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What’s the Best Way to Escape Your Job?

Esc member Tom offers guidance on the best way to get out of your job. When looking to escape, you do have a few options.

I was lucky, I found myself in a place which was seriously intolerable, and after some failed shenanigans where I tried to work out a redundancy package- I jumped. My direct manager was both extremely incompetent, machine like, and the job was like being in a computer too. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m big into the tech world. BUT working, having to look at one computer, sitting next to another (my boss) and working inside another (my job), felt like overkill. I only quite liked one of them, the one that didn’t speak, and offered a view into the outside world with beautiful morsels of hope and inspiration, such as Seth Godin’s blog, or ESC’s Monday email.

Doing the Deed

I resigned on Tuesday November 6th. The dynamite had been laid through heavy and persistent whining to family, and friends, I was just a day late. I had lunch with the old man beforehand and even Mr Keep Your Reputable Steady Job backed me on this one. This, I should add, was slightly disappointing, but illustrates how the consistent whining can make the decision easier. Then it was a calm conversation with the human machine and no questions asked. This was the first benefit I had seen of having a boss who can only work in binary!

You have a number of options.

1.  Maverick – Getting yourself fired

The great thing about getting fired is that you don’t have to work out your notice, and as long as you do something so grossly awful that there is no choice but to fire you, you should be able to work out the timing to the minute.
• Reference: no
• Ability to return to corporate life: small
• Pay off: none
• Sense of adventure: very high
This is not for the light hearted, comes with a severe health warning and shows real style.

2. The Gentleman – Resignation

Resignation allows you to keep your reputation and get a reference. It’s less fun than Maverick and offers a way back, should you need or want it.
• Reference: yes
• Ability to return to corporate life: ok
• Pay off: none (if you are lucky you may get paid for your notice but not have to work it…)
• Sense of adventure: medium high
The gentleman sacrifices style for reputation.

3. Redundancy – Dell Boy

This is for the opportunistic, and it’s not always available. Take it if you can, and read up on the definitions! This was my preferred option, as it meant I would get a buffer from a Sharesave scheme and that nice little pay off to set you on your way.
• Reference: no
• Ability to return to corporate life: ok
• Pay off: yes
• Sense of adventure: medium
A tricky business, and you may find yourself unintentionally becoming a Maverick if you go slightly too far, but pull it off and you can sit in the pub being paid.

4. Sabbatical – Walter the Softy (reference Beano)

The measured option, and in my opinion a slight cop out; A sabbatical allows you to come back to the job you have hated, so it does seem incongruous but it works as an insurance policy. Or for those part-time Escapees who just need an adventure. In which case it makes a lot of sense.
• Reference: yes
• Ability to return to corporate life: yes
• Pay off: sometimes (unlikely if younger)
• Sense of adventure: low/ medium
More Walter than Dennis the Menace/ Maverick, but by no means a poor choice.

Next Steps

I write this on my last day of work, my resignation, and my failed redundancy attempt (I was hoping to establish via a compromise agreement) all behind me and while I am leaving today I will be paid until December 16th due to holiday and someone sensible realising the firm should be gentlemanly too.

My plans are woolly but I have some projects in the pipeline including a small online business. I will be moving to India to live with my sister to reduce costs, enjoy the warmth of the sub-continent and understand more about the eastern way of life. One step forwards, two steps backwards, down in a Babylon!

  • http://Londoniknow.wordpress.com Lola

    Very well written. I am going through a similar journey at the moment, and finally escaping!! The feeling of freedom is overwhelming

  • http://www.rasalabooks.com Venetia

    What about the fifth option – going awol. Just don’t turn up for work again, ever. It happens quite a lot here – in India – and the company just stops paying the salary.
    My previous company somehow managed to keep paying the salaries of those who had left – acrimoniously or otherwise – which would be a rather nice bonus but not one I can imagine happening in efficient England.