Many people have emailed me asking how I could go from top MBA program to top renewable energy company to happy nomad. This is the second post in a series of short posts explaining the steps I went through in recognizing that I wasn’t living the life I wanted, how I tried to unsuccessfully fix it, and how I ultimately came up with my new plan and took the plunge – in other words, how I went from corporate tool to nomadic idealist. Click here to see all the posts in this series. Hopefully parts of my story will resonate with you if you are considering your own plunge! Feel free to submit your story or contact me!
I started working at Siemens Wind Power September 17, 2010. My initial impression was wonderful. And no doubt, it’s a great company in a very exciting industry. I have nothing bad to say about Siemens. Rather, I will just relay my own personal experiences working there – though I now realize that I am sure I would have experienced these things at any company.
I went to business school to learn entrepreneurship because I knew working in companies is not for me. I don’t like the politics, the limited scope of work, and the lack of freedom. But, in the end I had no million dollar idea so I entered the workforce.
Things started out fine at Siemens. But after a week or two, something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel right. I felt a strange aching in my chest sometimes, and other times I felt pressure in my neck where my carotid artery/jugular are. Sometimes my eye would twitch as well.
In short, I was suffering from stress. Sometimes it was the stress of not having enough work to do, other times it was having too much to do. But in general, I wasn’t happy and that was probably the biggest source of stress.
In the oil industry, I had experienced stress as well. I’d have to stay awake for 36-48 hours in a row at the wellsite, executing the orders of people I couldn’t stand. But maybe that was somehow balanced by the great team around me, my crew, since we operated like a family.
I recognized that my body was telling me that things weren’t good. Things weren’t right. But I resisted. I tried to overcome this using my brain, trying to convince myself that things are perfect. I’m in the happiest country in the world, life is extremely good here, I don’t need to worry about anything, and the work I’m doing benefits the planet. But no, my body was still rejecting this life.
I read a couple books about stress management and did my best to implement the lessons. It definitely helped and I incorporated some of the lessons learned in my life. But my body continued rejecting this life.
In all honesty, it was kind of frustrating and kind of scary. I didn’t like how I felt at all and I knew in the long run that this was very unhealthy and unsustainable.
I knew I had to start planning my departure, but just as in the oil industry when I was fed up and knew I needed to leave, I had nothing to switch to. This can cause more pressure, but I didn’t let it bother me. I just started thinking about how to change my life.
More to come on that in the next article!
About Adam Pervez
In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.