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? Well, the corporate soldier realized for what a huge army armed with big machine guns she is serving and how small & meaningless the impact of her daily service actually is.
We know that meteoroid hits don’t happen often, so this sudden new perspective on her work was very uncomfortable, slightly shocking and created lots of new thoughts. How can I provide more impact? How can I give back? I want to feel more useful and fulfilled in what I do.
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. Oh, and of course I didn’t dare to talk to my boss or colleagues. I didn’t expect much understanding there.
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.