Leaving Work Behind

8 Ways To Survive Your Day Job (Whilst You Need To)

Written by Guest Author on December 28, 2011. 5 Comments


This is a guest post by Bon the Math Mom.

You might have been very excited to read Tom’s recent article on Why You Can Quit Your Job Today.

I was.

Until I realized I had no safety net, and a husband and child at home who depend on my rather substantial day-job income.

Like me, you may be in the “no way out” boat. Or it may be that you need just a little more time of some of the benefits the corporate pillow offers – like paid maternity leave, major medical, or just one more year to be vested in your pension.

Regardless of why you are temporarily stuck, it’s only temporary. But planning on leaving work behind later, rather than sooner, takes some mental and emotional strategy work.

My plan is to leave work behind soon. But not today. So I have plenty of time to get annoyed with the day job.

So I’ve devised these tactics in my strategy to survive in my daily prison.

1. Have A Theme Song

Find a song, or even a collection of songs, to play on your way to work. My drive to work playlist includes:

These songs make me feel connected to a range of leaving work behind experts.

2. Create A Mantra

Come up with a statement that you can say or write a few times before you walk into work. Take a moment in the bathroom before each meeting to say it a few times, also.

Mine is:

I’m leaving this place in X days. I’m only here for the money. These people are doing their job and so am I. I wish them all the best and I’m not emotionally invested in their drama or outcomes.

It might also help to write it during meetings.

3. Keep Your Emotional Energy For You

Keep your mantra fresh and say it often. Release the stress because it’s no longer yours to worry about.

Ask yourself, “If this day-job project doesn’t get done, will there be real consequences? Will I have my pay docked or get fired?” If not, then ride the wave. Apologize and take the blame, but don’t stress. After all, this isn’t your real job.

4. Tell People What Your Real Job Is

When someone asks how work is, respond from the point of view of your real job, not your day job. Don’t be an entrepreneur, either. Be a business owner.

Empower yourself now.

5. Do Your Own Work First

Many people who start their own business do so in the evening. That works when you’re trying to make time. But be careful.

I’m exhausted in the evening after the day-job. I’ve given my best work throughout the day and by the end, I’m beat.

Instead I wake up at 3am and work. I give my best stuff to myself. When I get to the day-job at 8am, I’m already winding down. They get plenty, but they don’t get the “take over the world” version of Bon.

That I keep for me.

6. Work From Home At Least One Day A Week

Depending on how your day-job is, if you can work from home one day each week, do it. You’re likely to get your day-job work done even faster, then you can take a couple of hours to do your real job.

7. Daydream About Quitting

And when the chips are down and you’ve just had enough, go to your happy place. Think about how wonderful it will be working 14 energizing hours each day – all for yourself instead of 8 draining hours for someone else. Make a list of all the things you’ll get done each day. Plan out your week. Here’s mine on Mindmeister:

8. Plan To Leave Tomorrow

Work out the details on what you and your family would do if you left work tomorrow. How would you survive? What cuts would you make?

Knowing the details of this lets you ride in the seat of, “I don’t HAVE to be here – I’m just enjoying the money.”

Remember the movie The Princess Bride? The Dread Pirate Roberts told Wesley every night, “I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”

Go to work every day thinking, “I’ll most likely quit today.”

It makes your day of torture seem so much easier.

How about you?

What kinds of things do you do to maintain your sanity while you’re waiting out your sentence? Let us know in the comments section!

Bon publishes a math education website for parents and teachers. Her plan to leave work behind includes forming a non-profit organization and deploying a family numeracy program called, “That’s Math!” Check her out, but shhhh… don’t tell anyone you found her here. Not for a little bit, anyway!

This Isn't Just Another "Make Money Online" Blog.

I'm sure you've had enough of hollow promises and get-rich-quick schemes.

I don't buy into that stuff; it's never worked for me. Instead, I create profitable online businesses through nothing other than hard work and persistence.

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5 Responses to “8 Ways To Survive Your Day Job (Whilst You Need To)”

  1. Jeffrey Trull
    December 29, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Awesome list! You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into this.

    I really like #4, and I think I should start doing that myself. I often respond with my day job (which I’m not very enthusiastic about in an obvious way), so perhaps both I and the person I’m talking to would enjoy hearing about my “side” work.

    Getting up at 3am to work on your own stuff is some serious dedication, too!

    • Tom Ewer
      December 29, 2011 at 2:51 am

      Hey Jeff,

      It is a great list, no doubt. When Bon sent me this post for review, I didn’t hesitate for a second in approving it. For anyone who is struggling through their 9-5 with dreams of bigger and better things, this post will really strike a chord!

      As for dedication, you’re not wrong. I had the pleasure of meeting Bon in person a few days ago, and the enthusiasm she has for what she does is palpable. Such passion is always a huge boost!

      Thanks for dropping by 🙂


    • Bon Crowder
      December 30, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Jeffrey!

      Indeed the cheeriness (and how much you “light up”) will be enjoyed by both you and your conversation partner when you talk about real work.

      Also, I noticed that when I start telling people my real job, I start believing it more. I met a cousin yesterday for some business talk and support. He kept telling me to be realistic. I smiled and nodded and said, “Thanks for sharing that.” But I didn’t let him sway me.

      When you are personally convinced that you will succeed, you don’t spend your time defending your ideas against people who spout negativity disguised as reality. My resolve is firm – and one of the ways it got there was talking about it.

      Oh – and the more you talk about it, the more you can test your elevator speech and drop-line to see if it works. When you’re stuck in day-job-prison, that’s the ideal time to experiment.


  2. Bon Crowder
    January 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    By the way – I put in my three week notice today!

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