The grass isn’t always greener on the other side when attempting to make it on your own.
After being at my corporate job for a little over a year, I quickly became burnt out and miserable. I was sick of answering phone calls from angry customers and taking verbal abuse on behalf of a large corporation. I hated the notion of having to kiss up to higher-ups to have any chance at a promotion and seeing others do it was nauseating. Putting on a fake smile in meetings when the big bosses would flap their gums did not entice me. I constantly dreaded getting roped into awkward hallway banter with a manager from another department that I barely knew. Trying to use the bathroom in the morning at the office was impossible. And of course, there’s always that one person with zero class and self-awareness who calls people on speakerphone in the breakroom.
So when the opportunity arose for me to enter a business partnership, I did not hesitate to jump at it. I was soon to be in-line for a promotion, but I was at the point where I just wanted out of the corporate environment. I gave my employer five weeks' notice, said my farewells, and walked out of there for the last time feeling like a million bucks.
Two years later, I find myself currently applying for corporate jobs again; oh the irony. Like thousands of other small businesses during this unprecedented time, my business partnership fell through due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. My investment did not pay off and I’m at peace with it, but being an entrepreneur taught me several lessons about the corporate world that maybe I should not have taken for granted.
1. A Steady Income
This was undoubtedly my main concern when I quit my corporate job, but I certainly underestimated how quickly my savings account would drain without a steady weekly or biweekly income. Being responsible for my own paycheck was thrilling but also a gigantic risk that ultimately did not pay off. I loved being my own boss, but I hated not making consistent money even more. As my savings account continued to shrink, I felt more pressure and anxiety each day.
2. My Coworkers
I obviously did not like my corporate job position, but the group of coworkers in my department were all amazing people. They made the toughest days at work so much easier to bear and I really miss the bond I had with them. We were all in the same boat together and could vent to one another about virtually anything without sounding weird or someone snitching. The potlucks and holiday work parties we had together were also a blast. My coworkers were definitely the highlight of my time there and I miss that crew every day.
3. A Stable Routine
Most corporate positions have the same hours every day for five days a week. Having a corporate job means your entire life has to be planned around your repetitive work schedule. The stability of having the same work hours every week allowed me to get on consistent eating, gym, and sleep schedules. When I quit my corporate job and entered the entrepreneurship world, I struggled to put together a routine that worked for me because I no longer had the structural foundation of a 9 to 5 to build around. I gained weight, worked out less often, and felt unproductive and depressed at times while going through the process of figuring out a routine on my own.
4. Networking Opportunities
I’ve been blessed to spend quality time with so many awesome coworkers throughout all the jobs I’ve had in my life. I found myself working alone in my office most of the time when I was an entrepreneur. Even though I consider myself an introvert, I greatly missed networking. I’d be lying if I told you that all the colleagues I’ve worked with and met over the years didn’t help shape the person I am today. Connecting with all sorts of people who hold different types of positions helps you grow professionally and personally.
5. Morning and Afternoon Radio Talk Shows
Now of course there isn’t one person on this planet who enjoys sitting in rush hour traffic, but I did miss listening to talk shows on the radio like The Breakfast Club and Maddie in the Morning. Both shows had lots of hilarious segments and were extremely entertaining to listen to while gridlocked on the interstate. Sitting in traffic was always a downer, but hearing these talk shows would really boost my spirits whether I was heading to or from my corporate job.
Although my business partnership did not work out, I still have aspirations that one day, I will be able to be my own boss once again, this time doing what I love. I’ve learned through my experiences that working at a corporate job and saving money while figuring out personal goals is indeed a legitimate path to becoming a successful entrepreneur in the future.
Thank you very much for reading! Please let me know what you think in the comments, and check out more of my articles below.
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