Leaving Corporate America: What To Do Instead, Leveraging Your Skills

If you have worked in a corporate job for decades and you’re looking to see what’s next, you’re not alone. The Great Resignation was propagated by waves of workers who quit their blue-or-white-collar jobs in search of something better. That term “better” has a myriad of reasons behind it. Some “resigners,” especially those leaving corporate America, are looking for better paying jobs, better benefits, remote options, or a better work culture.

The numbers are staggering. Based on recent stats from Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 44% of employees are now looking for a new job option. This labor trend, coined the Great Reshuffle, emerged as many Americans did some soul-searching during the height of the pandemic closures and decided to find careers with better work-life integration. That trend actually began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has intensified and is far from over. Just in January alone, nearly 4.3 million people left their jobs. Federal labor market figures show that last year, some 48 million people quit jobs in record fashion. Gone are the days when folks retire at age 65 with a healthy pension and a gold watch awaiting Social Security payments. Instead, the current climate reinforces the trend that workers may be moving from one job to the next or looking for more fulfilling options.

Balancing work and home and wanting to be more content is propelling many workers into unchartered waters these days. The good news is you undoubtedly have a myriad of skills that will transfer well into other business sectors. The question is how do you leverage your current skills into your next best thing?

There are many alternatives to corporate jobs. Experts say it’s time to re-evaluate your goals. Once in the high-stress rat race, you are certainly used to a fast-paced environment, so you must determine if you want to keep up that pace or re-adjust. Ask yourself, are you ready for a lifestyle change? A complete career make-over?

If you are interested in improving your quality of life and calling the shots in your career, then take your skills and apply them to a business ownership opportunity. If you are tired of corporate America, maybe it time to become your own boss.

It’s time for planning. Take stock and assess your skill set. What are your interests? What will make you happy and be fulfilling while still providing a solid income? If quitting corporate America is a done-deal, fast track and use your resourcefulness to adjust to your new goals. Or perhaps this is more of a process for you and you are creating an exit strategy to depart your current job in a few months or a few years.

Assessing your Options

Honing in and making a decision about the direction you want your career to take means commitment on your part. You must have a complete buy-in to your new lifestyle. Believe in yourself. To reassure you, remember, based on numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 50 million Americans have voluntarily quit their jobs in the last year.  If they can do it, so can you. Be 100% committed to your new lifestyle. Redefine your goals and redefine what success means to you.

 Financing Your New Career

Moving forward, if all arrows are pointing in the direction of entrepreneurship, it’s time for strategy. How will you fund this venture? Many consider using personal savings, getting a business loan or investment partners.

Additionally you may want to consider using your retirement account as a tax-efficient funding source. It’s best to seek the advice of a financial advisor or accountant to assess your best option, but consider that some IRA’s will allow you to take taxable distributions. Keep in mind there can be applicable penalties for early withdrawal. Additionally, some 401(k) plans allow for loans on the value. Using this option, if it’s available to you, provides tax and penalty free use of your 401(k) which is cheaper than a loan from a third-party lender. There is also the Rollovers as Business Start-Ups project or ROBS which may allow the use of retirement funds.

Now that you know you have some funding options to discuss with financial experts, to pursue your dreams of business ownership, you must decide how to do this. Will you start from scratch and be an independent sole proprietor and take the risk of opening a business, having never done it before?

The Franchising Option

More than ever, entrepreneurs are looking toward franchising as a less risky option to satisfying their dreams of business ownership with the safety of a franchise brand to minimize uncertainty and protect their investment. Although there are no guarantees in business, franchising does have a proven formula, reducing the threat of failure. Franchising has been flourishing in 2021 and thus far this year, as business recovery continues. Based on the labor market strengthening and steady consumer spending, franchising is trending up. In a report by the International Franchise Association, by years end, there’s expected to be 792,000 franchises up and running in the U.S., gaining 17,000 new locations with a 2.2% growth rate.

It’s an appealing venture for entrepreneurs, especially those leaving corporate America searching for their own American dream of business ownership. In most cases, the upfront investment is much more affordable than a start-up with less of the “unknowns.” You pay a franchise fee to the franchisor, opening the door to your business with the ready to use playbook. You benefit from a proven model that has been market tested, you reap the benefits of a recognizable brand name, training from industry experts about how to open and operate your franchise. You receive on-going support for day-to-day challenges that can and will arise. You have a built-in networking system with like-minded franchisees who can assist. You have a marketing plan in place, to promote your business from opening day, on.

From Corporate to SoBol

At SoBol, we are dedicated to the success of our franchisees. With a background working in corporate America or an understanding of franchising, retail, QSR, marketing and real-estate development, you have the potential for success with SoBol.

We are a smoothie and acai bowl franchise looking to partner with entrepreneurs that have a passion for a healthier lifestyle and a dedication to operational excellence. We are a lucrative life-style brand that embraces healthy eating and wellness, a trend in high demand in the U.S., projected to grow to more than $36 billion by 2026.

If you are tired of corporate America and looking for something more fulfilling in your life, fill out and submit our franchise form, and let’s get the conversation about your new adventure started.