How to Quit Corporate Life: 10 People Who Left the 9-5

How to Quit Corporate Life: 10 People Who Left the 9-5

Jan 22, 2021

A Roundup of Successes- Others' Journeys Escaping 9-5

As I've been working to build my life outside of corporate, I have met some amazing people along the way. Many who have either escaped the 9-5 or are actively working on it! Their stories are diverse, and their learnings can help so many of us on the path to professional freedom, I decided I needed to put a whole bunch of them into a round-up post for you all! (for those of you non-blogging types: a round-up is exactly how it sounds, bringing people's stories/resources/tips/advice all into one article).

Disclosure: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share, but it does not change your price.

There are many ways we can end up on the path to professional freedom. For me it started with a layoff and I share the details, including my mindset shift, here. And reading the 4-Hour Workweek, my validation and inspiration to stay out of corporate, something I already knew I wanted to do. You’ll see some common themes as you meet more people who left corporate life, but every story has a something unique to the owner of it.

Preparing to Escape the 9-5: Have a Plan

In this article on From Mamma With Love about quitting the 9-5 and still supporting the family bank account, Kallie Myer’s writing isn’t just for mammas! We can all get ideas on succeeding with a self-sufficient (and non-corporate) lifestyle. Her site includes ideas to get your mind in the zone in her article listing out some options.

Marie Tehillah, co-founder of Ladies Making Money, also responded to my call-out online for success stories. She shares not only “why” one should quit traditional employment but provides information on “how” to do it. Men- this is for you too! Inspiration, resources, and motivation are right here.

James of Ditching the Day Job gives some insight into the Tim Ferriss 4 Hour Workweek book sharing some of the concepts. His “How to Escape the 9-5 Trap” shares some practical steps you can begin processing and executing.

The Digital Nomad Mom is Danielle Wolter and her blog’s purpose is clearly defined in the title and includes what you need to do to plan your escape. This article specifically outlines 10 things to do before you quit. If you have the chance, preparation is key.

A Proven Path: Build your Business While Working 9-5

Adrian Gentilcore created Adrian’s Crazy Life Her belief: even people who aren’t looking to retire early like she was need a side-hustle. A way out. Because at some point you could be laid off or just have that a-ha moment of being “done with corporate life.”

In her post about leaving the 9-5, Nandita Sikka, creator of Nandys Soul Sunshine blog, addresses the overwhelm that can come with building your business while still employed. Finance is emphasized (and you can read my post Budget Matters for more on this) along with other things to plan and organize with the end result goal being lowering the stress of working on getting a business up and running online.

That Millennial Girl, Faradawina Jamaluddin, shares her 2-year strategy that got her to professional freedom. She is definitely not 50 but embraced the FreeAt50 concept asap in her career. Sitting down to plan her escape through building a side-hustle into a business was a priority for her.

Sometimes a Hobby or a Passion Gets You There

Inspired by her love of food, driven by her support of local farmers and artisans, Michelle Goth created her online persona: the Blackberry Babe. It was definitely a hobby, but her a-ha moment wasn’t so much a moment as a journey to realization that this was her future to focus on. Read about it here.

For Robyn Jones, moving online was her calling. She shared with me that it wasn’t her intention for her blog to be a “business” but once she built Above Rubies or Pearls, she was compelled. Robyn shares her motivation and her move here.

For Kayla Schilthuis-Ihrig, the nomadic life called her at a young age. She knew, quickly, that a desk job wasn’t going to be her thing. Antsy to see the world and be free to be creative, she began her blog and tells all about “things no one tells you” in this post based on her experience.

Kayla also has a post where you can see even more success stories of getting out of the 9-5. She and I are decades apart in our age and backgrounds, but I’m excited she is in my life now and we can collaborate because what we do share: the mission to help others get out of the 9-5 life and use their skills to move forward with professional freedom!

Stories, Stories, and More Stories About Breaking the 9-5 Tradition

All of these stories (and you can find many more by searching online and will see more on both my blog and my Facebook page) show that breaking the tradition of 9-5 can be done. And it is OK to do. I break that down in my Break Tradition post and give you some of my "why" in this one.

Life is short in the scheme of things. Why be unhappy? I had a boss that once said in a staff meeting: “We will spend more time with each other than with people we love” and that always stayed in the back of my mind. FreeAt50 and the idea behind all the stories and links I’ve shared in this post: why?

Want more info on blogging or doing more online? Check out my post to get you started! Whether it is a side-hustle or a hobby, there are so many benefits.

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