Why I Left My High-Paying Corporate Job

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Do you need a change in life and feel scared? Life change is hard. But you can take experimental approach to life to minimise risks. Work on changing your lifestyle gradually. Start by identifying main areas of life you are seeking to change and take it from there.

A women thinking about life change outside the cafe
Afraid to change your life? Taking experimental approach might be the answer
If you quit and leave everything behind now, you still have a chance to live a happy life.

In my previous post, Introduction to life experiment, I made a parallel between my experiment and what businesses do when they innovate. They run experiments to test whether something is worth investing in.

I have a few ideas about how I want to change my life that I am going to test in a series of experiments over the next 12 months. I divided those in 3 main life buckets:

  1. Country & physical microcosm – this one is about ‘having’

  2. A career or a portfolio of careers that brings fulfillment, income and satisfies my level of ambition – this one is about ‘doing

  3. And last, but definitely not least, what truly matters to me and who do I want to be – this one is all about ‘being

Those 3 buckets are pretty generic and I am sure everyone has been there – trying to figure it all out. I decided to look at it all in one go.

My goal is to figure out what exactly matters to me as opposed to what I am trained to believe or what those around me expect.

I am then looking to design the kind of life that works for me. Again, as opposed to the templates that are available to the masses (aka go to university, get a job, get married & have kids, game over).

Here are my considerations for changing my life by area.

1. Bucket Country / Culture

I know London (where I am currently based) stopped working. I work 60+ hours a week and spend over an hour commuting every day. I live in a small studio apartment which costs me half of my way above average London salary.

Gail's bakery in Hampstead in London
While London is a wonderful city, it's expensive, crowded and it's easy to get overwhelmed

Transport, food and other ridiculously high costs eat away the rest. It is crowded, loud and generally crammed. I am in a constant ‘flight or fight’ mode and a few months ago I just stopped sleeping. For a month. Up to a point where I started forgetting about very important meetings or paying for my morning coffee at Pret.

Not fun. ‘But there is so much to do in London’, my friends say. There is indeed and I love London. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. But when there is no time or energy to enjoy London, it stops making sense.

Maybe later in life with a different set up it will work again, but for now I want to explore what else is out there.

2. Bucket: career

I knew my Company (large consulting firm the name of which I don’t believe I can disclose) although great money – didn't really fulfil me either.

I was a strategy and innovation lead and did really cool projects.