I have been reading Jes’ recent posts on dealing with her ex-boss, subsequent resignation and being at a crossroad. I empthasize with her situation, especially when I realised we are about the same age (although she has a kid already). Having worked in 3 previous jobs & firms and on my 4th one now, I have come across my share of problematic bosses and workplaces. To be honest, the only time I felt the work environment became toxic was towards the end of my 3rd job. I endured it for about 1 month while looking for and finding another job before tendering my resignation to serve my notice in the 2nd month. Just thinking about it brings back bad memories.
I have a low threshold for situations like that. The reason why I studied and took up a career in accounting was because of its flexibility. I could move roles within a firm and move jobs across industries more easily because of the wide-ranging application of the accounting field. And I have been consistently building up my savings and investments to buffer against loss of salary income during a period of voluntary (resigning without a job) or involuntary (retrenchment) unemployment. I didn’t do all that work to get stuck with terrible bosses and workplaces.
The good thing for Jes is that she has started her own business and may head towards that direction to build it up. I have thought about what I would do if I land in a similar situation in the future. I don’t have plans to start a business and I’m not sure whether I would like the start-up or entrepreneurial life. I don’t mind having it as a side business and income but I doubt I could do it full-time unless I’m forced to. It can be quite lonely and that does not suit my personality at all.
I like being in a decent corporate environment with a nice level of professional and social interaction. I enjoy the positive aspects of having a weekday routine that involves working with colleagues that I mostly get along with, dealing with interesting problems and issues, meeting new colleagues, etc. Even my gym exercise regimes (at least twice a week) have been in-built to fit my workdays when I’m back home early and on the weekends. I can also accumulate sufficient annual leave to take long-haul, medium-haul and short-haul holidays during the year while still getting paid.
Of course, as with anything, there are always negative aspects to it. Sometimes, the stress, pressure, tension and anxiety levels can be high and the problems/issues don’t get resolved smoothly. The office routine can be draining and leave you wiped by the time the weekend arrives. Let’s not forget that a functional work environment can quickly become dysfunctional when there is a change of staff, bosses, or economic conditions.
The longer I stay on this journey to financial freedom/independence, the more I realize it is not for the purposes of early retirement. Increasing my financial resources means I can work in a job of my choosing. It can be a low level role with not much stress & pressure that gives me sufficient income to manage my expenses and still have leftover for savings and investments.
Or it can be a high level role with a manageable stress & pressure level that gives me more than enough income to pay for my expenses and grow my wealth quickly. And being able to change jobs when I feel like trying something new. The important thing is that it has to be my choice. I want to work to keep my mind active and engaged while having time for everything else in my life.
There’s no secret to thriving in the corporate world. You just have to keep focusing on the positives, let go of the negatives, keep your work life separate from your personal life and strive to put yourself in a workplace with colleagues & bosses that you get along with professionally and socially. You will be surprised how easily hard work and self-improvement comes to you when you are in such an environment.
I’m not a particularly hard or smart worker. But I do what I can to ensure I like where I will be spending most of my weekdays in. That is more important to me than my passion for the job, career progression, salary level, amount of recognition received, etc. These are just bonus points if I end up having them in the job. Luck and good fortune is essential to achieving the above but they will find their way to you as long as you have a positive attitude, keep trying and are open to new opportunities. Don’t give up!