When and How to Quit Your Corporate Job

Recording this episode from the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia, which is surreally different from my life in corporate America just a few years ago. If something is tugging at you for an exit strategy yourself, tune in to this episode to learn when you should quit your job and what should be done today. And more importantly, the 5 steps for exactly how to quit and prepare for your freedom-based life afterwards!

From my corporate life to entrepreneurial freedom – this is how I coach my clients on quitting their job. We’ll be chatting how to align it with personal goals and outlining a five-step plan, including setting a quit date and preparing to resign.

Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…

Hello, my loves, welcome back to the Wanderlover podcast. I am recording this episode from our beautiful luxury beach front villa in Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, I am going to have to leave this little piece of paradise this weekend, and we are going to be flying out of the country to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a few days and then we’ll be reentering Indonesia and heading to another island. We are not done with the tropics just yet.

We are just getting started, but I am really sad to be leaving Mentawai because it has been such a fun time right on the beach, surfing every day with the best local community and amazing food, like food prepared by a chef, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. And honestly, I’ve been so, so spoiled. It’s been a really, really amazing time. The fact that I am saying this and recording this episode like this is my career. I have built this business where I’m able to last minute change of plans, leave this island, go to another island and not know what the future holds, where we’re gonna travel because the world is my oyster.

I can work from anywhere, I can go anywhere I want and design my life and my days like this. It is surreal and that is why this episode is going to be all about when and how to quit your corporate job because this lifestyle to me at one point was just a pipe dream. When I was working in my corporate job in finance in New York City, I could only dream about something like this. I had 15 vacation days a year that I would maximize combining my holidays and weekends and long weekends, but it just still wasn’t enough.

So I want to walk through what got me from there to here and if you are thinking about doing the same. I want to teach you in this episode When And How to Quit Your Corporate Job. I’m going to start with a few questions to ask yourself. 

Do You Want To Quit?

Do you ultimately not align with the corporate lifestyle or are you really happy with the stability? Are you happy with having a steady paycheck? Are you happy with working in the environment and knowing exactly what your deliverables are, what your expectations and responsibilities are?

Are you happy with being able to go home and not have to hopefully work at home and have time off after work and on weekends? Or is there something about the lifestyle that you just completely want to move away from? Because the reality is there is a lot of benefits to working for someone else and for a corporation, you need to ask yourself, do you want to quit? And if you are listening to this podcast, if you resonate with my lifestyle, I’m going to assume that at least a part of you wants to quit.

But also know that If you don’t. That is completely okay. And you know this entrepreneurial full-time travel lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but I have a feeling if you’re tuning in or if you found me in some way, shape, or form – a part of you is really interested in a freedom-based life. 

Are You Unhappy In Your Current Role?

The next question I have is, are you unhappy in your current role? And would you be happier as an entrepreneur or would you be happier in a different company or in a different role? Do you just want to switch jobs because that is also something that is within your control that you can do? Or do you want a remote job? There are other alternatives to explore and depending on your personality, your 5, 10, 15 year goals, there are different choices that you can make that are best aligned with what you want to do. 

When Do You Want To Quit?

And then my last question for you is maybe even if you didn’t want to quit right now or in the next few years, would you want to quit in five, 10 years time? An online business gives you the opportunity to make that exit down the line. Let’s say eventually you wanna start a family and you want more time for your kids and your family and online business would give you that freedom to have an exit strategy instead of putting all your eggs in one basket and focusing all of your time and energy on one career path that you know, I see them as golden handcuffs because every year you’re working for that promotion, you’re working for that salary increase.

And I’ve talked to so many people and they’re like, I’ve invested so much time into this, this is all I’ve got. How can I stop going? And the earlier you start setting yourself up to be able to choose a different path in the future, the better off you will be in the future. Personally for me, from the beginning I knew I wanted more freedom. I wanted to work for myself. And my personality by nature is just very, very rebellious. I don’t deal well with authority. I had a really hard time listening to my parents growing up to professors. And the nature of my being is doubt, like doubting and being skeptical of people who thought that they could manage me in a certain way and in a corporate environment.

You could just imagine that that didn’t align with who I was. I almost like looked down on my higher ups because deep down I knew I didn’t want to be where they were in five to 10 years time. So naturally I didn’t admire them for making the life choices that they had made. Of course for them it worked out really well. Like many of them were happy, they had an amazing family, an amazing stable life. But because I didn’t admire them and I didn’t wanna be them, I couldn’t get myself to show up and be capable of doing all the work that was assigned to me and listen to them. Like I just had this inner like, I don’t even wanna do this.

And so that was up to me, right? I was being a horrible employee. And so it was up to me to make the choices that would allow me to leave the corporate setting. And maybe your situation is different. Maybe you aren’t rebellious but you don’t align with the corporate lifestyle. Maybe you want more vacation days, maybe you want to be in control of all of your time instead of just after work. And on weekends, maybe you hate going to work before the sun rises and then leaving after the sunset. Maybe you just wanna spend more time with your family and whatever the reason, maybe ask yourself, would you be happy on your current path?

Would you be fulfilled in five to 10 years time in a corporate role? You probably have some kind of trajectory laid out for you, whether that is a promotion, whether it is a dead end job, but in your current reality and on your current path, if you were to continue on it for five to 10 years time, would you be happy? And there should be a clear yes or no answer. If the answer is no, like it was for me, like I knew because in my job I would admire entrepreneurs. I would so drawn to full-time travelers to digital nomads, to people having full control of their time, their location, like where they were able to be based and their money, where in the world they could spend their money and how they were generating that income, not reliant on one salary or one business or one corporation, right?

I was so drawn to that and I knew that if I stayed on my current path, I was not gonna get to where I wanted to be. So I needed to make changes. And if you are ready to make changes. I am going to be sharing with you how to quit your corporate job because I go over this with my clients. I recently helped one of my private coaching clients map out her exit strategy, and I’m really excited to do this with you as well. 

5 Steps To Quit Your Corporate Job

So if you want to quit your corporate job. This is going to depend on your risk tolerance, how much you have in savings, whether or not you even have a savings, what your monthly expenses are and your exit strategy as in what opportunities there are for you to generate that income, to offset your expenses and to be living an ideal life or your dream life. I’m going to go over five steps, my recommended path for entrepreneurs to quit their jobs. 

1 – Set A Quit Date

And number one being set a quit date. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be I am so unhappy I need to quit today. It can be I am really unhappy and I’m going to quit in a future date so I can set myself up to have the highest chance of success in entrepreneurship. I don’t want to be making decisions based on emotion or fear. I want to take a very calculated risk. And this is what I did. As soon as I entered my corporate job, I knew I wanted an exit strategy. So I set a quit date one and a half years out in the future so that I could prepare myself. And what this did was not only did it incentivize and motivate me to quit at that date, I knew I needed to get my ducks in a row.

I knew I had to start saving money to have a safety net. And I also knew I needed to take different actions, build my business outside of work, generate income online, learn from entrepreneurs. It really put everything in motion. And the other amazing thing that setting a quit date did for me was that I no longer dreaded going to work as much because I knew that there was an end in sight and I knew that all the money I was getting from my salary I was working for so that I could reinvest into my business. And it was a really great position to be in because you had that steady stream of income funding your other business and letting you know that hey, the more you work on this, your life will change.

You are taking inspired actions in the right direction, which means in that year and a half so much is going to happen to make that quit date happen. And of course, if you’ve followed along my story, you will know that I quit on July 11th, 2017 and I haven’t looked back since. For you, this may be different because depending on what your monthly expenses are, how much you want to have in savings, how much you want to be making per month, it’s all going to look different depending on whether or not you have a mortgage, whether you’re in a high cost of living area, so many different factors, but you are able to control when you want to quit.

It can be three years down the line, it can be five years down the line, it can be next month. If you wanted to, right? But having a date will put into perspective what needs to be done. 

2 – Try Anything And Everything

Taking different actions will produce different results. So when I was still at my corporate job, I was networking with so many entrepreneurs. I was DMing so many brands to work with. I was investing in mentors in courses. I started many different businesses outside of my nine to five. And the great thing is you have the stability and you can use the salary to be exploring different avenues and seeing what sticks. In the Wanderlover Business Academy, we teach you how to start your online coaching, content creation or service-based business. This is what I’ve found to be the most sustainable, the most aligned and the most scalable. So if that is something you want to learn how to build for yourself, check out the Wanderlover Business Academy – doors are currently open.

Finding mentors and finding people who are where you want to be and learning for them is so key because it shortcuts your route to success. You are following a pre-tested model and you don’t have to figure it out on your own or feel like you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall or feeling like you’re constantly getting shiny object syndrome because you’re not seeing results immediately.

And then you’re jumping to the next best thing in this space. You want to be taking very decisive but calculated risks. You want to make sure everything you are investing your time and energy into will ultimately align with your long-term goals. So don’t start any location-based businesses if you want to be location independent. Don’t follow people who are not traveling full-time if you want to eventually travel full-time. If you eventually want to start a family, don’t start a business that will take up all of your time and not allow you to spend time with your family, things like that. So make sure the new projects you are pursuing align with what you have set out for yourself. 

3 – Generate Income

I go through this in the Business Academy and with my private clients. When you make that first sale, it is revolutionary for your life because you realize I don’t have to rely on a corporate salary. I am fully capable of building a business from scratch and making money from it and having multiple streams of income that’s not dictated by a company.

My salary and my worth and my intrinsic value is not dictated by a job offer that someone gives me. I’m able to fully control the money that I bring in. And miraculously, it seemingly happens from scratch because you’re working on your website, your offers, social media outside of work. And so when it all fits together and it clicks and you make your first sale or get your first client or customer, it’s life-changing. And so when you can generate income from an online source that you’ve built for yourself, that means you are doing something right and that also means if you had more time to dedicate to it, you would be generating more income.

You are totally capable of doing this on your lunch breaks after work on weekends. It’s going to be a lot of work. You have to make sacrifices. I started saying no to hanging out with a lot of my friends who, a lot of the activities that I used to go to, I wanted to save money from my freedom fund and my priorities and values were just different. I really had to change my lifestyle. But I’m so glad I did because had I not, I would not be where I am now and sharing this with you guys. 

4 – Calculate Your Expenses

The fourth step is to calculate your monthly expenses. And like I mentioned before, this is going to be different for everyone depending on what your fixed expenses are, depending on what you feel comfortable with sacrificing or giving up, whether or not you are capable of moving entirely to a different location to maybe offset the monthly expense, but calculate the monthly expenses you’re gonna need for your business and the monthly expenses for your personal life.

Personally, I realized that with my online business, I was able to relocate to anywhere in the world with wifi and that I didn’t need to pay New York City rent, which was my highest expense at that point in my life. And when that realization hit, when I was like, wow, I can have 24/7 to work on my business and I can decrease my monthly living costs, I just didn’t see how it wouldn’t work out, right? I was generating income online, I was building a community. I had mentors and a roadmap that I was following. So it just made everything click and I knew that I was able to quit on my quit date and my confidence just grew from there.

5 – Prepare Your Letter Of Resignation

And yeah, the last step that I have for you is to prepare your letter of resignation in advance. I gave my two weeks notice two weeks before July 11th, 2017, but I had prepared the letter months and months in in advance with the anticipation of handing it in. It was well practiced and if you need a template. I am more than happy to share with you the exact template that I use to quit my corporate job. If it gets you excited, just feel free to DM or email me and I’m happy to send it over. Lastly, if you are unsure and you want to be surrounded by a new community of inspired new entrepreneurs.

I invite you to join the Digital Nomad Society where you get to meet like-minded people pursuing the same path. Because another really important thing is to surround yourself with people who support your biggest vision for your life. It was very, very stifling for me in a corporate environment because whoever I told about my plans didn’t get it. And it wasn’t because they were, you know ill intended. It was just they simply were on the corporate path and they chose this life for themselves. So of course they’re seeing life in a very one-sided perspective that didn’t align with my goals. So if you want your own community join the Digital Nomad Society.

Let me know what you think of this episode and whether or not it got some wheels turning in your head. When you have a quit date for yourself, please DM me to let me know. And good luck guys. It is a wonderful, wonderful life, and life is not a dress rehearsal. I will see you in the next episode. Have an amazing week.

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

the digital nomad society

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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