Home > Uncategorized > CNBC.com: “Employees Bid Farewell to Corporate America”

CNBC.com: “Employees Bid Farewell to Corporate America”

These kinds of stories happen everyday in America – we don’t need a bad economy or a “concerned” media outlet to tell us that running your own business is better than working for someone else.

I recommend reading the entire article – there are several inspirational examples of people taking the risk to start their own businesses.


Employees Bid Farewell to Corporate America

Published: Monday, 15 Aug 2011 | 9:24 AM ET
By: Elizabeth Alterman,
Special to CNBC.com

With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.1 percent as of July 31 and a fragile economic recovery underway, many workers feel they are left with no choice but to take their careers into their own hands.

Employees are bidding farewell to corporate America in the hope of finding a more secure, or at least fulfilling, future. They are reinventing themselves by starting their own companies or by pursuing long-put-off dreams that include creative or charitable endeavors.

While it might seem like a bold move, countless workers believe the abundance of uncertainty in today’s job market mitigates the fear factor.

Michelle Lawton, who spent two decades in a successful career in branding and marketing, left it all behind to start her own business, Joyful Plate, seeking to strike a better sense of balance in her life.

Lawton decided to use her savings to invest in herself. “I was at a point in my life where I was looking for a real shift,” Lawton says. “I realized I had a life opportunity. I had a strong network, and I’ll be 44 this year. This is the time. I wanted to somehow give myself a portal to use my talents to do something that I’m really passionate about. But also, from a strategic standpoint, I wanted to figure out an infrastructure that would allow me to pave my own way moving forward.”

Lawton notes when she was in the corporate world working for companies like Procter & Gamble, Pepperidge Farm, Lavazza Coffee and Remy Cointreau, she was compensated very well but still not nearly enough considering the hours she was putting in.

“It’s so hard to find a happy medium,” says Lawton. “The stress level is so high, you indulge in unhealthy ways to compensate, emotionally treating yourself, whether it’s overeating or overdrinking or overspending.”

As her own boss, Lawton makes time for things she never could during her years in the business world, such as lunchtime yoga and pilates classes.

“It’s something I can’t quantify,” explains Lawton. “I’ve never been healthier. What I’m not gaining in financial rewards, I’ve gained in personal well-being. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s a trade-off.”

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