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How to Get Out of the Rat Race

By on January 1, 2013
get out of the rat race

How to Get Out of the Rat Race

Working corporate jobs may pay well but there is a reason why people make jokes about them being soul crushing. The fact is that working corporate can often feel like you’re just getting swept up in the rat race of making someone else’s dreams come true while putting your own on the back burner. If you want out of the corporate rat race for good then there are ways to go about doing it successfully.

Here are the things you need to do to stop living someone else’s dreams and start building up yours!

Discovering Your Passion:

Before we talk about what you need to do we need to talk about what you should not do. You definitely should not just go out and quit your job. Not every dream starts with a Jerry Maguire moment. You need to think smart and stick to your job for just a little while longer. This is primarily to save money, but it is also to allow yourself some time to come up with a solid game plan for what your next step needs to be when you do eventually quit. Make sure that you have taken a few steps towards your new goal beforehand and that you will be financially stable.

The first thing you need to do in terms of actively working toward your goal is to figure out just what your goal is. Simply having a goal of leaving the corporate world is not enough because then the big question is left hanging over your head of what else you’re going to do with your life. For many people the goal is pretty easy to think of. But for others it may not be so simple.

Many people go through life with a burning passion for something. They know exactly what they want to do with their lives and assume they’ll get around to doing it eventually. They figure that in the mean time working corporate will be okay. But some people grow up without that line of thinking. Our culture is very much geared around ideas of job security so we’re taught early on that all that matters is securing a job. For some people this is the highest ambition that they’ve developed because they’re essentially raised to join the rat race to begin with.

You need to pick a goal that is built around the things you want. Not just what you think you are capable of, but the things that you want. Whether this is material things or just doing something that you love to do. Pick something that you are passionate about, above all. If you pick anything less then you are only setting yourself up to get back in another rut.

If you want a good example of someone who left the rat race then look at Scott Belsky. Belsky was a former Goldman Sachs associate. He left the company to form Behance. Behance is a website that allows for artists to not only showcase their artwork, but to find unique and innovative ways to market their artwork as well. In other words he took some of the things he learned in the corporate world and applied them to his passion project.

When you decide what it is that you want to do you need to start making the necessary preparations to make it happen. If you want to start a business, for example, then saving money becomes an imperative. Sure you could go and get a loan, and that would even be recommended in most cases but having some of your own money can work as a safety net of sorts. The last thing you want to do is be in the middle of your new venture only to discover that you will not be able to support yourself in the time it takes to make it work.

Getting Organized:

Setting up a time line is also absolutely essential. Specifically, you need to set up a time line of when you want to be doing whatever it is that you want to do. It’s easy to find yourself dreaming away time that you could be using to get things done. Eventually you have to stop dreaming and start turning those dreams into a reality.

Set Realistic Goals

The best way to keep yourself on track is with a time line that sets out realistic goals of when you would like to see things done. This not only makes sure that you are staying on track but it also provides a way for you to encourage yourself. It provides very real proof that even when it seems like you aren’t getting very far you have made progress. The last thing anyone wants is to feel like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. A realistic road map can keep you from taking those backward steps and give you signs that you are doing the right thing.

Be Accountable

You also need someone who can hold you accountable to your goals. If you have a series of setbacks that are understandable then that person will be there to encourage you. However, if you are just making excuses for not pushing forward out of fear then that person will be there to motivate you to get to it. This person can also help to keep you on the path to your goals whenever you are feeling discouraged.

Get Ready to Fail and Succeed:

One of the most important parts of achieving your goals is to prepare for failure. Failure is something that will inevitably happen no matter how put together you are. The saying that the best laid plans often go awry is very true. You can plan for as many things as you like and invariably some things will still go wrong. The trick is to not let this break you. You have to decide if what you are trying to do and the dreams you are trying to make a reality are worth this small failure. In the grand scheme of things is it still going to be worth it if a few plans fail or don’t come out like they were supposed to?

You need to also be ready for success. Many people will find themselves backing out of their goals just as they start to attain them because it means that things are about to change for themselves. Everyone is scared of change, especially when it is something that can alter your life. The fear comes from uncertainty but it must be overcome if you are going to achieve your goals. It is important to remind yourself that this is what you want.

About Simple Dad

Steve is the founding editor of The Simple Dad. He has 3 crazy kids: 12 and 9 year old daughters and a 14 year old son. Married to his beautiful wife of 17 years, Alexandra.