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  • Writer's pictureSusan Voyles

Breaking free from the corporate world: How a life coach can help decide if ‘comfort’ is truly worth being stuck

I have written about “being stuck” when it comes to our lives, but now I want to focus on what it means to move beyond being stuck in a corporate job you may not want to stay in.

Often I hear people tell me that the corporate world is not the right thing for them, but they are comfortable in that environment and they want more from life, however, than just making good money or having a position of power.

Leaving the comfort of a good paying corporate job, one where you may not control your daily life or how you manage your work even, can truly be hard. People can get stuck there.

So what does it take to go from being comfortable and making a good living to find something more fulfilling in life that offers intrinsic value and brings meaning to one’s career and work?

Well, it’s an enormous topic, so right now I’ll just simply focus on how one can begin to lay the groundwork and consider such a life altering change.

Comfort is a deceptive thing, sometimes. It makes us feel at ease, causes us to relax and let our guard down and maybe even become stagnant. But it also can lead to loss of purpose, boredom and feeling stuck or even lost.

Don’t get me wrong – being comfortable can get many of us close to finding happiness. And we all want some form of happiness in our lives. Psychologically that makes sense. Still does it really lead to fulfillment?

Exploring that idea, and much more, is where a life coach can help, maybe even unlock just what “comfort” means to you, especially when you may have become set in your ways and comfortable in the corporate workplace.

Role of a Life Coach

It needs repeating – life coaches encourage, provide frameworks for goal setting and achievement and guide people through difficult choices and various challenges. Life coaches, though, cannot do the work for you.

If you are considering leaving the corporate world, perhaps to start your own company or join a small family operation, there is plenty to consider.

Reviewing the key questions, the numerous options, the pitfalls or the positive outcomes from one’s choices, in any matter, but especially when making a major career decision, is exactly where a coach can help.

To transition from a corporate world takes courage. It also takes support. There are many excellent examples at places like LinkedIn where people share stories of being helped through such a dramatic change.

Closer to home my spouse was helped during a long transition away from his corporate role. Though the circumstances were different, it still involved working with a coach who tried to help him unlock his vision for the rest of his career and life.

Identifying Goals and Desires

To even consider leaving the corporate world, it is important to start with an honest look at oneself. What are your goals and desires? Do you have a plan for five, 10, 20 years from now? Does it involve where you work or perhaps a career change?

These fundamental exercises – identifying your goals and dreams – are front and center even before you begin focusing on what it might look like to leave the comfort of your corporate career.

Self-reflection is a challenging thing. Life coaches can help facilitate such reflection. Frankly, without the ability to reflect and think about who we are and what it is we want, there is no point in proceeding. I know that sounds harsh, but think it through. Can you really consider a major choice like leaving your job to start an Esty business without thinking about who you are and what you want?

Life coaches, can help you look inside yourself and honestly evaluate what it is you truly want. If you don’t want to reflect, and you just like to act, that action still needs to be based on something. That leads this discussion to a few other points worth thinking about.

Overcoming Fear, Building Confidence

Most likely, you will want to develop a case for your change. One major consideration is the level of fear, maybe even pain, it might cause in the short term.

That itself can be tackled by understanding something else important, your level of personal confidence and confidence in the potential change. There are techniques that coaches use to review one’s confidence, to even build it up, which in turn can reshape one’s fear into something manageable as a normal part of life.

Creating Action Plans, Transitioning & Staying Motivated

Beyond reflecting about leaving a career or changing your corporate role, you need a plan, which includes practical steps, like a timeframe to stay on track and ways to motivate yourself to keep moving ahead.

That’s a lot of stuff, but life coaches help people focus on these things in ways that don’t overwhelm. For example, when it comes to having a plan there are plenty of ways to outline a simple personal action plan that makes sense.

If you think about transition, a coach can help identify the need for skills training, building a network or getting involved in professional or personal groups. When it comes to motivation, the very idea that you have enlisted the aid of a life coach suggests you understand that motivation can come in many forms, both within ourselves and with the help of others.

This process can take time and even be frustrating, but life coaches help each person focus on the “small wins” and realize what continuous improvement looks and feels like. Again, it’s not easy, but if you truly want to move out of the corporate world, it is well worth the effort.

And, in the end, the effort is faced with support from a partner – your life coach.


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