There is a trend with my coaching clients right now.

They are often women in their late 20’s early 30’s. They have worked for a business for a few years and climbed the ranks – quickly. Something is missing. They are feeling unfulfilled.

They want to explore setting up their own thing – even if they have no idea what that thing may be. One thing is for sure – they want to escape the corporate role and responsibilities and dream of creating a job or career that is immediately fulfilling.

So what’s the problem with corporate? How come high performers and emerging leaders are looking to escape this way of working life and swap it for potential uncertainty. Perhaps it is the fact we have emerged from the cocoon of the Global Financial Crisis and like butterflies are spreading our wings. Maybe we are sick of working for people and want to work for some other reason. Social, environmental or totally self fulfilling reasons!

Changing places

We know with all the GenY/GenZ/Baby Boomer research that the attitudes of different generations have changed and people are questioning their levels of work place happiness more often. They question what their employer can offer them and weigh up the ‘and what’s in it for me’ component. A lot of the time people are getting bored of what they ‘do’ and want to create a career around things that they love outside of work. Sounds perfect but can it be a reality?

Angela gave up her high flying position in Marketing to pursue an online retail store – she changed the way she thought about her day job and started to see it as a vehicle to secure her income that she would be banking for when she left her corporate role. 2 years on the store is doing well and she also offers her services as and when she needs to in a freelance Marketing capacity to small business. She gets much more satisfaction from this than working in a major corporate.

Operation Get me out of Here!

So you find yourself daydreaming about not being at work and getting interested in things not necessarily associated with your day job. This is a good start! You can try and uncover what really interests you and what you think you might like to pursue. The question of ‘if money were no option’ is usually a good starting point here before you then start to put the filters of judgment and self-doubt in. The truth is you need to invest in research. Not money kind of investment. Time. Ask questions, read more, look at what other businesses are doing (or not doing?) and generally hone in on areas that interest you and play to your strengths. Something may spark an interest that you had not previously considered.

Emma always knew she was a ‘structured’ kind of employee. She was the girl who took notes in meetings and her memory recall of client situations was ridiculously good. She wanted to get out of her day job as she was not challenged any more, despite being paid well and having a great relationships across the executive management team. She started to look outside of her industry and what she could do. This gave her the mental space to really look for something new, something different. She decided to play to her strengths in the short term and when she got wind of a Project Role she jumped at the chance to join this business. Now she is working in a contract position that requires an implementation of a new process, multiple layers of complexity and a deadline. Challenged daily and in a totally new space she is carving out her new career in Project Management.

Is the grass greener?

So it may look like excitement and fizz when you first get into your own show but does it work? Do you find yourself creeping back into a suit and corporate down the track? I think the solution here is to be flexible. Sometimes you may need to have a bridge that enables you to start up your own thing. It really is up to you now – you ‘re the boss!


Sally-Anne Blanshard is the founder and Director of Nourish Coaching and helps people reinvent their careers, businesses and life through structured coaching programs. She has been featured on TV, Radio and is often quoted in newspapers and magazines.

Nourish Coaching – Feed your Career Cravings – Satisfy Life’s Appetite. 0433 162244