When I decided to leave my corporate job years ago, I was terrified. I liked the steady paycheck, the predictable routine, my benefits package, and my coworkers. Jumping ship into the great unknown was not easy for me, which is probably why it took me a couple of decades to do it. But, with a lot of hard work, I landed on my feet and, since then, I’ve never looked back.
What prompted me to leave that old desk in the first place was what my career at the time did not provide work that I was truly passionate about. And, for a while, not knowing what the alternatives to a corporate job were held me back from taking a good look at what my passions might be. Some soul-searching, and an article much like this one, helped me figure that out and, ultimately, take the leap that got me to where I am today.
Good Alternatives to Bad Corporate Jobs
As was the case with me, your corporate job doesn’t have to be a bad one for you to want a better, more fulfilling career. It may just be a bad fit for you, particularly if you’ve got any hint of an entrepreneurial spirit in you. Personally, I wasn’t sure that I was cut out to break off on my own. I knew I wanted a career change, but doubted that I could handle the risk that comes with being your own boss. After all, none of what most people like about their corporate gigs—like having a good, steady income—is guaranteed. At least, that’s what I thought. It turns out that nothing is a sure thing, including that you won’t be downsized from your company someday. And, the only way to really mitigate that uncertainty, is to, well, be your own boss.
If I’ve got your mind whirling on where to go once you leap off the corporate merry-go-round, never fear. I’ve also got several good alternatives for you to consider, right here:
Become a consultant.
If the issue is not so much that you don’t like your industry, but simply want to run your own show, consider becoming a consultant. With training and experience already behind you, half the work of becoming the go-to field expert is already done. And, this option is available whether your former gig was as a corporate attorney or an executive assistant. Almost every company seeks outside assistance at some point to overcome roadblocks or navigate growth. So, if you’ve been there and done that, you could be the one they’re looking for.. And, your startup costs will be minimal compared to building a full-blown business from scratch. Of course, you’ll still have to grow a client base in order to build revenue, and that can take time and a lot of marketing cash. But, as long as you have patience, and lack a non-compete agreement, you can ditch your old job and start consulting soon after.
Become a freelancer.
Whether you want to stay in the same industry or not, you likely have skills acquired both on-the-job and off that others will want to pay for given the chance. As a freelancer, you can take full advantage of these opportunities and, possibly, make a good living. In fact, don’t be surprised if some of your best, and least utilized, talents fetch some of the highest fees in the marketplace. A love of drawing, for example, could shift you into a graphics design career. Or, speaking two or more languages can put you on the path to providing translation services. Obviously, to reap the full financial benefits of freelancing, you may need to research what skills sell and which ones don’t, then, direct your efforts accordingly. You can only charge what the market in your area will bear, too. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to support you. Still, you won’t know until you try. So, you might want to try it on the side first if you can—before quitting your corporate job.
Build a company.
It can be a challenge to build a company from the ground up, but it may also be too hard to pass up when you see a niche that needs to be filled. Not everyone can spot an opportunity that’s lying in wait. And, once you do, it’s hard to ignore—especially if it’s in an industry you’re particularly passionate about and you’ve got a high tolerance for risk. Remember, most new businesses go belly up within a few years. So, you’ll need nerves of steel in addition to a big injection of capital. You might also need a good backup plan. But, because you’ll probably have to handle every aspect of your business in the beginning, if it fails not all will necessarily be lost. After all, you will have expanded your skill set considerably by starting a company, no matter how it finishes. And, you can take those skills to your next corporate gig—one that you’ll, ideally, enjoy more than the last.
Buy a franchise.
The benefit of buying a franchise is that you can enter into an industry of your choosing with everything already in place to get you set up and running. And, when you don’t have to worry about whether your operating model or your brand awareness campaign are good enough to produce potentially great results, you can focus on the work right out of the gate. Should things still be or get tough, as they invariably do, you won’t be left alone to power through, either. The best franchises provide top-notch support from your fellow franchisees, your personal mentor, and, sometimes, your comrades in the corporate office. But, make no mistake, since most franchises are independently owned and operated businesses, you will still be the boss. That means you’ll still have to work hard. But, if you can find a franchise opportunity that speaks to your passion, you can also have fun while doing it.
Become a real estate investor.
With so many advantages to becoming a real estate investor, I always recommend it to the budding entrepreneur—even if they’ve never considered it before. There is very little overhead, a lot of scheduling flexibility, and how much money you can make is really in your hands. And, when market fluctuations succeed at toppling other businesses, you can shift your buying or selling strategy so that you always stay afloat. The work you do has the potential to benefit others, too, by creating jobs, raising property values, and transitioning bad neighborhoods into good ones. In fact, you’ve probably already seen the positive impact that real estate investing has had in your community. That has the potential to not only raise your spirits, but the returns on your future investments as well.
Depending on your background, skill set, and goals for the future, any one of these options can help to fulfill your passions—whatever they may be. But two of them, for me, hit all the right notes. And, after doing some more digging, I discovered an opportunity that included them both. Soon after I took it, I also found I could actually have it all.
Get a Great Career, Not Just Another Job
My choice, becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, allowed me to marry my passion for real estate to a franchise model with an impressive track record, a strong national brand, and a reputation for support. So, I could learn how to invest in real estate, gain access to all the tools I needed to do it well, and get expert advice whenever I faltered or wanted to grow. In short, joining the team whose franchisees have bought more than 100,000 houses nationwide since 1996 positioned me to have a great career as an entrepreneur, not just another job. Of course, I brought the hard work, grit and stamina that I honed back at my old corporate stomping grounds with me. But, buying, renovating, and selling houses has certainly never been a grind.
If you’ve got a passion for real estate and want to be your own boss, there are few alternatives that outmatch the benefits of becoming a HomeVestors® franchisee. Contact HomeVestors to find out more today!
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.