Here on BroBible we cover a lot of stories about bros who quit their brain-draining corporate jobs to strike out on the open road and find inspiration in travel. In somewhat of a speed round of inspiration, yesterday (of course it was on a Monday!) there was an AskReddit thread in which someone received nearly 2,000 responses after asking ‘who upped and left their corporate city job for something more fulfilling, what did you end up doing and are you happier?‘ So if you’re ready to do some day dreaming and think about life outside of the cubicle then I HIGHLY suggest you read through these all the way to the end, the inspirational stories of people quitting their jobs to chase something more fulfilling in life…
I worked for a fortune 500 company for 5 years in San Francisco. When I finally decided to leave I told my boss that I was leaving and he was like “Where are you going?” expecting to hear “Google” or “Facebook” or something like that. I told him “Costa Rica” and his reaction was pretty great. It was the best decision that I could have made. I wasn’t happy doing work that wasn’t meant for me. After leaving I ended up leading a team at a new startup doing things that are much more morally aligned with my personal values than what I was doing previously. There’s not enough time in life to put up with being unhappy at work. If you don’t like it then quit.
Surviving is easy. Thriving is difficult.
This question hits home. I took a paycut to leave Chicago for a job in Jackson Hole, WY. A steady web dev job out here is a gem, so I couldn’t pass it up. It’s been quite the lifestyle change – don’t regret it one bit.
Camping and nature photography has become a new hobby. I started picking up good camera equipment to capture this moment in life, because I was afraid a job would pull me out of this place as quickly as I was dropped into it. It’s my third summer here though, and I thankfully seem to be here for the long haul.
Worked at a shitty sales job out of college. Lasted 6 months before I realized I never wanted to wear slacks or show up to an office where people spent 6/8 hours bitching about customers or talking about yesterday’s zumba class again. Sold my car and what little I owned and moved to China. Now work at a craft brewery. Don’t make much money but everyone I work with is a total homie, learning about cool stuff, and I get to continue to study Chinese. It’s fucking awesome. The beer is good. The people are cool. And I wear sandals to work.
Don’t know how long I will work here, but really happy to be learning every day, and I will always be thankful to the people I work with for giving me the chance to do something fun.
I worked a Monday to Friday sales job 9-5 weekends off and it just didn’t cut it for me. I felt that there was more for me out there and decided to apply as a flight attendant for a major commercial airline company in my country. One of my top goals was to travel and explore the world. Best thing that has ever happened to me, I had to move to the other side of the country for my job but the rewards are priceless. Anytime you place yourself out of your comfort zone this is when you truly start to live and experience life for what it is. If you’re having thoughts about leaving your corporate job I suggest you just do it, chances are you’re probably not fully content if you’re thinking your options.
Was corporate lawyer/exec for 20 years and hated the job, though it was very easy and paid well. I am a creative person and it was not a good job for that. My goal was to save enough for retirement (401k, pension, savings) and buy a house outright so then I could take any job regardless of pay. I quit the second I hit my goal (it was a Tuesday at around 10am when I hit it, walked down to my boss, told him I was leaving) to the shock of my company. I was 42. I moved to New Mexico, flipped a house, then moved to Utah and flipped another. Now 1 year later I have a small real estate development company, we have 5 projects totaling 62 units and also 2 flips going. I contract out all the work except the design part so I have a creative outlet. Spend half the winter in Hawaii, other half skiing here in Utah. Obviously it helps that I amassed a good deal of wealth as a lawyer, but the second I quit I became focussed on the moment I was in and have way less anxiety about what’s happening tomorrow, and I never have that “oh god, I gotta go to work” feeling. I am way, way happier. My work friends thought I was nuts because I “gave up/lost” a crazy ton of deferred compensation when I left (they truly are golden handcuffs). The hardest part for me was realizing my needs and that I did not need more money than meeting those needs. I still remember the epiphany “how much money do I need?” My lifestyle has changed on certain things (like eating out all the time and flying first for everything and losing all my airline and hotel status), but the year after I quit I spent 11k and had everything I wanted. I also learned guitar, hiked many amazing places, grew a beard (my company would never allow that!), built an amazing garden, and learned how to say “fuck it” and really mean it. Edit-reading this over I think it sounds kind of douche-y. So in my defense I’ll say I know my path is not that common or exactly attainable and I was super fortunate and so lucky…but it was really really hard and took me many years to overcome the materialistic urges I had learned in the corp executive bubble. So I am kind of proud to have walked away from it. Even if I had a mortgage I would be living large for about 40k, though admittedly I would not be saving.
I left a boring 7-4 office job in IT, support mostly. I couldn’t stand sitting inside and dealing with angry people all day.
I’m currently an Arborist, I climb trees with a chainsaw for a living, I have my own company, plan my own time and I haven’t been this happy in all the time I had a “regular” job. I also make more money and have much more free time, and because I work outside and get plenty of excercise I’m healthier and more fit than I’ve been ever before too.
I left years of corporate customer service jobs to work with animals at Petsmart, my pay cut was HUGE, but my happiness was 10 fold. So rewarding. You can’t have a bad day if you get kisses from puppies and kittens.
I had a soul-crushing cubicle job in my 20s. Absolute hell. I used to think about just driving off the road and killing myself while driving to work. Not out of hate, just straight apathy. When I realized that was what I was thinking, I gave my notice, and drove a big rig all over the US for a year and a half while I figured out what I wanted to do. Best thing that I could have done. That was almost two decades ago. Taught me to never feel trapped, or if I do feel trapped, it’s because I’m being a pussy.
I left a job in the City of London, with a telephone number salary and associated lifestyle, to follow my dream and become a writer.
I’d spent ten years working as an investment broker and management consultant for a large city firm and, for the last 18 months, had come to the realisation that I had lost belief in what I was doing. I felt shallow and started to despise everything about the world in which I existed. One day, I handed my notice in and walked away. It was a risky move as I only had enough money saved to last me a year.
I knew within six weeks that I had made the right decision. The stress evaporated and I became a different person, but I found meaning and great enjoyment in what I was doing. I had a slow start, but it snowballed and, as a journalist and author, I have learned and experienced things that no amount of money or status could have brought me.
Fifteen years on, I have no regrets other than wishing I’d made the change sooner. My friends tell me that I’m a nicer and more grounded person, and
TL;DR: City banker swapped earning great money, and a shallow existence, for a poorer paying career but a much richer and more fulfilling life.
I worked for a law firm and moved to a rural area to be closer to my parents. My mother has lupus and I wanted to be closer to her to help them out around the house and financially when I could afford it.
Just found out two days ago that my father has been diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis (don’t look it up, the prognosis isn’t usually good). It’s the same disease that killed my uncle and my grandmother.
I left a lot of money behind to switch jobs and enjoyed the slower pace of working out here but I had always had the “did I make the right choice?” question in the back of my mind.
Now that I know just how little time I might have with my father left I absolutely am happy I made the move. I’ve been able to see him more in the last 2 years than I had the previous 7. I plan on taking every chance I can to spend as much time with him as possible moving forward. Hopefully I get the chance to take him down to Toronto for a few more Leafs games over the next couple years.
TL;DR: Left a more cushy job to move out to the country and be closer to my parents. Don’t regret a thing.
I was a librarian in my provincial government (being vague, there aren’t many). Worked long hours and was stressed and hated my coworkers.
My parents retired out to a small town on Vancouver Island. I came out to visit in February. Spent a week catching up with my parents, going out, walking along the beach and hiking in the forests and up mountains.
I’d moved out here by the end of June.
I now work 3 days a week in a local shop and spend a few extra hours a week teaching people technology in their homes. I have a crappy little apartment where everything in it is run down and older than I am, but it’s right in the middle of the tiny town. Out one window I see the mountains, out the other, the ocean. Out the back is a provincial forest.
I may not make much money at all, but I make enough to pay the bills and sock away a few hundred bucks every few months. I live simply, but love every day of it. No regrets at all. I’m with my family (my sister moved out here as well), I love my job, my coworkers, and every day I step outside, look around, and say “wow, I’m so lucky.”
I’ve had the opposite experience, actually. I worked in the public sector for a number of years on a number of projects I felt very passionate about. Due to local and state politics, many of those projects never saw the light of day (note: I’m a researcher, so these were research projects with findings that were never published). About a year ago, I received an offer to move to the private industry and do similar work. I jumped at the chance and have never looked back. Now, my work gets published regularly, my pay increased by about 45% (the stereotypes about public sector pay being bad are not exaggerated, at least in my case), and my work is challenging and rewarding. I went from working 50 hours a week for fairly modest salary to working 45 hours and a good salary. The fuzzy “feel good” attitude about working for the public sector only goes so far when I’m barely making rent and neglecting my savings. Now I live comfortably. But the biggest thing for me is that my work is getting out there to the world. As a researcher, the most rewarding thing I can hope for is getting published. Now I have a mechanism for that happening pretty often. I wouldn’t trade anything for this opportunity.
Did 18 years of IT support, and changed to Tourguide. This has easily been the happiest 12 years in my life.
EDIT: So, I’ll answer the multiple similar questions here then.
I worked for 18 years in IT, yes I started in 1986. MS-DOS v1.25 and CP/M were the operating systems at the time. Wordstar was still fighting with WordPerfect, and Multiplan had yet to overthrow Lotus 123. Worked in various places in New Zealand, ended up in Wellington corporates, then moved overseas for a few stints, in Australia and the Netherlands, but always Corporate and Government environments. Got department-wide redundancies four times over the years, and finally figured it was actually not making me happy in the slightest. The money was good but it wasn’t enough.
Sat down with myself one weekend, locked the doors, closed the curtains, disconnected the doorbell and telephones, didn’t watch TV or listen to radio, and had a good talking to myself about my future.
Did the same list as the average high school vocational guidance councilor – you know; “what do you like doing”, “what are you good at”, etc.
Put an unfiltered list of about 30 things together, (“I like driving”, “i like travelling”, I like being in contact with people”, “I like movies”, “I like pizza”, etc.), then tried to think of a job that hits about 80% of those points.
I came up with Tourguide (I’d never actually met one, and had never been on any tours), and in my late 30’s I applied for jobs that would get me there. First job was a 30-day tour of New Zealand, which was awesome the first time, awesome & hard work the second time, and just hard work the third time. Quit that job, and walked into the Wellington Tourism Information Centre (the iSite), and asked if they know anyone local who was hiring. Was told there’s this new Lord Of The Rings tour company who was apparently so busy with these new LOTR location tours, that he hadn’t had a chance to look for new staff yet. Walked in, asked him if he was looking for anyone, was told to start tomorrow. Been there pretty much ever since.
Odd thing is, I’m earning about 20% of my previous highest IT income, but for the first time I have money to spend on myself. I never used to have savings – now I do. My theory is that if you’ve got a crap job, you’ll spend all your income compensating for the bad time you’re having. If you’re in a fun job, you’ll come home tired but happy, and just use home to relax. I used to drink a lot, smoke a ton of weed, and apart from the odd beer having pretty much given that up. I don’t feel any need to escape this world for any length of time now.
My recommendation to EVERYONE : life’s too short to be stuck in a job you hate. Better to quit now and start looking for what you REALLY want to do instead. Then, do that.
As I mentioned above, we here at BroBible love these stories of bros who quit the 9-to-5 grind and find a new path in life. If you’ve got a story worth telling then PLEASE send it to us by filling out our anonymous ‘TIP OFF‘ form, we’d love to feature it here!
Alright bros, there’s a whole bunch more of these responses over on the AskReddit thread, so if you want to keep on reading by all means follow this LINK.
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