How to break free from corporate life – Part 1: The Decision

Every day – over and over again. Wake up, prepare, come to work, repeat the same soul-grinding cycle until its time to call off another workday…

Deadlines. Meetings. Emails. Performance reviews. Stress. Competition. Office politics. Envy. Mobbing. Job titles that are dime a dozen. This quarter. Next quarter. Promotion. Maybe layoffs. Who is more successful. Who is worse off.

A never ending cycle that is designed to pull out maximum performance from those who run it, in order to produce maximum profit for the shareholders or owners, while giving out as little compensation as possible to the actual employees who create that profit – who happens to be you… While producing all the negative effects and the soul-grinding environment that goes along with it.

Yes, that’s what a modern corporation is…

You are probably sick of it by now…

Maybe it was satisfying at the start. When you were just fresh. When everything was new.

You would work hard, produce results, get good performance reviews, you had smart colleagues, you earned some good money, you were able to buy things and go to places. Your family was happy with how your life turned out, how successful you are, and the bright future that awaits you. You had your relatives’ and friends’ respect.

But after some time, the novelty wore off…

Was it after 2-3 years? Or was it after that promotion. Or was it when you realized that things were going to be this way for the next 30-40 years?

At some point, for some reason, it happened. You realized that this is not the place to be. Or, rather, this kind of place is not the place to be. You may even be aware that mankind is not built for this kind of thing and that everything about this is totally wrong.

Whatever the reason, you now know that you can’t go on like this.

So, now you are thinking about breaking free

And you are right about all that – the assessment you made about all that and feelings you have about the state of matters, are all accurate and valid. It’s not from laziness, it’s not from failure, it’s not from an inability to ‘cope up’ that you are feeling like this and thinking of breaking free.

Indeed, a corporate job is precisely the kind of thing you feel it to be. The corporate environment, the future that awaits someone in such an environment, what it takes to stay in it are things which are precisely what you suspect them to be.

Your colleagues, friends, or family may disagree. They may say that you are just exaggerating it. They may think that you are just spoiled and that you want too much. Or that you don’t have discipline. Or some of your colleagues are just faking it, presenting a different face to outside world than what would represent what they really feel. Your parents are probably thinking that the world and work life are what they used to be 30-40 years ago, when they were young, and have no idea about what kind of environment a modern workplace is. Everyone has an opinion.

But the thing is that, you do feel what you feel

It’s your life, it’s your own existence, it’s your own future. All of the feelings you have, are your own. The desires, the issues, the wants and want-nots too. Just like how you can’t live someone else’s life in his or her own shoes, someone else can’t live your life in your place.

So you will be the one who is going to shoulder all the burdens and responsibilities and the accompanying rewards which the corporate life has to offer. Now, and into the future. Other people can’t, and actually will not give a hand in shouldering any of these, and even if they do, they will do that very rarely. So, both the burden and rewards will be onto you.

Therefore, if you think that the rewards do not justify the cost, it is your right to change the course of your life.

Take everything into account. Factor every variable into the equation. Think about your responsibilities, your family, your own well being. Ask yourself whether you can take care of your own, your family and your dependents without your corporate job and the monetary compensation it offers. Calculate if you can leave it and take another course in life and still sail comfortably through without failing whatever obligation and responsibility you have towards yourself and your family. Analyze your options and outline what you want to do. Seek a way forward, search a horizon that you would like to sail towards.

And after all that, if you indeed conclude you should change course and sail towards a different horizon, take that decision.

If it is taken with a cool head and after a lengthy assessment, the decision to do so is totally legitimate and valid. Especially if it stands the test of time and the desire for breaking free of corporate life does not wither and does not go away.

Then, take heart in your decision and walk head held high

Start thinking of the preparation for the change you are going to make. Start making plans for fulfilling your responsibilities towards your family, dependents, friends. Start preparing yourself psychologically, socially and financially for the new course which you are going to give your life.

Start thinking on how you are going to present this decision to your close circle, family, friends, to your colleagues, your company.

Start preparing for the psychological and social change which taking this decision and implementing it, will create. For, there definitely will be a reaction to this decision from your social circle, family and friends included, and there definitely are going to be social and psychological changes that will ensue.

We are going to investigate these social and psychological situations and changes which the decision of breaking free of corporate life and its implementation will cause, in second part of “How to break free from corporate life” series: “Part 2 – Preparation for Psychological and Social change and the reaction of the Society”.

Be seeing you…

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