Nearly 50 percent of professionals out there are unhappy with their jobs, and one of the simplest solutions to this dissatisfaction is figuring out how to get out of the rat race. If you feel uninspired and unable to reach your potential, that there are goals you're not meeting, or that there are things you want from your career beyond what your current situation can offer, then you may find yourself asking “is it possible to quit the rat race?” The answer isn't just yes, it’s possible, but also that leaving the rat race for a simple life may be exactly the change you need to make your personal and professional dreams come true.
Make the Decision to Escape
Laozi, an ancient Chinese writer, and philosopher, once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” When the journey is getting out of the rat race, that first single step is deciding, once and for all, to leave. Unless you make that crucial decision, you'll never be able to take the next steps. The easiest way to get the ball rolling, therefore, is to choose to stop running the race with everyone else and to find your path. Once you decide to leave, you still have plenty of time to explore other possibilities and make a plan.
Learn to live on a Smaller Budget
One of the major differences between life in the rat race and life outside is the steady and consistent paychecks. If you’ve had the same job for many years, you can probably predict the exact amount of every paycheck you'll get. When you're working for yourself or running your own business, on the other hand, the cash flow isn't always going to be as consistent, and you may have to learn how to live with less money. Here are a few ideas:
- Cancel subscriptions (magazines, gym memberships, etc.) you don’t use
- Get rid of your cable television service
- Cook more at home instead of eating out
- Buy things you need when they're on sale
- Downsize your house
- Get rid of one vehicle if you have multiple
The goal is always to have enough money saved to take care of expenses for three months.
Take Heed of Your Passions
One thing potentially holding you back right now from escaping the corporate life is the worry that you don’t know where to go from here. But contrary to your concerns, this is actually where getting out of the rat race gets fun. Remember when you were a little kid and wanted to be an astronaut, or a pro sports star, or a chef, or a scientist? Well now is the time to start exploring those passions to find ways to create a profession of doing what you love. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box here: just because you wanted to be a magician when you were young doesn’t mean you have to pull rabbits from a hat today. Instead, think of ways you can incorporate elements of what you love into your career (for example, focus on the public presentations rather than the magic tricks).
Everybody has goals they want to achieve in their careers, but there are many jobs that simply don’t make it easy for driven people with entrepreneurial spirits to realize those dreams. And when you start asking how to achieve professional satisfaction when your current job isn't facilitating that, then the answer may well be striking out on your own, turning your passions into a profession, and making a go of life outside the rat race.
Are you ready for a career change? Download our free eBook on the 7 signs that will help you find out.