Big changes in our lives take time to assimilate, and coming out of corporate life is no exception. It would be foolish of me to encourage you to believe that you will take to self-employment like a duck to water. It’s very different. There’s no team, no water-cooler, no drinks after work, no IT department (that’s you), no HR (that’s also you), no perks and no pension. It can be lonely. And scary.
There are upsides and they might include no commuting, no need to dress up, longer hours at home with your loved ones, a better quality of life though perhaps a drop in your standard of living but it’s a price you thought you were willing to pay, until now. And there’s freedom, we all want freedom especially those escaping from something that felt like a prison. Sometimes there’s too much freedom, until you learn how to shape your new life. Oh, and obviously it goes without saying you get your soul back too. Peachy.
One of the big problems I see is the coming out of corporate life over-correction. There are two standard versions of this, though yours may be different. I’d love to hear about yours.
1. You found corporate life so soul-destroying, you left. And you went to the ends of the earth to find the antidote. You took some time off, travelled, found yourself. You studied something to do with mind or body or spirit or all three and now you are a new (wo)man. You are going to set up as a teacher of something in that field. You make a brave start. But all is not what it seems. It’s rather dull. There’s no status. And it doesn’t engage your brain which, frankly, was made for better things. Ruefully you’ll admit that there are even bits of corporate you are beginning to miss, the community, the massive reliable paycheck, the Audi TT, the kudos.
2. You found corporate life so soul-destroying, you left. And you went to the opposite ends of the spectrum with your skills and talents. You’re used to pitching to international conglomerates. Now you find yourself up just as early and at breakfast networking pitching to micro one-person businesses who not only cannot afford you, they don’t even understand what you are selling because you speak in the language of your old life, you brought the corporate ******** jargon and thinking with you, and we don’t want that. You went from A to Z, without remembering that there are small and medium sized companies in between, B to Y.
You are beginning to wonder if you might have made a mistake. Nobody seems to appreciate or be able to afford your skills and talents out here in the independent sector. You haven’t got the measure of your new marketplace yet. You are confused about who you are and how you want to be of service in a way which is profitable and fulfilling for you too. Nobody wants you. Nobody likes you. You are contemplating going to eat some worms.
Over-correction is all you’ve done “wrong”. It may even be a vital part of your reinvention, to deconstruct first. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s a strange new world out here on the outside. You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last and if you think about it, it’s obvious really isn’t it, that you would go to the opposite extreme for a cure?
Good on you for making the leap, or landing safely if you were unceremoniously pushed. Why don’t we have a talk and see if I can’t help you bring you back to you and support you as you create a new life out here which is all you hoped it would be? There are MILLIONS of us doing it. It’s quite easy, when you know how. It takes time and patience and a willingness to learn new things and experiment and to not feel safe and for that to be OK. Let’s face it, corporate life didn’t feel safe either, in the end, did it? So what’s new?
I know who you are. I know what you’re going through.
This isn’t going to kill you, honest. It’s going to make you stronger. And self-reliant, which in itself is a form of freedom once you’ve cracked it.
Welcome to my world, you are now an Entrepreneur!