Why stop the corporate two-step?

After more than 30 years in the workforce, there have certainly been a lot of reasons to remain employed by a big corporation or government entity. Good benefits: decent paycheck, regular vacations, sick time, retirement account, direct deposit and so on. But I have found a few good reasons to end the nine-to-five dance and move towards a different life:

* The “Hello-Do-I-Know-You?” Syndrome – everyone wore name tags, yet I rarely knew anyone outside my immediate department, even if they worked on the same floor.

* The CEO as phantom/benevolent dictator/capricious diva – at some places I worked, I saw our fearless leader once a year, at the office holiday party. At one place of employment, I saw the company’s top executive once in five years. He worked in the building next to mine. But there were always memos, rulings, missives and administrative orders aplenty. Some just made no sense. Some contradicted previous handouts. Some I knew were written just to exert authority.

* There’s safety in numbers (until yours comes up) – it never failed to amaze me how invisible some people were, afraid to step us for fear of being given more work, or being asked to help with a community project. Maybe they were afraid of being fired if someone found out how little work they actually did. So they came and went as expected,  remained hidden in their cubicles, contributing nothing to the company culture.

The idea of leaving “big” and going “small” started with my current job: at a five-person consulting firm. I wanted more time, more flexibility, the opportunity to write, read, cook for money, think and dream. I am at the age where I am burying more of  my friends. It is not my final destination. I think of it as getting behind the wheel and starting the ignition for the ride in the right direction. I still have the long drive ahead.


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