Work For Yourself – Expat Yourself from Corporate Life

I am now officially retired from the corporate rat race.
Two months ago, I wrote how I was laid off. As of just Friday, April 30th, I am officially out of work.
How cool is that?

Big Life Changes Explained
A couple days ago, I mentioned big life changes. I even wrote it borderline mysterious: “Even bigger life changes…stay tuned”
Well, time to fess up. Yes, I’m out of work. But the bigger life change is: I’m not looking for work.

I (with my wife’s support) will no longer work for anyone else. I’m freelance. I’m working for myself, on my own terms, according to my own demand. I’m an expat from corporate life.

Did I Make the Right Choice?
You bet your ass.
Last Friday, April 30th, after surrendering the laptop, blackberry and all other stuff that pseudo-defined me as a corporate manager, I walked up to the receptionist. “Take care,” I said as I handed her my access badge.
She said: “Okay, well have a good weekend and a good rest of the life!
Thanks, I will.
I never want to be in that environment again. And if I did end up doing the cubicle thing again, I know I would be completely miserable. What kept me somewhat content in this past job was working with people whom today I can call friends. Good guys, miserable lifestyle. (And I’m quite certain those guys would agree with me)

My Last Day
I left corporate life around lunch time. That left me several hours of the day to fully absorb the start of a new me, a new life.
I got home, stripped off my shirt, tie and slacks, got into much more comfortable clothes. I figured that wasn’t “transition” enough, so I decided to ceremoniously ditch my black dress shoes for good.
My 4 year old daughter and I walked to our park, across the street from us. On our way to the park, we left my dress shoes near the recyclables containers on the street. That’s where people leave behind old clothes for other folks with more need to pick them up. My dress shoes will no doubt be more enjoyed by anybody other than me.

At the park, my daughter and I had a long talk about how, from now on, I will be more available.
I’ll be more available for playing, more available for helping her, more available to pick her up for school, and so on.
We’re both pretty happy about this.

No Work DOES NOT Mean No Income
I hope no one believes I’m retired, as in never working again. While that would be nice, it’s just not doable. Daddy and family need income. It’s just not going to come from a place where I need an access badge.

How will I help contribute to the family income? I have already been doing piecemeal work for a publisher for …wow, has it been 10 years already? For 10 years now, I accept editing and authoring work on demand. How is this different from regular work? Well, for starters, I’ve never actually met my publisher face to face. It’s great, rewarding work and I do it when it feels right.

Breadwinner/Homemaker Role Reversal
My wife, on the other hand, has chosen the opposite direction – she’s going from full-time homemaker to full-time employee. After four+ years at home, raising now 2 kids, this makes her happy. I’m guessing a lot of stay-at-home moms can understand.

Between some online work and my wife’s future income, we believe we can maintain our standard of living, but both enjoy a much happier living, too.

Location Independent
Becoming location independent is an up and coming lifestyle and one that I think will catch on more. Hell, technology nowadays practically allows you to work wherever and whenever you want.
If you’re guessing I’ll be writing more about this as time goes on, you’re right.

If you’ve ever wanted to become location independent, let me know. I’d like to know what stirs you. I look forward to helping you in any way I can.

What are my next steps? Well, I should update my LinkedIn page and this site’s “About Me” page for starters.

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An American who likes to move around. I now live on the eastern Canadian seaboard. My job? A stay-at-home dad for two cute but demanding bosses. My wife? Also cute; not so demanding. My wife and I both love travel. We met in South Korea, travelled across Australia, India, Europe and beyond. We lived in Czech Republic for four years. Many stories to tell and experience to share. If you let me, I will help you travel as we do. Enjoy.

4 thoughts on “Work For Yourself – Expat Yourself from Corporate Life”

  1. 12 years ago I left the cubicle lifestyle and moved to Turkey. Now I am a freelance writer and editor and have my own company dealing with specialized trips in Istanbul. I have never regretted a minute of it. I work around my son’s school hours and make my own schedule. I too cannot imagine going back to a 9-5 office gig.

    1. Kathy, How’s it going? How’s shopping? Thank you so much for chiming in on this – it’s great to hear some confirmation from fellow non-9-to-5’ers. 😉

  2. Jeff,

    My family and I are planning on buying a sailboat and seeing where the wind takes us as soon as I can expat myself from my cubicle!
    We’re working on some web based projects now and hope to go mobile in the next few years.
    We are also talking about becoming expats as well. Thanks for the information and motivation toy provide.

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