Have you noticed that when people announce that they’re leaving the corporate world, they’re leaving to do one of three things: become a yoga teacher, a life coach, or start their own business. Forgetting for a moment the fact that this is leading to an alarming over supply of yoga teachers and life coaches, and that starting business is harder than the career or job you want to leave behind — the first 2 seasons of this show are about recovering from that! — I know it’s in response to a soul deep impulse for change.
But take it from me, if YOU have a soul deep impulse for change right now, the solution does not have to mean quitting cold Turkey & hitting the yoga mat with thousands of other westerners in Mysore, India. (Or doing Eat Pray Love and bombarding Bali). A more simple solution could come from taking stock of your current job situation and asking yourself some critical questions; and the answer could come from a remote job that fills the gaps your current industry, culture, team or location is not offering. So in episode 58 of Thriving Empire we talk about the antidote to becoming a life coach. No bendy poses necessary. We’ll talk about:
- My first soul deep impulse for change and why it led me back to where I started
- Why shifting to remote work be the antidote to your life coaching plans
- The 6 areas to assess to see if it’s your current situation NOT your career that needs changing
Get the Podcast Study Pack 3 and receive a worksheet, guide or checklist workbook for every episode, so you can make your remote career & transition a reality ASAP.
Thinking of quitting your career?
I’m not making fun of people who quit to become a yoga teacher. life coach or start their own business.
In fact, I was one of them, although I didn’t become a yoga teacher or a life coach, I moved to New Zealand to study aromatherapy! And years later I ‘left again’ to start my own business. And in the last 2 years I’ve come back to remote working.
But I could have solved both life crisis by kickstarting my remote career again.
Back in 2008, I had hit my career goals. I was living in Cate Blanchett’s neighbourhood in Sydney, working as a Strategy Director for a marketing agency on a 6-gig salary, and I felt empty. I looked at people ‘at the top’ who were a GM and the CEO and thought, wow, I don’t want to be either of them. So I left, moved to New Zealand and studied a one year full time diploma in Aromatherapy. If I had known what I know now, I may never have done that, But since I now make my own skincare, taught my Mum to make hers, know how to cure my own head ache and stomach aches, and cured my Dad’s skin cancer, I have no regrets.
But here’s what I know now. There were so many reasons that job wasn’t right for me. But my skill set was extraordinary and had I been working in the right place, surrounded by the right culture and people, I would not have left to run the gauntlet of not knowing which would take me through writing an aromatherapy blog, freelance writing, and eventually being guided back to using my corporate marketing skillset for good business.
Whatever you’re feeling right now — and I bet it’s a soul-deep impulse for change along with more freedom and flexibility — doesn’t mean you have to quit your career and become a yoga teacher. In fact please don’t because there’s not much more freedom and flexibility in that either when you’re teaching your arse off and giving 60% commission to the yoga studio owners.
Consider a remote job instead
But considering a REMOTE role might be the antidote you’re looking for, because you then have a global pool of employers and companies and you’ll be able to find the right fit for you.
Here are the areas of your current role that might be making you feel the urge to quite and become a life coach:
Maybe your industry is just driving you mad! I was sitting in a marketing meeting with high level 40-something executives, a mix of make and female, all with kids at home, discussing how to make mothers feel guitly at back to school time so they could sell cereal bars. My stomach turned and I literally felt sick. That was the last corporate media role I had before quitting to start freelance writing, a move that introduced me eventually to a raw food empire who flew me to Montreal and my first consulting role, where I used my marketing skills for good business. It fused my skill set and business experience with a passion for wellness. It was a revelation.
With a remote role you can use your existing skills and experience to benefit a new industry like I did.
Maybe you’re sick and tired of doing the same old thing, year and after year, and you’re not really learning anything new. John De Martini taught me that some people repeat the same year of experience 20 times, which is what I saw in the media & marketing industry. So, is it time to learn something new? Could a new role steer you into a new field of expertise? Perhaps like I did recently you want to take a course in UX Design, and move into the product or platform side of marketing? There are many remote roles that prioritise on-going training and development for their employees.
Buffer offer a conference budget, and a training and learning stipend for employees. They even ship a Kindle Paperwhite to new employees during their first 45 days.
Basecamp offer $1000/ annual continuing education allowance. So if you feel like your career and skills are going nowhere, have a look around at the companies at the cutting edge of career development. They know that staying ahead of the game means having people ahead of the game, too.
Clevertech also offer a $1000 career development fund.
People or team.
Sometimes it’s just the people around you that send you into a tail spin, making every day feel like ground hog day. In the digital department of an Australian publisher back in 2009, the world was already digital but the company was digging in its heels with newspaper and magazine investment. No one seemed to correlate falling adspend with a changing world. And the next year If you want to be around people who look to the future to shape the present, then look to the companies who are shaping the future of work. Remote and distributed teams have their finger on the pulse of our changing world, which means the people they hire do, too. Get out of the rut with a remote role and a team of people excited about shaping the world we live in.
Maybe you don’t feel fairly compensated beyond your paycheck. And you’re just trading your life away for what feels like no reason at all. You feel overworked and underappreciated. After working at Yahoo! And MSN in London and enjoying dinners at Michelin star restaurants and 3-day trips to Paris, I moved to Australia where I was handed a monthly pay check and that’s it. Well, there were payday bbqs but… really? I could never get used to the downgrade. One company actually told me it made people feel uncomfortable that I took a one hour lunch break. When I asked if they were asking me not to, they said they couldn’t ask me not to. Seriously?
Well, remote companies and pioneering the company benefits system, so forget about dental and pension contribution matching, and feeling guilty about taking a lunch break, they offer those, too, but how about wellness benefits? Sticker mule offer a standing desk and Humanscale freedom chair to all employees, including remote ones! Basecamp offer a $100 monthly massage allowance. Articulate offer $100 to whatever wellness you like!
And then there’s vacation policies, Zapier have an unlimited vacation policy. And some companies have a minimum vacation allowance that you have to take! Because people need time off to rest & recharge, and most sensible companies know that. In the remote world there are no medals for driving yourself into burnout. Fire Engine Red even offer personalised one-on-one financial coaching.
Think about the ways you would feel more appreciated in a role, or things you’d like beyond a paycheck, and consider that when doing your remote career search.
Maybe you’re just bored of your location and want to live and work somewhere different. I love to live and work in different cultures. I used to have to change job to move country. When I first started living & working in Australia I had to get business visas, and now, if I wanted to live there again, I’d just move over for 3 months and get my fix. Then maybe head to Thailand, Bali etc. It’s awesome!
With remote, you can stop going to the office, you can work from home, or you can work in another location.
Here’s what Github, a remote-first blended company say you should work wherever you’re happiest, and have to say about this on their careers page:
“GitHub employees live all over the world, and we love helping people work in the places they’re happiest. If you’re in one of these states or countries, you can work remotely with us.”
Sticker Mule has a team across 17 countries and 11 US states, with most positions able to work from wherever. Automattic offer a two or 3 month sabbatical every five years! So if you have itchy feet and need new surroundings, remote-first or remote-friendly companies are the key!
If you’re sick of the kind of culture where you have to brown nose or ‘be seen’ to get ahead, then welcome to a whole new world of opportunity in the remote world, where you’re rewarded for the quality of your output over anything else.
But also where you feel safe, important and valued. And this element of culture is taken so seriously by future focused teams because:
A Harvard Study conducted across 200 companies over 10 years revealed that there was an average 765% increase in net income if they have a good culture”
— from Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
If you’re looking for an inclusive culture where diversity is celebrated and where discrimation is outlawed then check out episode 55 where I talk about why this is so important.
In one Australian role I was repeatedly called a ‘wog’ for my portuguese/ french heritage. Which just didn’t feel good. In another role I was very publicly bullied by a senior figure, and my direct manager didn’t nothing to rock the boat because she was on the CEO track. That just isn’t happening in remote roles, so if you’re at the but end of bullying, harassment, or any kind of discrimation, and you don’t feel safe, important or valued, then a forward thinking remote role might be for you. If you want to work for a culture that values each and every individual, there are plenty of them:
“We’re not looking for seat fillers. We want your big beautiful brain to be fully engaged. We’re looking for added value.”
Cultural values like ‘open and honest communication’ are not just bylines on the career page, because for remote companies if they don’t live by it, they can’t grow and scale. When remote companies list their values, they really mean them.
Culture is closely connected to our primitive drive for survival. It’s this level of empathy that builds connection amongst your remote or distributed team. Founders who realise that take the time to ask and answer: How are we connecting and re-affirming connection? If you don’t feel like your current company is asking that question, join a remote team that is.
So Think about what is driving your soul-deep impulse for change right now:
- The industry you’re in
- The skills you’re using or what to learn
- Your team and the people who surround you
- The benefits you’re currently being offered, and how you want to be appreciated
- Your location & where you’d like to be instead
- And the culture of your company
… and perhaps instead of becoming a life coach, a yoga teacher or starting your own business, you could consider exploring remote opportunities instead. It may well be that like me, you LOVE what you do, but need to start doing it a little differently, including a change of lifestyle, industry and people.
If you have the podcast pack, head over to worksheet 6 where I guide you through some critical thinking in each of these areas to make sure you’re covering all basis before you make a drastic life change! If you don’t have the worksheet yet don’t worry you can grab a copy here.
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