This is an interview with Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living. She is returning again to Kikolani to talk to us about creating a smart exit strategy (aff link) out of the wrong job and why it pays to find work that you can love.
1. A lot of the readers at Kikolani are interested in full-time self-employment with strong interests in social media, blogging and free-lancing among other things. You share some of these passions. Can you tell us your take on self-employment?
Self-employment was made for me like this super short pixie haircut that I got after chopping off some 14 inches of beautiful hair. It is ironic because I did not think either adventure suited me. It turns out when you give something up; you sometimes get a lot back in return. Giving up a cushy, easy, lucrative job for working 14-hour days plus weekends and hardly matching the income yet has been the greatest joy of my life and I had one happy life despite that miserable career at corporate.
Self-employment is not for everyone; I will admit that and I think that’s wonderful because we are unique individuals and we are meant to find our own tune and I encourage you to find yours in the right place.
For those of you who dream of being your own boss and calling your own shots while knowing full well that it comes with responsibility and accountability and heaps of sweet labor, you will find tremendous fulfillment in paving your own future. It is the simple greatest path to self-discovery and personal development that I have ever known.
2. I am guessing that at the beginning of your career – or even at the end of your corporate one, you did not have any idea that you would end up doing this for a living. Given that, what advice do you have for those of us who simply don’t know what you want to do but are unhappy in their current workplace?
That’s a pretty accurate statement, Kristi! I had no earthly idea that someday, I might work for myself and create my own budding enterprise and I bet neither did you! And that has been one of the greatest lessons that I have learned.
We have got to be open to the possibilities and the opportunities that come along or else we will miss out on great chances to reach our fullest potential. I used to have a mental box of where my career could “logically” end up, until I realized that I had no desire whatsoever to be in that place. It’s no fun when you wake up and realize you’ve been chasing a ghost, a shadow, an illusion but you have to pay attention to those feelings because they won’t go away if you ignore them.
So my advice to you if you do not know what you want to do is first of all: Congratulations! It is perfectly normal. I promise you few really know their life’s purpose early on. It is a work in progress and that’s what makes life so beautiful.
Second, be patient and have fun and explore. Try new things, learn constantly and allow yourself to imagine, to brainstorm, to come up with ideas and to put a few to test. Also, pay attention to your strength. That’s something that you do well consistently and feel energized and happy about. Then do things from that place and watch your performance and fulfillment. It might just surprise you as you hone in on that very thing you want to do.
If you want more uncensored corporate escapee advice, it’s yours here for free.
3. What would you say is the biggest force of resistance that keeps people shackled to unhappy jobs, besides obviously the paycheck?
Oh yes, the paycheck. I cannot believe how badly I held on to mine and protected it and yet, how little I miss it. And I am happy to admit that I loved that fat paycheck but I don’t think that’s the only thing kept me shackled.
The resistance to change is ridiculously strong because we prefer safety and have low-risk tolerance in most normal states of existence. Routine is our best friends and a daily job provides just that: A routine. We get used to good routines and bad routines and we stop seeing the signs that are staring us in the face!
That’s why it’s so hard to break a bad habit: Even if we know better, we resist the change because we are conditioned to behave a certain way, even if we don’t like the results.
So it is a combination of resistance to changing the status quo for fear of not knowing what is going to replace it, regardless of how much we believe in the positive outcome plus the curse of routine.
If you can break that routine only temporarily to prove to yourself that you will survive, if you can shake up your routine by doing what you yearn to do once in a while, and if you can trust yourself to make smart, educated decisions for your own happiness and fulfillment, then you will overcome the resistance. I really believe that!
4. Farnoosh, I think it’s easy to speculate why you left your corporate job if you were meant to be an entrepreneur, but the more interesting question is how did you leave such a sweet deal behind?
Great question, Kristi, I know that you recognize it takes more than just an overnight jumping-ship action, as tempting as that might be! And I know you will appreciate this because you went through a similar process.
It is not easy to transition out of a job where you are comfortably settled in a routine, despite your frustrations, to a place where you can play to your strengths and be happy and yet, this is a critical component in creating the type of professional life that we dream about.
It takes smart planning. It takes understanding the current work culture you are leaving behind and exiting in a fashion that makes you look professional and respected. It takes understanding or discovering your talents, skills, weaknesses and strengths, and building a smart exit strategy to transition out of that place into the precise place where you can thrive and prosper.
You also need to think about your financial situation, your relationships, your support system, your own risk tolerance and resistance, and be armed with tools and resources to pull all of this together.
I wanted to make a professional smooth exit so I took my time building what I believed was imperative to that: a smart exit strategy.
5. I know my readers are wondering about this so I might as well ask it. What qualifies you to teach a course on exiting the wrong job?
Thank you for asking this one. I appreciate the transparency here.
Well, first, I’ve done it. First hand experience speaks volumes and I walk my talk in everything I do. How could you trust someone to teach you on a subject they have no experience on? The stuff in this course, every bit of it has been put through real life test and it has passed with flying colors.
Aside from the final grand exit from corporate, I transitioned out of a start-up into my corporate job, and then went through several more professional transitions from one organization to another and one job to another during my long corporate career, without ever severing relationships or chances for advancement. In fact, quite the opposite in each case!
On top of that, I’ve been helping others do the same thing for a long time. During my years there, I would mentor and provide career coaching on a regular basis and completely free to colleagues and peers and new employees.
The results from this experience were so positive and rewarding that I established my formal coaching business in 2011 to share my strategies on the pursuit of the work that you can love.
I am supremely confident about delivering results and empowering you through this course (aff link) to take action toward an exit out of an unhappy workplace because inaction is going to be an itchy regret later and you should only make decisions that feel right and help you reach your greatest potential in life.
And remember that you can’t reach anywhere close to that full potential when you are in the wrong job!
How to Leave the Wrong Job with a Plan
Are you in the wrong job and working toward something more fulfilling? Have you already left your job to pursue your dreams? Please share your experience so far in the comments!