Insights

How quitting corporate life changed my world

January 15, 2019
Man standing around a body of water

Quitting corporate life was an event that happened exactly on today’s date, 5 years ago.

Out of the 30 years of corporate life, I had spent 25 years in large American and European multinationals and the remaining 5 years in India’s leading publishing house. In short, all of them in very large organizations.

I am now a consultant engaged in consulting, coaching, and training and I work with large corporate entities, small organizations like start-ups, and small and large organizations in the social sector. I conduct Life and Career Coaching. I am also a serious writer. Click on www.ksramanan.com to know more.

Looking back over the last 5 years, I seem to coexist in several worlds at the same time.

The world of 24/7

Unlike a job where I could switch off from work, as a consultant, I am always on. Whether it is to meet with prospective clients or to create proposals or to design content or to deliver sessions or to follow up on meetings or to coach one-on-one or to build a pipeline of prospects, it is a 24/7 world. Many of my coaching clients prefer the weekend. In addition, my writing and my engagement with the social media to build and drive traffic to my website keeps me up till late in the night.

The world of slow

Although I am engaged 24/7, I can afford to take it easy. On most days, I fix meetings at a convenient time of the day to escape peak-hour traffic. I have the time to go for a leisurely morning walk, spend time with the family, and read stuff. On days when I have no engagements, my wife and I go for a stroll to catch breakfast or to watch a movie in the daytime. On most days, I operate at a speed originally meant for human beings.

The world of uncertainty/adventure

A 30-year habit of receiving monthly paychecks is not easy to shake off. Though there is good money, a consultant’s life is fraught with uncertainty. Delays in finalizing a client contract after several rounds of discussions, a last-minute change of dates or a cancellation, long bill payment cycles, and sudden changes in the scope of work are all part of the game. I have learned to build a pipeline of prospects. Now with a much better plan, I view this uncertainty as an adventure.

The world of variety

Unlike a corporate job where we are expected to work within the allotted portfolio, as a consultant, my portfolio is so varied. For instance, I could be beginning the day working with a start-up to help them set up processes and move on to an organization in the social sector for coaching a CEO and support her in Succession Planning. As I am traveling in the cab, I could be writing my next article for my website on my phone and then come back home to work on a client proposal. I could have a coaching call with an overseas client in the night. Many a time, I end up working on all my portfolios within a single day.

The world of freedom and choice

After quitting corporate life, I operate in a fascinating world of choice. There are no organizational mandates, no bosses to please, and no appraisals to worry about. I operate in a niche area. I politely and respectfully decline work that does not fall within this niche area.

Quitting corporate life has offered me an opportunity to discover myself in a new light.

Peter Drucker, in his article, The Second Half of Your Life, advises us that we need to plan the second half of our lives during the first half. Currently, I am coaching several individuals who are keen to shape their career. Some of them are also looking at the second half of their life.

So, what are you thinking? I am available at [email protected] Do let me know your plans. Happy to support you.

 

Who says you cannot find joy at work? Click here for my post, 10 Insider Secrets of Joy at Work.

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