How to get off the corporate hamster wheel?
It is not easy – people are saying who realised that they are trapped of the hamster wheel and spending most of their life being busy in a corporate job.
Consequently, those who are too busy running in the hamster wheel have no time for living a fulfilled life. The problem of that is the longer you are spinning in the wheel, the harder to get off from it.
How do you know that you are in the hamster wheel?
One sign is you are in the hamster wheel when all your time is devoted to your work. The syndromes of running in the hamster wheel when you are extremely overwhelmed, you don’t have time for your family, either for your friends, but the worst of it when you don’t have time for yourself.
You’re working from dawn to dusk, sometimes even at night and sometimes during the whole weekend. And you are yourself at the very end of the queue of importance.
The performance expectation towards you, then plenty of obstacles that surround you make you feel drowned in difficulty. You are unable to cope with challenges, and you feel helpless.
But how do we get into the corporate hamster wheel?
It is a human peculiarity that one always desires more things. Man wants more esteem, more money, a better car, a bigger house, and to achieve all these they are willing to work from dawn to dusk.
But the question is, does it worth to sacrifice ten or even more years being in the rat-race, living from paycheck to paycheck, without having fun or if you have a family then being part of the family life?
Some people choose this kind of rushed lifestyle on their own. For the sake of their careers at work, they initially put almost everything in the background, even their families. Meanwhile, they hope that a higher position and the resulting higher income will make up for everything.
Unfortunately, most career-dependent people never live a fulfilled life, and they completely burn out before they realise it.
In the other hand, some get on the hamster wheel as they think they have no choice but to commit to their jobs entirely. These people don’t know other options or just don’t believe in their capability to start a different money producing activity.
Therefore they’re working long hours in a job that even they hate only to maintain their living standard.
Many are overload themselves with car loans, mortgage, and even a vacation loan merely to impress others and gain momentary pleasure for themselves.
To be able to repay their loans, they work overtime and take a second job. They don’t even notice that the hamster wheel is spinning again with them.
How being in the hamster wheel for a long time affect family life?
From time to time I am spinning in the hamster wheel too. It happened with me in my thirties, and even in my forties, I worked that much, I hardly remember how my little girl grew up.
I spent minimal time with my family during this period of my life because I thought the only way to pay the bills is to trade my time for money and work all day long.
I will never forget that when one day when I got home early, and when I wanted to hug my little girl who was three-year-old at that time she didn’t recognise me.
She didn’t want to come to me because I believe I was a stranger to her. She felt more comfortable with her grandpa. She didn’t know who I was. I am sure, that was an early wake-up call in my life.
The child who barely sees his or her parents due to their money chasing lifestyle can build an extraordinary demanding relationship with parents.
One of my friends admitted that to me, his teenage daughter sees him as an ATM a while now.
How to get off the hamster wheel?
Since I realised the root of the problem from my experiences, I want to make a shift relating to my lifestyle. I don’t think it’s worth chasing money at a price of not living a fulfilled life.
For instance, if you’re in the corporate rat race, in the long term, you definitely won’t enjoy life, because what you do is merely fulfilling your boss’s dream instead focusing on your own future.
At night, when you can’t fall asleep, you are thinking more often about your life. You know that you should live differently. In your dreams, you wish to live in greater freedom where you can create opportunities for experiences like family, hobbies, travel, or anything else that would make you happy. But how could you find time for these essential parts of life in this overwhelmed life situation you’re in?
How can we get off the hamster wheel if we are working 50-60 hours a week?
There are opportunities everywhere. They are literally surrounding you.
The first and essential step you need to do is to decide to change your lifestyle.
Maybe it’s time to find out your passion. Figure out how could you monetise your passion. You can live a fulfilled life if your job is also your passion. When you become your own boss, from that time, you are the creator of your life. You are organising your time.
Many high career seeking people are working for money only but no passion for the job they do. These people usually end up in the hamster wheel from time to time.
Maybe you need to consider to change your career. Sometimes it requires to find a course or re-skill yourself. Don’t worry if you’re in your forties or fifties. I know from my experience, how many times I have questioned myself about what if I have missed the boat.
What if I am too old to re-educate myself. I can ensure you for a life-changing education is never too late. Better to do it later than never. Also, to get off from the hamster wheel for a lifetime doesn’t mean you must quit your job. There are tons of online courses to choose from, and you can pick the one that matches your expectation.
If you take the time and effort to learn something new with a purpose to make a change in your life, it is inevitable you will find plenty of opportunities to be able to get off the hamster wheel. You might need to put in extra energies, but believe me, it’s worth it.
Think about that. Whether you decide to get out of the hamster wheel by changing career, therefore, giving yourself a chance to live a happier life, or you choose to leave everything as it is now, the decision will always be yours.