(*Thread*) Advice for when you're thinking of quitting your corporate job

Recently, I left my job at a big co. to work on writing and creative projects, alongside part-time work.

A few friends wanted to do something similar, and reached out for advice.

Here's what I told them:
Firstly, this is an uncertain time, but that doesn't mean you have to stay completely still.

If you're really unhappy at work, then everything that's going on is added stress on top of that. We all have limits, and maybe you've hit yours.
You have to prioritize yourself, and your needs. Only you know that.

If it means making a change during an uncertain time... well, then that's what it means.

It's okay to do risky things in order to improve your life. You deserve to take risks for *yourself*.
Make sure you understand *exactly* what you'd like to be working on instead.

I don't mean you have to know what your *output* will be, I mean the *inputs*.

How will you be spending your time? What will your days look like? What structures will you have in place?
It's important to be able to *visualize* what your ideal day really looks like.

Maybe there's a project / endeavor you have in mind. But you can't visualize working on it...

Why is that? Probably because you haven't worked on it yet! You need to change that.
I *strongly* recommend working on stuff on the side when you're at this stage. I know it's difficult in terms of time, but this is important.

You need an early signal for yourself to know how you feel working on it (maybe you hate it?). Better to find out now, before quitting.
Also, it'd be great to do it in 'learn in public' style if you can. I know this is scary, but trust me it's worth it. You might get some great signal from an audience that gives you huge CONFIDENCE to move forward.

Don't underestimate the power of confidence!
You may also meet someone else who wants to work on similar things, and now you have a partner/cofounder on your idea.

Anything you can do to maximize serendipity for your own ideas is an excellent investment.

If it's scary to go out alone, make it so you're not doing it alone!
Another thing I'd say is that if you're actually fairly happy at work, then maybe just stay at your job and keep focusing on projects.

You may have little time, but the fact that your day job is NOT draining means you have lots of energy to spare.

Take advantage of this!
Next, let's talk about financials.

You need to do a personal analysis what you would need to go independent.


Use an app like YNAB if you need to, but I usually just do this in a single spreadsheet.
Look at your spending right now, and see what is absolutely necessary.

When in corporate jobs we tend to 'upgrade our lives' to match our paycheck, and a lot of that stuff we don't need.

Trim the spending fat as much as possible here.
After that, you can get a simple budget of how much you need per month to just pay your bills.

Not how much you need to make money, just the rough monthly amount to pay your expenses.
Hopefully if you're making these plans, you have some savings to fall back on to cover expenses for a while.

Calculate your 'runway'.

This means, at your expected monthly expenses, how long can you go with $0 income?
Note that I'm talking about a process where you do NOT have a side project already earning revenue. If you do, that's wonderful!

If you don't, you have to calculate this run way to understand how long you have.

Maybe it's 1 month, 2 months, etc...
So firstly just realize that 2 months is a REALLY long time, and if you can afford that, that's really amazing. You likely worked very hard to put yourself in that position so kudos!

BTW: Make sure you learn to give yourself some love, you'll need to develop that skill.)
Now you might be thinking, "Well what happens if I quit my job, spend 1 month on this thing, and it doesn't work out? Isn't that a waste? A failure"

No. That's a success.

Firstly you can get a TON done in 1 month of full-time undistracted focused effort toward your projects.
Secondly there is no work on this planet you could ever do that is more important than learning about yourself, and working towards your own fulfillment.

Seriously. NOTHING is more important than working on yourself.

Once you do, you're also better equipped to help others..
In the past, I took a bunch of time off and explored a few different areas, and none of them stuck.

But I learned a TON about myself, and that knowledge now influences how I think about my life, my work, and why I'm on this planet.

I wouldn't trade that for any amount of $.
I ended up having to go back to a corporate job afterward, because I had raised a lot of questions but was still confused.

That's fine! We all need to pay our bills! That's life.

A year and a half later, I took the plunge again. But this time, I had far more clarity...
So now we come back to a few months ago. I knew I needed a change, but was wary of going entirely independent.

I realized I had a set of things I really wanted in order to feel 'secure' in any kind of transition.

I created a new note, and called it 'Independence Checklist'.
It was a list of things that I knew were really important for me to feel comfortable with a transition.

Not financially, but emotionally and psychologically comfortable.

It had stuff like 'figure out healthcare', 'find a community of independent ppl so I don't feel alone' ...
You get to put whatever you want on that list, but you have to actually make a plan for each thing on it.

Don't underestimate the value of just writing all this out.

Sometimes, all we need is to know a plan exists, even if it isn't perfect.
I then sat down to think about what my 'principles' would be as I go into this.

Independence is confusing, so you need some kind of guidelines for yourself.

Here were mine, when I made the leap in March: https://salman.io/posts/principles-2020/

These still hold true.
Lastly, I'll call out one thing on my list: Community

You really, really want to have at least 1-2 people that you can talk to who can relate to what you're going to be going through in the transition.

How do you find them? A good place to start is by writing and sharing.
The more you write, the more you'll signal to others who are struggling like you, share interests, passions, etc.

Find those people now, so that you're not alone when you finally spread your wings. https://twitter.com/daretorant/status/1280933606592933889
Hope this was helpful. I wish you the very best, and if you read this far, hello 👋🏽 I share a lot of learnings as authentically as I can here on Twitter as well as on my newsletter.

Follow along here: 🦊 https://brownfox.substack.com/ 

Good luck! ♥️
You can follow @daretorant.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: