I’m thrilled that my book, Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5: Stories from people who’ve done it (and how you can too) is launching this week on Amazon. After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, I’ve collected their stories in this book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative.
Although the people interviewed all share the experience of leaving a full-time job to pursue something different, that ‘something different’ that they have chosen has manifested itself in varying ways. The stories include those who have moved into a different sector; gone freelance; launched their own business; created a portfolio career; or taken a leap of faith, not yet knowing what the next step will be.
In addition to the stories themselves, I also share my perspective and guidance from my own experience in leaving my corporate job and from my clients’ experiences, drawing out key insights to help you create your own career transition story.
Leaving the corporate 9 to 5 stories
I’ve framed the 50 stories within the context of my own experience of quitting my corporate job in 2013 and the twists and turns that I have experienced since then. There are common themes across the stories, as you can imagine, and you can either read the book cover to cover or simply dip into the sections you’re interested in for some inspiration and reassurance when needed.
What’s the alternative?
Once you’ve decided that the answer to the question, “What do I want to do?” is “Not this,” the next question you need to answer is: well, what I am going to do instead?! Often, full-time employment is all you’ve ever known, and it can be daunting to consider doing something else, and difficult to know where to get started. In this chapter, I review five alternatives to the corporate 9 to 5, which then provide the structure for the 50 career transition stories in the rest of the book.
Moving into a different sector
This first alternative is the least dramatic change from the corporate 9 to 5 as you’re effectively moving to a non-corporate 9 to 5! This can mean going from private to public, moving to a more creative industry, or maybe joining a start-up.
Freelancing is a great way to use your existing skills and networks while giving you more freedom and flexibility when it comes to who you’re working with, when and where.
Launching your own business
Running your own business is the ultimate in freedom, flexibility and fulfilment – once you’ve done the hard work in the first few years to get everything set up and working for you!
Creating a portfolio career
A portfolio career allows you to combine different alternatives, for example, doing some freelancing work on the one hand while launching your own business on the other. It provides a great transition out of full-time employment but can also be a destination in itself.
Taking a leap of faith
Some people reach the point where they simply have to quit their job even though they don’t yet know what they’re going to do next – this is actually what I did, back in 2013! There is risk and sacrifice involved when you give up your full-time salary, of course, and many of these stories are still ‘work in progress’, but it does give you the opportunity to focus all your time and energy on finding out what you really want to do – and making it happen.
Creating your own story
Throughout the book, and in the final chapter, I offer my suggestions as to how you can take the first steps towards creating your own career transition story. The book gives you access to a free video training, and if you’d like extra support you can also join my Facebook group and look into my One Step Outside the 9 to 5 group programme.
I’ve also included a recommended reading list if you want to continue (as I did in 2013!) devouring books on the topic of making big changes in your life and career, as well as my most popular article to date that I wrote about the 10 things I learned since I quit without a plan.
Get your copy of my latest book Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5: Stories from people who’ve done it (and how you can too), you can find it directly on Amazon in Kindle or paperback format!