What Girls can teach you about your soul-crushing corporate job

Does your in-house job leave you feeling a little...stuck?

Does your in-house job leave you feeling a little … stuck?

Do you feel stuck in your corporate job?

Yes, you’re happy to even have a job. Your paycheck arrives like clockwork. You have benefits. Heck, you may even have a creative job like marketing communications, design or SEO writing.

Yet, you feel like your corporate job is sucking away at your soul.

You dream of casting off the chains, hanging out your freelance writing shingle and being your own boss. Picking your own clients. Writing about what you feel passionate about – not creating spec sheets for industrial machinery (or whatever your current job has you doing.)

In a recent episode of Girls, Hannah’s new job is writing advertorials for GQ magazine. She starts out feeling excited – she’s got some great ideas, she makes a new friend and she discovers the joy of free snacks.

Then, reality kicks in. Hannah realizes her coworkers are published writers – yet, they haven’t pursued their writing for a long time. They let their dreams die while enjoying the benefits a corporate job brings.  After an initial freak-out, Hannah vows that will never happen to her.

If you’ve been feeling stuck, consider this Girls episode your wake-up call.

You can have it all – a full-time gig and a creative business. You just have to want it bad enough. Maybe you only have an hour a day to work on your side gig. Maybe you spend your lunch hours working on creative projects. But you can do it.

Here’s how to make it happen:

– Assess your landscape. What do you need to help your dream take shape? $10K in the bank? Pay off your debts? Refine your copywriting skills? Make a list of what you’ll need to make it happen. Don’t censor yourself or think, “There is no way in hell I can do this.” Quiet that voice. You CAN do it.

Set SMART goals. This isn’t a sprint. It’s a baby-step process. Figure out your top three goals and break down the individual tasks. It may take you months to accomplish one goal. That’s OK.

– Stay disciplined. Set aside time to work your butt off. If you’re too tired after work, get up an hour early and work on your dreams before work. Find chunks of time during your day. A little bit of progress is better than none at all. Do NOT let “I don’t have time” creep into your vocabulary.

– Allow yourself some slack-off time. You can’t work like a fiend 24/7. Take at least one day off a week and do something fun. Burnout and overwhelm will slow you down.

– Create a cheering section. There will be days you’ll think you’ll never escape from your real job. Life will test you and cause you to question your goals and progress. Your cheering section will remind you how far you’ve come and keep your eye on the prize

– Finally, celebrate your successes. Did you launch your new website? Publish an article? Land a new client? Take time out to celebrate. It may take you a couple years to pull away from your “real job,” but you have a plan. You’ve made progress.  And that’s a huge success.

What about you? Did you escape from your corporate job? Are you planning to? Share your story in the comments below.

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Photo credit:   | Dreamstime.com

6 replies
  1. Shelley says:

    Well, with the arrival of kids, my escape from my corporate job came well before I imagined…And it has been many moons and diaper changes since I have had the motivation and time to carve out as you have said above a little time here and there to work toward my dreams…But as you have stated, goal setting and determination are what keep me focused on acheiving my dreams…Thank you for crystalizing that inspiration can come from many sources in the course of a persons day…

    WAHM Shelley… :)

    • Heather Lloyd-Martin says:

      Hi WAHM Shelley! :)

      It sounds like you’ve been busy with other important things. Sometimes, “carving out some time” means 30 minutes twice a month. Or taking time to remember what your dreams actually are.

      What’s the biggest goal that you’re trying to reach right now?

  2. Alexandra Nicola says:

    I have a very short experience with a corporate job. But I have always had busy life. Beside my main activity (school, job) there have always been secondary projects (volunteering, organizing events, applying for writing contents). I do admit it is hard to make them all happen, in some cases I gave up because I could not met the deadlines. None the less, the feeling it gives you when you accomplish a goals in a field you love is totally different.

    It takes lots of juggling skills to keep everything in check but it makes me happier than anything else.


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