Why I Am Quitting Corporate America To Become A Freelancer

When you work for a corporate business, you are not in the driver’s seat of your career — sometimes not even of your personal life.

Daniela Marin
SYNERGY

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Image by Tumisu on Pixabay

I am not the one to quit or give up easily. Many folks think it’s an admirable quality to be persistent, and they applaud me for it. But let me tell you, too much of anything (even of something good) is never good.

There have been numerous things in my life I should have quit earlier than I did, including working for a corporate business.

My co-workers and executives would surely recognize that I am reliable, loyal, and hard-working. I have been working for the same company since 2015. Well, I did leave for a year when I had to dedicate fully to my internships, except I came back as soon as they had an opening for me — that’s just to show how reliable I am.

Though they only improved my salary by about $2 more (despite now having a Masters level degree) I immediately accepted the offer because:

  1. I was quite miserable at the job I had post-grad school.
  2. It was an entry-level job, so hey, maybe it was fair?
  3. I was honestly happy to be back (that was the plan all along).
  4. I wanted to be part of corporate America!

Two years have passed since I got back to “the company of my dreams”, and I still have the same job title, with the same salary, doing the same d*** thing. Over…and over….and over again. The only difference is that I am considerably more experienced and skilled, and everyone knows it, but that has not changed a thing.

I can perform my two bosses’ jobs without a problem — I am the one to cover for them when they are on PTO/sick. Besides that, I am weeks away from getting being a licensed practitioner. Although my team has been incredibly supportive in my journey of getting licensed, my boss already warned me: According to her, my credentials “will better suit another department”.

I know what you are thinking at this point, and trust me, I also suspected…

There ought to be something wrong with me.

For a while, I blamed myself, so I worked hard to polish my skills, be as involved as I could, and strive to improve my relationships at work. However, my efforts continued to be neglected and uncompensated.

Then, I realized that most (if not all) of my co-workers are unquestionably unhappy too. I was quite bitter and lost all respect for the company. I discerned that they do not care about employee satisfaction. I tried to leave, but I had no luck during the quarantine.

When I overcame my inner drama, I decided that “my dream company” is not responsible for providing a satisfying life for me. I AM. After my “aha” moment, I learned these three lessons:

1) Neither my “persistence,” accomplishments, nor credentials will grant me an improved salary, promotion, or other forms of compensation.

2) Big corporations do not care about you. If you do not have favored alliances with the higher-ups, they will neglect you even if you come up with the brightest idea.

This lesson came to light after realizing that my two supervisors are valued and protected by the executives. They have also been in their position for almost a decade, and they say without hesitation that they are not planning on leaving any time soon — and they won’t. Hence, my possibilities of moving up in positions are almost zero.

3) When you work for a corporate business, you are not in the driver’s seat of your career — sometimes not even of your personal life.

Working for a corporate means that everything revolves around the company and its benefit (their profit). I have had to exempt myself from taking a sick day because they need me at the office — per my supervisor’s suggestion. I have made these sacrifices wholeheartedly because I care about my clients, my co-workers, and the company itself. Yet, although my life revolves around them, to them, I am just a number. I am sure the CEO has no idea of who I am (and does not care to know).

Image by FelixMittermeier on Pixabay

I have one simple new year resolution for 2021

That is to break the nonsense attachment with working for a corporation and work for myself instead. Below, my rationale:

  • I refuse to believe that my income and professional value are contingent on a company’s name and their decisions over me.
  • I refuse to give 40 hours of my week to a signature that will never care about me. A place that will quickly substitute me whenever they must, and that will not compensate me unless it is directly beneficial to them.
  • I refuse to beg people to see me when they have determined whom and what matters to them.
  • I refuse to make my persistent quality a hindrance to my career.
  • I refuse to pause other dreams because I poorly decided to accomplish something noteworthy at this company.

My friends and family may think that I am reckless to leave the corporate job that I have held for the last five years. Maybe at this point, I am, but…

What’s worse than living a life with fear of change? What’s worse than not living a better life due to a fixated dream?

So far, I can tell you that taking the risk cannot be worse than sitting here, living life vicariously through those who dare to take risks. Also, it is utterly self-disrespect to continue to be unappreciated by something I treasure so much. For those reasons and more, I have firmly decided that I am taking a different path towards my future.

If my plan does not work, I will nevertheless be doing myself a favor by leaving something that is not deserving of my time.

BYE BYE, CORPORATE AMERICA!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Daniela Marin| Licensed Therapist|CEO of HealingRight

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