This week I voluntarily left my corporate job in the middle of a pandemic, and without concrete plans as to what is next. I am incredibly excited (and a bit terrified) of the blank canvas in front of me, the opportunity to step out of and away from the rat race and the chance to let go and reassess my life’s purpose.
The decision to resign from a well-paid, (relatively) secure job, especially in the current environment, may strike many as foolhardy and slightly mad. Maybe it is to some degree, but thanks to years of financial discipline and embracing a more frugal, balanced and sustainable lifestyle, we are in the fortunate position to pursue this lifestyle change.
Despite all the hard work getting to this point I do realize that I’m incredibly privileged to have the option to not work, even if I eventually decide only to do this for a short period. To have the freedom of choice was always the goal and having a solid financial runway behind me now makes choosing life over career and a steady paycheck much easier.
However, despite having a solid financial foundation, the decision to leave my career was actually harder than I expected when it came to the crunch. It means taking a different path and one most of our friends, family and colleagues don’t understand.
Society tells us repeatedly and consistently to earn more and accumulate more. From high school we are taught to study hard, so we can go to a good university, so we can get a great job, which will hopefully lead to an even better and higher paid job. Of course, having worked so hard, you deserve the new cars, latest gadgets, additional subscriptions, and a bigger house. With all that stuff comes increasing financial obligations and pressure to earn even more. It can be a cycle without end.
It’s never enough! I know this intellectually, but now is the big test and time to get off the accumulation treadmill. Time to stop caring so much about what other people think and expect of me. Time to find something more purposeful to do with my time which is meaningful to me and hopefully allows me to also give back to my community.
Good money habits and conscious consumption are the tools which can enable anyone to achieve a level of financial independence. This in turn can free up time and space to do what you really want to do in life, rather than living paycheck to paycheck and being dependent on a wage. It means you can realistically reach a point in life where you have enough to live sustainably without paid work. How fast that happens and how much is needed depends on the individual, but it is an achievable goal for everyone.
Unshackled from the golden handcuffs of my corporate career, I now embark towards the freedom and promise of the unknown. Wish me luck!
Thanks for reading
Mr Simple Life