed
D) between commuting and working it is usually a 10 to 11 hour a day process
E) your mind and creative abilities start to atrophy. And maybe you get out of shape.
F) Its not safe. We used to think that Corporate America met safe, rising jobs, promotions, salaries, life savings, etc. 2008 showed us that was all a lie. Heck, 100,000 people lost their life savings when GM went bust. GM was the most solid company in the world 20 years ago. So don’t count on any corporation to tuck you in bed at night and sing you a lullaby. Corporate America is not Mary Poppins, it’s the Exorcist.
So if you even have a semblance of desire to get out of it, you must start planning your exit. You don’t have to do it in a day. But set the forces in motion:
Start coming up with ideas about what else you can do. It might mean multiple streams of income instead of just one. It might mean freelance. But get your idea muscle in motion. You need to exercise it because it already atrophied. Ten ideas a day for six months and write down what all the next steps of each idea are. Eventually you will be an idea machine. The corporation will get scared because they will see it on you. This has happened to me. They will keep promoting you and raising your salary because they will be afraid to lose you. But they have already lost you.
Wow, that was a big point. I need another point here just to point that out.
If you have to, get ready to downsize. You don’t need to live in NYC, for instance, if you’re not going to be working at the big bank anymore. And cash is king. Don’t buy a house. Save your cash.
My own experience: I left corporate America working as a programmer at HBO in order to build a company making websites http://bit.ly/erAKRa. It was brutal at first. Then a few years later I had a job offer at a huge investment bank. No way suckers! I turned that down so I could have a miserable few years day trading for hedge funds until I built Stockpickr.com. Not every day of “life on your own” will be a happy one. But the challenges will be different and you will be your own boss. And you might go broke. Who cares! At least you know you can do it again and again. Not everytime you have sex there are fireworks right over your house. But you still go back the next day and beg and plead for more (oh wait, maybe that’s just me).
[See also, “10 Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now” http://bit.ly/ipsmoi]