Farnoosh Brock Talks About a Smart Exit Strategy Out of the Wrong Job

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.

Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living

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!

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  1. says

    Great interview Farnoosh and nicely done up Kristi!

    I loved reading the questions and the answers were surely helpful as well. Though I was never into the corporate world, but I did leave my full time job as well and settled to become a full time freelance writer. And the things are all the same whether it’s any kind of full time- well paid job!

    Nice video and am sure as it comes from you Farnoosh- the smart exit strategy is surely going to help many who are still wondering if leaving their full time jobs would be right decision or not :)

    Thanks for sharing :)
    Harleena Singh just posted Simple Ways to be Romantic on Valentine’s Day

  2. says

    Yes, it does takes guts. Letting go of a job one doesn’t like is a rather easy step, though scary. Keeping motivated and working hard without a boss is the difficult part. It’s a good thing to always have the goals in mind, and reward yourself for achievements.

    Life is too short to be unhappy. Sometimes, by taking that leap, a better opportunity comes along.
    Cindy Dominguez just posted The One: Sooo Pinoy Ultimate Food Blogger Contestant’s Choice

    • says

      Cindy, yes, lots of guts. I don’t think working without a boss is the difficult part though – working without a boss in a job that you can’t stand is hard because you don’t want to do it but doing the work that you love does not leave any room for a boss. You are drawn to it and feel compelled to do it. I wish you lots of happiness in your work and let me know if you have any more questions.
      Farnoosh just posted How to Keep Going In The Face of Constant Setbacks

  3. says

    Hi Farnoosh and Kristi,

    Thank you for sharing this interview! It is a big step to go from the world of employment to entrepreneurship. It’s a huge mindset shift as well as a lot of research and action. As an entrepreneur nobody is going to hold you accountable, you have to be a go-getter and take the action that needs to be taken.

    It is a lot of work, and it’s not for everyone, but the rewards are well worth it!

    Stacy just posted How Meditation Improved My Life in About 30 Days

    • says

      Stacy, a huge step yes and it’s not for everyone. My main goal is to help people understand that they don’t have to put up with an unhappy job but they can still be in corporate if that’s the right answer or in small business or a non-profit or retail or self-employment …. so many facets to what’s a right fit for you! :) Are you working for yourself now or employed somewhere? Thanks so so much for the contribution here!
      Farnoosh just posted How to Keep Going In The Face of Constant Setbacks

      • says


        I’ve been running a business from my home for the last 9 years, a preschool. It doesn’t offer the time or money freedom that I had hoped for when I first started. With all of the state regulations and time constraints I feel more like an employee than a business owner. So I am working on the side to build up a different kind of business that offers more freedom to do what I really want to do. It’s coming along and I’m excited!

        Stacy just posted Interview with Mavis Nong from Attraction Marketing Online

  4. says

    I am sitting here drinking a fresh green juice (arugula, romaine lettuce, broccoli, pears, carrots, and 1 beet), thanks to your wonderful guide, Farnoosh. And reading this interview, I know I haven’t quite taken that next big step yet. I have been fortunate enough to work from home and spend time with my wife and one year old, but I’m not quite doing the work I would like to be doing the most. I guess I’m one of those incremental step takers… I rarely dive right into the deep end of the swimming pool, instead I start on the shallow end, then slowly wade out further, then get used to it, then go a little further, then get used to it, then go a little further. But I’m not swimming yet. I’m roughly waist deep right now. I guess I’ll just edge out a little further, but I know at some point I need to just plunge into the water and see where that will take me. The thing is, I’m noticing more and more all the great fun that I see being had by those already in the deep end. So… it’s getting to be about that time! I can also see what’s holding me back, and I do want to be that careful planner. But the most I test the waters- so to speak – the more I see that everything’s going to be just fine…
    Eric D. Greene just posted “Pears” – Oil Pastels Art

    • says

      Eric, all I can say is take the class and let me help you move relatively slowly – 6 weeks – into that deep end. You have no idea how much fun it is to do what you love every single minute AND to make money doing it. It is a kind of happiness and fulfillment that I was sure did not exist. And I hear you loud & clear because I was there and I took my time and I took a little too much time and one thing is for sure: I regret it and so does everyone who has left a job that was not entirely fulfilling. Having said that, I am very practical and hence the course to help you build YOUR blueprint for transition, not mine and not anyone else’s, and I think it would be an ideal fit for you. Enjoy the green juice & think about it. I’d love to reserve a spot for ya!
      Farnoosh just posted How to Keep Going In The Face of Constant Setbacks

  5. says

    This month my wife and I celebrate 6 years of leaving our corporate job with its great benefits and taking the plunge into being entrepreneurs. It hasn’t been easy, by any stretch of the imagination. However, it has been very rewarding and a heck of a lot more fulfilling/fun than working in a cubicle.

    Of course we didn’t have bosses we liked. We didn’t really like anything about the job or the company. This made it easier to cut the cord, but it was still difficult leaving the “security” of a steady paycheck, and the benefits, behind.
    Marshall Davis just posted Talking Small Biz with Cape Cod Beach Chair Company

    • says

      Marshall, now THAT Is a great celebration. Congratulations!!! Who cares about easy? We are not interested in easy. But is it worth it? I bet it is from hearing you talk about it here. Here’s wishing you so much success that you make that old paycheck look like peanuts. That’s my plan and I intend to get there. Thanks much and please share this with anyone else that may find it useful.
      Farnoosh just posted How to Keep Going In The Face of Constant Setbacks

  6. says

    I think it is great that you are now coaching others on how to let go of their jobs in pursuit of their dreams and what feeds their soul.

    Giving up a corporate job is more than letting go of financial security – it is also letting go of an identity that you had created for yourself. The title, authority, and expertise that you worked hard for is now all gone and you are faced with starting all over again from scratch.
    liz just posted Your Questions Our Answers

    • says

      Hi Liz, thank you so much – I just want to clarify I am not advocating everyone leave their corporate job or day job to go into self-employment…. (There was a bit of confusion in the comments)….
      Oh yes, giving up a corporate job is giving up all of that. For me, they all melted into nothing by the time I was ready to quit so it was just the money I was giving up but I know what you mean. If one is so attached to the company, perhaps it’s not the right thing to do.
      I disagree though: the expertise is not gone – you can transfer skills and knowledge into other tasks and project, you just won’t be applying them to that corporate team specifically….. The title=yeah, that’s gone but what’s a title really? I think our worth is in our talents, skills and abilities. :)! Thanks for your thoughts and for entertaining mine!
      Farnoosh just posted Episode 30 of the Daily Interaction: How to Deal with the Clumsy Side of You

  7. says

    One of my favorite topics of conversations with my friends is – quitting the day job and doing something different. So I really enjoyed your post…I was introduced to your blog from a newsletter that I subscribe to and I will be back to check out more of your posts…Great blog.

  8. says

    Hi Farnoosh,

    My story is not near as intriguing as yours, though I did leave my j-o-b working for a large corporation to pursue a business with my spouse –

    I look back at my time in corporate banking and think about all the wonderful experiences that led me to where I am today.

    Thank you for sharing your journey into self-employment!
    Christine Brady just posted 10 Ways to be the King of Comments

    • says

      Intriguing? 😉 Thank you, Christine! You are sweet…. And good for you for leaving! It is wonderful to look at the experience positively. I suppose I turned that corner and haven’t focused on the positives of my corporate career. It’s definitely very wise to focus on what we learned and what brought us here. I hope your/your spouse’s business is doing well. All the best, Christine, and thanks for sharing your story!
      Farnoosh just posted Episode 30 of the Daily Interaction: How to Deal with the Clumsy Side of You

    • says

      James, self-employment is ONE of many options of getting out of the wrong job and going to the right one. I never advocated self-employment per se so much as I am advocating leaving the wrong job – be it in the wrong corporate team or wrong non-profit or even in the wrong self-employment state.
      As for brutal, it is exactly what you say: what is it that one wants. For me, doing meaningless work and wasting my life at corporate and wasting my potential – that was brutal…. to some, brutal is being out on their own. Different for all of us :)!
      Farnoosh just posted Episode 30 of the Daily Interaction: How to Deal with the Clumsy Side of You

  9. says

    I’ve been self employed for about 2 years now and have managed to make more in 2 years than I did in my previous job that I had for 8 years. It’s been tough, but I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t even consider it work.

    Best thing about being self employed, is if you’re a hard worker and are ambitious, there is no end to the possibilities and success you can achieve. Great post… really got my mind going about my situation, how I got here and what made me do it. Thanks!
    Chris just posted Tips on Finding Owner Financed Homes Austin

  10. says

    Hi ..some really good points Farnoosh… I was watching “The Secret” movie the other day and it said that most of the people let their dreams die because of fear of failure… people are just trying to safely make it to death tiptoeing through life..your article really relates with it… we only get one life but still we are afraid to do what we are passionate about..99% of billionaires have gone bankrupt at one point or another but what kept them moving was their belief in their dreams..

    Aniket just posted GTX 590 – My Another Review

    • says

      Hi Aniket, thanks so much ! That is so sad and yet so true to hear. I cannot understand it now that I am out of that miserable comfort zone and yet I was in it for a long time – and I consider me a relatively intelligent woman ;)! Well, maybe I got smart the last year or two .. ;)! And yes, all super successful people have fallen at least once and at least relatively hard … very well said thank you so much for sharing these, Aniket! I hope you are living your ideal life!
      Farnoosh just posted Episode 30 of the Daily Interaction: How to Deal with the Clumsy Side of You

  11. says

    This is a very interesting read indeed. I made the move out of a job I hated years ago (sadly straight to another one I hated even more). Ultimately though it led me to a job I love, where I’m my own boss and I work my own hours. The things that tend to keep people shackled to one job are possessions and debt – both of which are intricately linked to each other.
    Neil just posted Comment on An inside look at Macronutrients, and why they matter by Staying Lean Whilst Travelling For Work | LeanMassGains.com