Leaving Corporate America: What You Can Do Instead of a Corporate Job

Reviewing business plan

Is leaving corporate America heavy on your mind? The good news is, there are plenty of alternatives where you can leverage your experience and skills.

Exiting the Corporate Life to Build a New Career

Life in corporate America can be exciting and lucrative with generous paychecks, benefits, and perks. But for many it’s a gilded cage. Lulled into a comfortable slumber by the high pay, prestige, security, and career advancement, many an entrepreneur’s ambition is blunted. Setting the corporate security blanket aside to start your own business, a leap into the unknown, can be scary.

But job security in corporate life these days isn’t what it used to be. Long gone are the days of working for one company right out of college through retirement, with a party and a gold watch to see you off into an old age cushioned by a fat pension. And corporate dreams may not be as rewarding as you imagined. Having climbed to the top of the career ladder, you may not like the view, or having reached the pinnacle of your industry, you might be hungry for a new challenge. There may be a career you’ve long dreamed of starting, and now could be the right time.

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking this way. Forbes reports in 2021 more people searched online for “how to start a business” than “how to get a job”. Data reflects millions of American workers are quitting their jobs, and many are doing so to start their own businesses. Business applications are at a 20-year high, with 5.4 million applications for new businesses being filed in 2021 and a higher total expected for 2022. Turns out the so-called Eat, Pray, Love dream of escape, self-discovery, and reinvention portrayed in Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir is real (the book spent 187 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list for a reason). Lots of people need a change.

How to Leave Corporate America: A Plan for Success Without Regrets

Preparing to leave your corporate job can be both thrilling and scary. You’ll want to develop an exit strategy that burns no bridges, is rooted in reality, and sets you up to succeed at your new venture. It begins with rethinking your relationship to your job. Many workers’ identities are wrapped up in the job, the title, the office, the salary, the perks of corporate life.

Recognizing that you aren’t your job and you’ll still be you once you leave corporate America is an important first step out the door and onto your new path. Here are some other steps you can take to make your transition to being your own boss a smooth one:

  • Believe in yourself: Know in your bones you have the power to create the life and work you’ve wanted outside of the structure of someone else’s business. Bolster your confidence with the knowledge that others have done what you are about to do and succeeded. You could succeed, too.
  • Know your mission: Like creating a strong thesis statement for a research paper, state your new business’ mission clearly and concisely. If your goals are clear to you, they’ll be clear to the customers you’re trying to reach.
  • Don’t be impulsive: Research the area of business you want to get into and prepare. Don’t reflexively quit your job only to find it’ll take more time and more money to make your exit work for you.
  • Budget: It can take time for a new business to make money. A good plan will account for how you’ll finance the business, and how you’ll pay yourself in the meantime. While you’re still drawing your corporate paycheck, sock money away for the lean times.
  • Build a support team: Successful entrepreneurs have mentors and managers at their sides. You won’t be able to do everything alone, so knowing who you can call on for advice as well as who you can delegate to will make your new career manageable.

Career Alternatives and Skills That Transfer

Your time in the corporate workforce taught you many skills that will transfer to your new endeavors. Leaving corporate America takes courage, but you can have faith that the knowledge you’ve acquired over your career will now support you as you strike out on your own. Skills like:

  • Customer service
  • Working with deadlines
  • Managing employees
  • Delegation of tasks
  • Financial decision-making
  • Marketing/social media
  • Technology

You may have the skills and an itch for a new career but aren’t quite sure where your passion lies. In that case, think about what you enjoy doing during weekends and time off. Do your friends swoon when you bake a cake? Do you unwind by organizing your closet? Maybe you blow off steam with time spent in your garden. Check out these alternatives to the corporate grind:

  • Landscaping and garden design
  • Professional organizer
  • Pet grooming
  • Florist
  • Wedding and event planner
  • Catering
  • Website design
  • Consulting
  • Photography
  • Bakery/cake making
  • Tutoring
  • Interior design

Floor Coverings International: Your Next Chapter Starts Here

At Floor Coverings International, some of our most successful franchisees are people just like you. Coming from many backgrounds, including corporate America, our franchisee testimonials will show you how rewarding a new direction as a franchise owner can be.

If you’re ready to work hard developing your own dream business instead of someone else’s, Floor Coverings International offers you the opportunity to build a business that fulfills you while helping others make their homes beautiful. As part of the Floor Coverings International family of franchisees, you’ll own a mobile-based flooring business, create your own team of employees, and manage your own schedule to fit your work/life balance goals. You’ll use the skills you’ve acquired in your previous corporate career to help your sales team achieve success, build your clientele, and to deliver the highest quality hardwood, tile, carpet, and vinyl flooring to satisfied customers who generate repeat and new business.

Learn more about how you can leverage your experience and skills from corporate America as a Floor Coverings International franchisee. Fill out a Request Information form today.