It’s been a little over 4 months since I turned in my badge and walked out of the corporate world, so I figured it was due time for an update.
You’re probably wondering the exact question that all my friends inevitably ask: Do you regret it?
While I’ve had my ups and downs since quitting, I can answer that question with a confident “no“.
I’d love to sit here and tell you that I’m jetting off to foreign countries at the drop of a hat, sipping on Prosecco, throwing my head back laughing at all the suckers chained in their cubes, but that would be a lie.
I’ll keep it real with you: my post-corporate life is far from glamorous.
I wake up at 5:30 AM, and most days I don’t even turn on the TV until 5 PM because I’m busy working on this blog or reading about SEO and other related topics.
I’m actually a bit disappointed in myself for not watching The Price Is Right every morning like I used to as a kid during summer break. Shame, shame.
Truth be told, there have been many occasions when I’ve wondered if I should go back to work.
I had all these grand plans of what I was going to do with my free time. I planned to volunteer at a few of my favorite charities – you know, do something valuable with my empty schedule. I was going to give back to the community, volunteer at the local animal shelter or fly out to Kanab, UT to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I was going to be such an outstanding citizen that Bill Gates was going to nominate me for a humanitarian award.
I hate to inform you that of all the grand plans I initially had, I haven’t done any of them.
Well, I’ve done some things, but none of which were a part of my original post-dropout plans. Starting this blog was not initially on my drawing board, but here we are. 🙂
Stuff that’s been difficult
- Answering that lovely question “What do you do?”
A few years ago I read in a magazine that we shouldn’t ask people this question because it can evoke feelings of inadequacy, especially for people who don’t work outside of the house. I totally get that now. A few weeks ago I met a new neighbor who asked me this dreaded question. It went a little something like this.
NEIGHBOR: “What do you do?”
ME: “Um…well…”NEIGHBOR: *Blank stare”ME: “Nothing.”NEIGHBOR: “Oh okay…”
ME: “I quit my corporate job a few months ago and taking some time off for a while.”
I HOPE I didn’t sound like a total dufus, but I felt like one. I need to own my decision and not feel inferior because I’m not sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours each day.
Mandatory positive: I’m learning not to be identified by a job title. For years I strapped my identity to my job, but in the scheme of things, who really cares? (Answer: No one)
- Answering that lovely question “What do you do?”
- Lack of day to day communication
Never underestimate the human need for social interaction. What I miss the most about my previous corporate life is the day-to-day social interaction with others. Because I’m not working, I’ve noticed that I don’t get to interact with people nearly as much, except for the occasional grocery store cashier. Most interactions these days are not as organic as they used to be.
- Money, Money, Money, Money
My biggest struggle so far has been mentally knowing that I’m not getting a deposit into my checking account every two weeks. It’s not that I don’t have money saved, because I do, but there’s a certain level of security knowing that your money is being replenished on a consistent basis. I miss that.
- Insurance (Or as Chris Rock calls it “In Case Sh*t”)
Being unemployed (whether voluntary or involuntary) makes you appreciate the benefits that come along with having a full-time job. I still have all the great health benefits I had at my corporate job, but thanks to COBRA, I now get to pay $500/month. At first, I thought $500 a month was pretty steep, but subsequent research showed me that it was actually a hell of a deal.
Stuff that’s been awesome
- Buying less unnecessary expenses
I’ve always considered myself frugal by nature and prided myself with not overindulging in unnecessary expenses, but the past four months have actually shown me how to live with financial purpose.
Aside from paying for my mortgage, utilities, car payment, and food, I spend money on little else. Occasionally I’ll indulge in brunch with friends or an airfare ticket to fly back home to Missouri to see my family. Oddly enough, I don’t feel restricted or like I’m counting pennies. I still make time for entertainment, but I don’t waste my money on a $12 glass of wine that I’m likely only going to drink half of anyway.
I’m liking this exercise in forced frugality.
- 24/7 Flexibility
I can’t even tell you how much I’m enjoying being able to schedule an appointment without stopping to remember what times I have meetings, or trying to schedule my appointments during my lunch break. I pretty much loathe anything that interferes with eating.
More than that, I’ve become a fan of having an open schedule, which is nice for someone like me who is non-committal. If I want to fly back to see my family, I can do that. And if I want to visit for two days or 2 weeks, I can. No more keeping track of my Paid Time Off balance.
- Staying Home with My Dog
Anyone who obsesses over their dog wishes they could be with them 24/7, and I’m no exception. My lovely furry doghter is getting up in age (see what I did there?), and she’s not in the best health. She’s plagued with allergies, a mysterious lump on her side, and congestive heart failure. When I’d go to work, I always wondered what she was up to, and if she was okay. Now, I love having the flexibility to be home with her during the day in case any health related issues pop up. Plus, she’s more active during the day when I’m home, versus sleeping all day like when I was at work.
But wait… How am I making money?
- Airbnb: I’ve been renting out my guest bedroom to a travel nurse via Airbnb for the past three months. Thankfully this covers my mortgage and utilities. I have plans to start renting to traveling healthcare professionals full time. More on that later, though.
- Savings: I use leftover savings from last year’s corporate bonus that I dip into when needed.
- Reselling Tickets Online: I made approximately $900 doing this last month. (I’ll save more info on this for a future post as well)
What’s this blog thing you’re doing?
You’ve probably noticed that I’m blogging now. I mean, you’re here reading it, so let me just go ahead and state the obvious here: I’ve started a blog, and I spend the majority of my free time on blog related activities.
What’s next for me?
I told myself that I would wait until June to evaluate whether or not I was ready to jump back in the corporate world.
Although there are two weeks left in May, I know that I’m not ready to go back to the grind. Trust me, I have my moments where I feel like I’m ready to run back (mainly for the money), but I feel like I’d be doing a disservice if I were to give in so quickly. I have money saved up, so there’s no reason to run back to my comfort zone.
So there it is! I’m 4 months post corporate dropout, and while the road hasn’t always been glitz and glamor, I’m glad I made the choice. I look back to right before I put in my resignation at work when I thought I was making a huge mistake and that my life was over. I’m here, life isn’t over, and I’m finally focusing my efforts on something that aligns with my current goals.
So far, so good.
This post was proofread by Grammarly