Friday, October 30, 2009

Ten Things to Do When You Leave Corporate America

What’s the best part about not having to get dressed up and go to work every day? Time.

When you leave Corporate America, what are you going to do with all that time? Or – if you’ve already left, what are you doing with all that time?

Here’s my top ten list for things to do when you leave Corporate America (in no particular order):

1. Go to the gym. I understand (really, I do) – when you’re working you just don’t have the time. My first inclination was to make up for lost time by cramming years of workouts into one month while making believe that I can still do what I did in my twenties. But that resulted in one trip to the emergency room and four stitches. Now I’m approaching my workouts more like a thirty-something (a-hem).

2. Cook. It’s always been my job to make dinner. But let’s face it – making dinner is not quite the same thing as cooking. I’ve known this for a long time even though I did my best to convince my family I was actually cooking. My new approach is causing some disruption though when my husband comes home expecting that I’ll pull something together in twenty minutes or less.

3. Read. Admit it – you all have that pile of books that you’ve been collecting from Amazon to read some day. They have been collecting dust and consuming precious shelf space. When you leave Corporate America you just might have time to read those books while simultaneously encouraging the pile to grow larger.

4. Master the laundry process. I used to spend all weekend mass processing the laundry. It was the only time I had to do it, and with kids playing messy sports there was quite a bit to do. I have discovered that it is far more efficient to spread the loads across the week. And the weekends remain free for other things like:

5. Pay attention to what your kids are doing. Your kids won’t like this. It will disrupt the normal order of things. They aren’t likely to give you full facebook friend status, but there are covert methods that work quite well (which can’t be divulged here for fear that I will lose my sources).

6. Annoy your spouse. When you have time to clean and organize you start to realize that you have collected enormous amounts of junk over the years. So when that yellow t-shirt disappears – and your spouse is annoyed – well, just think of it as getting even.

7. Learn what a savasana is. Don’t think about, just do it.

8. Write a book. Everyone has a book in them, right? You know all that stuff that’s been cluttering up your brain? Now you can write about it. If you’re lucky someone might even read it.

9. Get some Vitamin D – from the sun. Some of you may not know this because you never see the sun, but the sun does actually shine – at least a little – on most days. And ten minutes (without sunscreen) is equal to 10000 international units of vitamin D.

10. Watch Mad Men. I can’t be the only person on the planet who had no idea this AMC TV show existed until a few weeks ago. If you’ve worked in Corporate America this might become your new favorite show. You get bonus points if you were born in the fifties or sixties.

And if none of those work for you well then, you could start a blog. (See how much fun this is?)

What’s on your list?

And if you are obsessed with watching what is going on in the Galleon insider trading scandal, check out this week’s double feature.

13 comments:

Worddreams said...

I've read that 83% of people want to write a book. Although, I had to get my kids raised before I could put my attention there. Then, Corporate America well in my rear view mirror, I moved on...

stevedbpok said...

I do all of the above ex 4 (spouse does not trust me) and I ALWAYS do #10; Sunday's would not be complete w/o it. AND I get the bonus points.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant summary. Love the savasana. Do it now (while working still) at the end of the day. Helps with sleeping too. I recommend that anyone who thinks they know how to do it find a good yoga teacher - and find out that you don't. Iyengar yoga has less crap than most yoga disciplines - and is easiest for the beginner.

Colette said...

Worddreams -- I love your posting name!

It's so cool that other people are loving the savasana. I can't claim to be good at it yet -- but each time I try I get better.

Amy Reuss Caton said...

You missed one: VOLUNTEER

Colette said...

Amy -- excellent suggestion and something I am doing as well.

Anonymous said...

waste of time. Some of these one should be doing anyway even if employed by corporate, and some are no more valid after leaving..

Dave Boyle said...

What if I never leave Corporate America?

Colette said...

Dave, you raise a good point. Especially in this economy some people feel like they will never be able to leave... and others may be forced to leave before they want to. A good topic for future discussion.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree--I don't want to live in order to later do something I really want to do! Put the big rocks in the jar first, but find space for the little ones too. Live a full life, regardless of what you do for work, but find some work you love too!

See www.48days.com for great info on this idea...

ErinBrenner said...

I recently left Corporate America and have been doing some of things on your list. I've also been doing a couple others: knitting (my newfound passion) and sleeping. Not that I didn't sleep before, but suddenly I sleep so much better!

Colette said...

Erin -- Yes -- sleep! How could I forget to include sleep? Isn't is wonderful not to have to set your alarm?

Jack Rueckel said...

I left Touche Ross - NYC long before it became Deloitte & Touche. After years in senior IT management, I left an executive consulting / principal position at IBM to retire. What do I do now?? I volunteered: I run a church support group ministry for those out of work, and I'm the chairman of my homeowner's association. Golf and travel punctuate my volunteer activity.