Okay, so once the “Why did I decide to leave my corporate job” part was clear, I started to get questions that can best be described as “how did it happen”?
Once upon a time, in July 2018 a meteoroid hits a girl! It has splashed all over her brain, spreading towards all other body parts. What happened? The meteoroid created lots lots of new thoughts. How can I provide more impact? How can I give back?
Yes! Before Alice went to Wonderland, she needed to fall. That hole was 3D: deep, dark and dull. I stayed there just over a month, when gradually a small beam of light started to shine.
I remembered a story of a fellow traveller when I was doing my solo backpacking trip in South East Asia, right before joining Maersk. I met a German guy who was 32 at the time. Extremely successful career, smart and generally just a nice structured guy from Deutschland. But he quitted his job and bought a one-way ticket to travel around the world. When I heard his story I was like; “Well, cool that you are traveling, but sorry to hear about your career… I am actually excited to join my new job at Maersk in a few weeks.” Somewhere deep down I thought “I am only 27 and he is 32 so this can also happen to me”.
Well, I didn’t need five years and the millennial crisis struck me too, in my late 20’s. I thought I should also probably sell my stocks, rent out my apartment and buy a one-way ticket. Bon voyage! See you later.
I still don’t know why, but I just didn’t feel like doing this. I love traveling, I love backpacking and am an even bigger fan of adventures. Not this time though. Perhaps because I have already done lots of backpacking before, maybe because.. Actually, I really don’t know why, but this time I felt like doing something good for others instead of just enjoying life for myself.
When I was a teenager living in Lithuania, I somehow had a dream to go to Africa and experience how people live on that side of the planet. Most likely triggered by me seeing something cool in a movie or TV serie in my childhood. I remembered that dream and thought “Voila. That’s a way better idea than just travelling!”
“Voila. That’s a way better idea than just travelling!”Me on realising my next step
I like dreaming, but avidly prefer making them a reality. Who doesn’t, right? So that teenage year dream became a pretty big wish. I started to visualize myself going to Africa, living in a local community and working with people to help the ones who can benefit from my experience. This felt so meaningful, rewarding and impactful. So not like working in a corporate soldier army.
Usually I am quite bold and fast in my decision making. This time however I hesitated for a while to make that final step towards going after my dream. Yes, I had lots of fears and doubts. Yes, I needed some encouragement, help and an overall credible confirmation that I was not going insane. I talked to my boyfriend and a few close friends. They supported the idea. I didn’t dare to talk to my parents, which I regret in hindsight. I thought my mum would start panicking. You know, mums are generally quite sensitive and worrying creatures.
Slowly I was getting more and more comfortable with the idea of quitting my corporate career, but there was still a missing piece of the puzzle. The final confirmation came from someone whom I trust. Someone with an outside perspective and without a close private relationship.
My mum always said I was born under a lucky star. And I guess to a certain extend she is right. I am in the lucky position to have an amazing coach and guess what? He is an outsider, yet he knows my employer well, I trust him a lot. He is an experienced and credible guy and even though we like each other, we don’t have too close of a relationship. I told him my dream and guess what he said? Wow, it’s early for your age to start asking these existential types of questions, but I am proud of you. I think it is such a great idea for you to leave the corporate and do something good for others. Click here to read why I think it’s a must for everyone to have a coach.
Oh boy, that day was bright! That day I started to go uphill. That day the stubborn girl started to turn her wish into concrete actions. I went on google, and… you can read my full story on how I found my volunteering project in this blog post.