“The most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” ~ Randy Komisar
A year ago this month, I quit my corporate job as a professional communicator. A weight of nearly three years had been lifted off my shoulders. It was exhilarating and I needed the change.
Since then, I’ve managed a kids’ summer tennis program, traveled, helped out with causes and marketing efforts that inspired me, and volunteered in my community. It’s been a good break and has given me time to ponder what’s next (though, still not quite sure what that is yet).
However, a mortgage is a good way to shake you back to reality. So, the last several months I hesitantly started applying for jobs. I say hesitantly because if you’ve looked for a job recently—or maybe you’re doing so now—you more than likely have come to the conclusion the process of job hunting is broken. Just a few examples: I interview for jobs I never hear back from, even though I was promised an update; I’ve spent countless hours filling out online application forms that treat me more as robot than a human being; and when I’m lucky to get interviews, I typically blow it on standard, pre-scripted annoying questions (tell me about a time when you…). Questions that don’t address who I am, what inspires me, or if I’d be a good fit, but rather how well I can answer questions—and I usually don’t answer them well.
I had an interview yesterday and it proved once again the system is broken. It was the first time I wanted to get up and walk out of an interview. I knew within the first few minutes the culture of the company wouldn’t be a good fit for me. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say it made me reevaluate the corporate world…again.
I recently stumbled upon the blog of an inspiring husband and wife duo who are on a quest to visit all 59 National Parks. What first got me excited about their journey is their challenge to camp and make no trash. As someone who abhors litter and tries to make little waste, I instantly felt a connection to their mission, and my dreams of wanderlust returned.
I devoured their blog post, 7 Resources that Inspired Us for this Quest with the excitement of a kid opening presents on Christmas morning. I immediately went out and bought a couple of the suggested books I couldn’t find at my local library. I’m reading them now, taking notes, and thinking (rather dreaming) about possibilities.
There are, of course, many corporate refugees out there, those who have left the cubicle behind in favor of unique experiences—the blogosphere is filled with their stories of inspiration and adventure. For some, it may be a permanent adventure, others a temporary journey; but they’re making it happen. Undoubtedly, my grand adventure will have to wait until I have a firm plan and means of support, which means there’s a cubicle out there somewhere with my name on it.
The overall message, the takeaway here—what I need to constantly remind myself of and why I’m writing today’s blog post—is that life is short and we all need to dream and live BIG.