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Leaving Corporate America
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Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in ninetofivenomo's LiveJournal:

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004
12:15 pm
After much thought and seesawing, I have decided to leave this community.

There are various reasons...

First, and probably the most distinctive part, is that I plan to start my own corporation. This will hopefully be a good move and not a bad one and will allow me some various leeway in future endeavors and interests. Also, my accountant tells me I should do so and we're all afraid of her. =)

So, instead of shunning "the man", I'm becoming "the (wo)man". Not that I'll have any employees to lord it over anytime soon. However, I find it a bit hypocritical to talk about balking the system when I'm becoming a part of the system...

Second, I feel like I'm in need of a different support system in all the various upcoming changes and decisions. One which will help me grow in new directions and understand how to balance life and work in a broader sense. I'll still be attempting to live a similar lifestyle and by no means have given up certain dreams. But, I feel at this point I need to embark on my own journey outside of this forum and forge my own path.

I wish all of you luck and attainment of your own dreams and goals.

Current Mood: contemplative
Friday, August 20th, 2004
5:14 pm
The Bi-monthly News in brief
So my life is changing again. It seems in a good way.

The day after my last entry I received an email from a client I used to work with asking if I'd be interested in a job as a tenant manager for one of their centers. After much talk and working out issues, I signed a contract with them this past Wednesday.

I'm very excited to work with this group- they are always upbeat and wonderful in their work style. It's an 8 month contract and specifies typically a 40 hour week with 45 hours max. This leaves my options wide open in terms of a set end date and set hours so I'll have time to do the other things in my life which are equally important. I'll work from home mainly and travel once or twice a month to Seattle. In a sense it's corporate (big business), but I don't have to deal with office drama or daily mismanagement. My only office mates will be my 3 cats and I can play music as loud as I want or not all and I'll get perks like candy when I meet up with the other managers in Seattle.

I kind of like the idea of contract employment where I'd work a number of months, take a few off and then pick up another project. This feels right for me right now. I'm hoping in 8 months it will still feel right but if not, that's ok, I have other opportunities and things I can do instead.

Current Mood: happy
Friday, August 13th, 2004
7:57 am
Job Frustrations
Last night at the weekly briefing I go to, the speaker talked about promotions, and how at your j-o-b, the promotion is never equal to the increase in responsibility.

Last summer, working the same position, I made a quarter less an hour. All I did pretty much was answer the phone, which didn't ring all that often. This summer, because of a change in circumstances, I've been a lot busier. I have a lot more office tasks, but often it feels like busy work. I know it has to get done, and it's better than having nothing to do. But yesterday, one of my jobs was to destroy 275 CDs, which meant breaking each one by hand. And dumping out week old coolers of water. Cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. I know it has to get done, but it's not exactly how I would like to be spending my summer. So it was a really tough day, because those tasks left my mind open to wander. I like to be focused.

Then, the briefing made up for the whole day. I got to stand up and be recognized for my promotion with them, which was a 33% increase. And, I have to do the same amount of work to make more money. Everyone was so encouraging last night, and so sure that I could make me goal of being promoted one more time before I go to the conference in Vegas. For the past couple weeks, it had been tough, but over the past week, things really started pulling together for me.

"To be successful, double your rate of failure."
Wednesday, August 11th, 2004
8:04 am
I'm very happy, as of this morning I sold my third membership in my business, so I have been promoted a level, and I now receive advance commissions.

This is a good step in the goal to leave behind the 9-5 world. I'm chugging a long like the engine that could. "I think I can, I think I can."

Good luck to everyone else!
Monday, August 9th, 2004
11:08 am
Hey all,

I'm working towards not having a part time job in the fall (I work full time only in the summer because I'm a fulltime college student.) and it looks like it's going well. I'm selling memberships more steadily, and my team is growing as well. Wish me luck! (If I sell 10 memberships this month, I'll be unemployable!)
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
11:29 am
Hi, I'm Stephanie.

Currently, I'm working "9-5" for the National Park Service (Really 7-3:30 am). I work in a gorgeous park, but I'm stuck in an office dealing with phones and not getting to be outside enjoying the summer. This is my second summer working here, and I go to school full time during the year. I don't want to graduate and have this be my life. So right now, I'm working on building something with a company that is absolutely exploding, but encourages my entrepreneurial spirit and will keep me out of Corporate America. Not to mention, it used to be that if you spent fifty years in the corporate world, you had something to show for it: a pension. Now, you are lucky if you can spend that long with a company, and if you do, you might get a gold watch.

IMO, the key is residual income. You do something once, and you get paid for it year after year. Then if you get sick, or something happens, you can still get paid for it.

Right now, I'm looking out at the park, and it's a beautiful, hot day. (I like hot weather because I'm always cold), and in here the air is blasting and my toes are numb.

One of the big reasons I want to get out of this life before I get sucked in long-term is that I want to have other things to talk about. When I was younger, I would ask my sister, who is 13 years older than me, what she'd been up to. The answer was always the same: work. These days, that's been my answer, and I don't want it to be. Someday, I want to have a family, and I want to be there when my kids get home from school. My dad gave up a lot to do that for me, and it has been a great benefit in my life, but we suffered financially because he chose to be self-employed. So, I want the time freedom AND the financial freedom. Wish me luck!
10:01 am
lazy days of august =)
As I do my biweekly check-ins, I've noticed a few new people in the community listing.

It made me curious what your stories are...Are you dreaming of life outside the hectic corporate run as well? Looking for ideas or support? Curious, as I am, about others' attempts to set themselves free?

I'd love to see what others have tried or thought about trying. Where are you headed and how do you plan to get there? Are they little steps or big steps? Or, just anything you have to say on this topic....

And, killercricket, how are you doing these days with your own changes?

as for meCollapse )

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, July 14th, 2004
10:34 am
bimonthly contemplation about people
I just realised I'm coming up on 2 weeks again.Collapse )

Current Mood: determined
Sunday, July 11th, 2004
9:17 am
Enough...plus a little somethin' somethin'
How much is enough?

In preparation for leaving the rat race I have, for the last 1 1/2 months been "attempting" to live on the budget I set for myself. In May, I went a little overboard. Things leftover from the previous month didn't help. June was a lot better. As of today, I am halfway through the month and may be a teenie bit over by the end but I am definitely doing better than last month.

I can't say that it has been difficult. When I think of what I've "given up", none of it really matters. Fortunately, I am an oddball female. I do not like to shop and avoid it as much as possible. I can't remember the last time I bought something new to wear. Also, I don't wear make-up so there are no frequent trips to Walgreen's or Sephora (whichever tickles your fancy) to spruce myself up.

Vice #1 - Fast food. Due to my schedule it was easier than cooking and I could eat it at my desk or in my car with one hand.

Now, I can't say that I am eating any better, I just buy my fast food at cheaper prices. Ore Ida tater tots rival Sonic tater tots any day!

Vice #2 - Books. Barnes & Noble was my second home and I believe I am personally responsible for a good chunk of some bookseller's weekly paycheck.

Now, I don't buy them...at B&N...I buy them used (and sometimes new)on e-bay or half.com. I just bought a copy of "Your Money or Your Life" for $5.50 as opposed to the cover price of $15.00!

Vice #3 - Caramel Machiatto. I love them.

Now, I didn't give these up, I just drink them less often and you know what? THAT makes them taste even better.

Vice #4 - Blockbuster Video. I loved them too...but no more.

Now, we do Netflix. We see about 8 movies per month for less than half the price of a Blockbuster rental.

Vice #5 - Dining out. This reeeeally should have been number one and is different from fast food. Dining out requires leaving a tip. Wallet draining activity.

Now, I've been out to a restaurant twice. Once when family was in town and once when a friend and I went to out for lunch. I won't give this up completely either...everything in moderation.

The above may not sound like much but what I found was that I was pretty frugal to begin with. I've been out of major debt for a while so that makes this much easier. I accounted for the necessities of life and came out with $800; however, I also wanted to have a little somethin' somethin' from time to time so I upped it by one hundred...as a cushion so I won't go insane.

ENOUGH is different for every person. It all comes down to what is most important to me. Clothes, shoes, and make-up are not important. Books, Movies and restaurant dining are important to me so I accounted for them in my monthly number.

The goal for July is to meet the goal.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

What is the cost of the bare necessities?
What do you think you could live without?
What would you not be willing to give up?


Current Mood: relaxed
Wednesday, June 30th, 2004
5:11 pm
bimonthly update
I'm getting more of the inevitable "Are you looking for a job yet?" routine.

"No," I say, not allowing the masses to get me down. "I'm still sponging off of my boyfriend."

Actually I've paid my part from vacation time and savings and tax refunds, but it's not their place to know that. If some people refuse to be supportive emotionally, I have no reason to make those same people feel better about my finances and state of living. No, it's not nice, but it amuses me more than explaining what I've explained many times before and have no desire to go over again.

I'm finding little need to buy much outside of groceries and the occasional hobby item anyway. Of course, alot of that has to do with the lack of downtime I have. I'm constantly doing something- reading, writing, cooking, cleaning, making, learning, playing. Basically, and most importantly, living instead of quietly dying.

I'm still muddling through where I want to be next. Most of it revolves around where I know I don't want to be. And sometimes life throws out unexpected opportunities - like there is some angel, fairy, god, something unseen listening in to the occasional dreams. For example, an opportunity to learn pottery has come up without me having to pay for it. Opportunities to do web sites have cropped up too though I wasn't looking for such. Opportunites to make and sell crafts has become an option. A possibility of living off the land has been established too. And on and on...

I'm not certain which direction I will take but knowing the possibilities are there eases the way.

Total freedom is never what one imagines and, in fact, hardly exists. It comes as a shock in life to learn that we usually only exchange one set of restrictions for another. The second set, however, is self-chosen, and therefore easier to accept. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh~

Current Mood: happy
Saturday, June 12th, 2004
5:15 pm
I've had some time now to become relaxed, to refocus, and to truly see what it's like to not have a job. Four months of, quite honestly, bliss. It hasn't all been happy-happy but it's been thousands of times better than where I was at before.

During that time I've noticed the following pros and cons- limited to 3:

being able to 'create' my day however I want- to do errands, see people, read, write, make appointments- all without having to fit my life to meet my work schedule...Instead I fit my new 'work' schedule to match my life
physical health has improved- i'm gaining more vitality with each passing day- feeling more alive and passionate again
mental health has improved - dreaming again - more positive approaches to issues

people's perceptions about work- you tend to encounter 3 types: those who are genuinely happy for you (whether it's following a dream or escaping a miserable work environment), those who don't understand (and will ask and ask when you're going to get a job and how it's affecting your life/finances to be without work), and those who are jealous (and will either be funny about it or spiteful)- the second two types are the ones that make your doubt yourself sometimes or society and its preoccupation with 'what do you do for a living?'
money is an issue- though you might not want to speak of it much with others- especially those who want to go out and waste the money you don't have on trivial entertainment- but it's also a strengthening agent because you learn what you truly need and what you just want- and the things you want become more precious and true rather than things that fill in gaps- but this is such a consumer oriented environment which is hard to live in sometimes if you have to watch every cent
loss of interaction with people and challenges not of your own making- outside work tends to focus and drive you whether you want to be driven or not- and forces you to interact with a myriad of different people, people you might otherwise have avoided- so you miss new learning experiences....

Overall this time off has been good though. I understand now why people take 3 month sabbaticals. It refreshes and recharges. I don't regret my time away from the rat race. I do regret that I may have to rejoin it. But I at least know why I would be rejoining this time. That there's a goal there instead of just a plodding, expected course.

Current Mood: hopeful
Tuesday, June 8th, 2004
12:34 pm
Leaving Corporate America
I recently decided to leave my nine-to-five job by the end of July 2004. In preparing to leave I have spent an enormous amount of time shifting savings into more easily accessible (and more conservative) accounts, consolidating my student loans, planning for my boyfriend to move into "our" apartment, starting a business, researching insurance costs, setting up "multiple profit centers" and trying to determine what I will do with my new found leisure time.

I suppose one could say I am retiring early. I am 32 years old and have only been a member of the rat race for six years but I must say, I have had enough already. In those six years, I have worked for four different employers. I would always leave one in hopes that the next would somehow be better or different. As so many discover, a job is a job is a job.

For the past three years I have also had a theatre company that produces an average of six productions a year and I have taught and/or directed productions at a local private schools as well. This has been the most rewarding pursuit of my life; however, there are only so many hours in a day and needless to say, I am exhausted.

When I finally decided to leave corporate america the first thing I had to do was determine what my basic needs would cost. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could live on $1,000.00 per month and that I already had a year of basic needs stashed in various mutual funds and savings accounts.

There is so much more I would want to say and share with anyone wanting to join this community. I am specifically looking for dialog from those who have experienced corporate america and are thinking of leaving, recently decided to leave or, "hallelujah", have already left. Most communities regarding frugality or simplifying life lead to people trying to sell things cheaply or college student woes about ramen noodles. This community is for dialog about what keeps us (or kept us) chained to our cubicles for so long, why we finally decided to make the change and what we're doing with our new lives.

I look forward to hearing from anyone.


Current Mood: serene
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