Don’t be alarmed, I didn’t just read James Altucher’s post on why you should quit your job this year, stand on top of my desk to overlook the cube farm, and yell out to my co-workers, I’m outta here suckers!
James is a fantastic writer, but I’m not that spontaneous. I’ve known for the past 5 months this year was the last year of ‘Corporate Declan.’ However, James’ post helped me reassure what I’ve been thinking all along.
Here are my 10 reasons I’m quitting my job:
At 20, before I interned at my first real job, my concept of Corporate America was fabricated by my two favorite TV shows: The Office and Mad Men.
Unfortunately, I’ve still to meet anyone as funny (and horrible) as Michael Scott, nor have I graced the presence of someone as suave as Don Draper. Instead, I’ve discovered Corporate America is lethargic, status-quo, and sad.
So far, I’ve worked for two global corporations in my post-college life, so maybe I haven’t had the best impression.
But it’s hard to ignore the big big world of possibilities when you’re chained to a cube 40 hours a week.
I don’t know, maybe one day I’ll look back at my time in Corporate America and think more fondly of it. Then again, we always view the deceased in a favorable light.
My whole life I’ve had a plan. High school — college — job. Dating — marriage — kids. Nutella — toast — dinner.
I’ve never experienced trial by fire. I’ve never figured things out as I go along. I’ve played it safe.
Safe is boring.
My wife graduates pharmacy school in April. She begins a residency in July. She’ll make 2/3 of what I make at my full-time job.
I’ve found a way to make up for the other 1/3.
It’s not a plan, but it’s a start.
Hey completely random stranger, here’s my business card. Give me a call out of the blue when you feel like giving me a job.
One time I met with a supplier for my current job. They gave me their business card. They waited for me to return the favor.
Do you not have a card, they asked?
…No…you have my email address.
(I used poetic license with that hilarious anecdote. I wasn’t that curt in real life, but politely reminded them they had all on my relevant information.)
The new way to ‘network’ is to give value, to someone else, without asking for something in return.
Gary Vaynerchuk calls this 51–49. Jesus called it the Golden Rule.
It’s not new. It’s not even revolutionary.
But somewhere along our evolutionary journey, networking became a kiss-ass act of nuzzling up to someone much more ‘powerful’ and ‘important’ than you and hoping you’ll get a job out of it.
Today, all it takes is a laptop and a few hours to create value for someone else. And if you repeat this process enough, someone will notice.
Opportunities will find you.
It’s to become the greatest at whatever I set out to do.
And I can’t fulfill my plan sitting in a cubicle answering to someone else.
I need room to grow.
In his early career, my dad was a union electrician. He worked where the union told him to work. He didn’t have much of a say.
Although I have nothing against blue collar work, my dad insisted I get an education so I wouldn’t have to make a living with my hands like he did.
So I took his advice and make a living typing formulas into Excel.
It doesn’t matter if you make a living doing hard labor or computer work, I think what my dad really tried to instill in me was, don’t make a living with your hands tied.
In other words, control your own destiny.
Of course, we’ll always have someone to answer to, but the more we pave our own path, the more we control where it leads.
Starting a business is hard. But it’s not impossible.
You know who tells you it’s hard? The people who complain about their life and do nothing about it.
You know who actually knows if it’s hard? The market.
If 90% of businesses fail, then I’ll start 10 and play the odds one will succeed.
[~Side note, I am a statistics buff and the above example is NOT how probability works. If I have a 90% probability of failure and launch 10 mutually exclusive businesses, then the chance of all of them failing becomes 34.8% (0.9⁰¹⁰=0.348). Just wanted to clear that up.~]
Married at 22.
Bought a car at 23.
Father at 25.
Other than buying a house, I’ve fulfilled 75% of the American Dream. Don’t get me wrong, I love every bit of my life. My wife and son are everything to me.
But my son will grow up one day (it’s science, I checked). My wife has her career ahead of her. The only constant in life is change.
I know myself, I can’t bounce around from corporate job to corporate job every 3 to 5 years for the next 40 years, retire an old, grumpy man, and finally start living my life right before my hip replacement surgery.
I’m alive now, why would I wait to live later?
We are living in an interesting time. Technology is evolving. Industries are changing (or disappearing).
I don’t know where I will be in 5 years because I can’t predict the future. There are too many variables to account.
I do know, however, learning to adapt will serve me more than riding the corporate ship aground.
I’m jumping ship now in deep water so I can learn to swim. I’d rather not wait to jump in when the water is too rocky.
Sometimes ego gets the best of me.
I want to achieve something great with my life so my son, his future siblings, my future grandchildren, and all their children will remember me.
A lot of us want that. But few of us are trying to make it happen.
I know, deep down to my core (and you might even feel the same way about yourself), that I have a greater purpose. But right now, as I sit and write these words in my tiny cubicle, I’m not living out my purpose.
And it’s eating my insides.
Self-doubt has plagued me ever since I was a child. I’ve purposely set out after difficult challenges to prove to myself I could do it.
But I’m getting older (aren’t we all?), and I’ve finally learned to trust in my abilities and instincts.
I’m leaving my job in 2017 because I can.
Only one question remains, will I see you on the other side?