The Career Crossroads, and Taking the Road Less Traveled

The Career Crossroads, and Taking the Road Less Traveled

Go back in time for a moment, to the pre-COVID-19 world. Think about your life and your work. How many people can honestly say they liked their jobs -- that they enjoyed going into the office, putting in a full day? 

We know the answer all too well. We know in our hearts and our souls that the vast majority of us were just putting in the time, so we could pay for our houses and cars and insurance. That we simply couldn’t afford to walk away.

Various studies over the years have revealed the none-too-stunning statistics. One, from Gallup, concluded that just 15 percent of American workers are truly engaged at work (down from 33 percent in 2014). Companies study this to no end, knowing that it is expensive to replace employees. They want to hang onto the people they’ve got (until, of course, they don’t; witness the spate of layoffs that occurred in the wake of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic).

It’s the ultimate conundrum: Many of us would walk away in a second if we could, but we dare not do so. There’s too much uncertainty associated with doing so, too much insecurity.

That’s how I too felt some two decades ago, even though I had a good executive job for a major company. But ultimately I had to step back and reexamine my life: Is this what I really wanted? Because all I was doing was working myself to death for someone else’s benefit. Sure, I was pulling in a good salary, but those above me in the food chain were bringing in far more. And in the meantime I was working long hours, losing quality time with my family and probably not doing wonders for my health, either.

It was right around then that I learned about network marketing, a business model dependent upon fashioning a network of independent professionals who then generate leads and sales. I was intrigued, to the point that I decided to exit the corporate grind. And now, some 23 years after I made that decision, I am a diamond director and top income earner with Jeunesse Global, a Florida-based network marketing company. In that role I recruit and train marketers in a wide-ranging network. In fact, I have thousands under my tutelage.

The benefits of making this move have proven to be many, starting with the fact that I am working for myself, not someone else. I have found, as others have after departing the corporate world, that there is much to be said for not worrying about where you stand on the organizational chart, and where you might be able to go.

One of the other advantages is the fact that you have greater flexibility. Your time is your own. There is, suddenly, ample opportunity to do the things that really matter -- to be with your family, to read, to exercise, to breathe. 

It’s a matter of control, really. You feel like you have your life back, that you are suddenly in command of your own ship. It’s liberating. It’s exhilarating. 

I understand why people choose to remain in the corporate world. I used to be in that position as well. But I am fortunate to have discovered the alternative, and that has made all the difference in my life.