What I Learned Working in Silicon Valley, Why I Quit, and What I Do Now

The dream of working in Silicon Valley became my reality, but then I woke up. Here’s my story…

⏳ The Journey

I remember the day I had my first IT interview in Silicon Valley like it was yesterday.

I dressed in my costume 👔 and jumped into my car for the forty-five minute drive to San Jose, California. It was a beautiful, warm day with just a touch of clouds in the sky. 🌤️

Here I was, an enthusiastic, confident tech guy and former computer salesman, ready to take my career to the next level. The excitement was real!

I finally made it,” I clearly remember thinking to myself.

The anticipation along the way to my interview was still intense, though. You see, it was a chance to land my first real IT gig.

The company? International Business Machines (IBM).

🤔 So… Did I get the job?

breaking bad meme

I kicked ass in the interview, too, and before you know it, I was signing an inspiring offer letter with a guarantee one year contract with IBM. Boom! 💥

And then, like a soldier being shipped off to war, I was given my assignment. I was to work in San Francisco over the next year as an IT service technician for At&t.

😎 I was stoked! The discovery that I would get the opportunity to work for not just one big tech company but two and at the same time was huge!

And so, the journey had begun…

From that day forward, I went on to spend nearly a decade grinding away for quite a few large companies in the hustle and bustle of the San Francisco Bay Area.

And man, was it a grind.

But, it was also an experience I will never forget!

I met a ton of intelligent and amazing people and got some serious “real world” experience.

💡 What I Learned Working in Silicon Valley

I learned some valuable skills and lessons working in Silicon Valley, and I learned the importance of teamwork, how to talk to people, you name it.

However, the most important thing I learned was that ‘the lifestyle’ is definitely not for everyone.

It’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either.

Let me explain…

See, I hit what I call the Silicon Valley wall after about eight years, but I know many will hit it much sooner.

It’s that breaking point where you just can’t do that shit anymore. The monotony, corporate meetings, the bureaucracy, you know…

the office meme
Feel familiar?

Unfortunately, many who hit a wall will never leave the “comfort” of their jobs despite the fact they are miserable. Instead, they will go on to work out their days and years in perpetual misery. 😔

You see, I worked closely with entry-level people from facilities staff on up to VP’s and CEO’s being that I was an IT guy, so I saw things from a unique perspective.

😲 Interestingly enough, many things about the corporate world did surprise me, despite the fact I was over it.

For example, every CEO I personally worked with from Raul Vasquez at Walmart.com to Neil Ashe at CNET, was surprisingly down to earth.

🔎 I also learned that…

✔️ Some people actually love and thrive working in Silicon Valley
✔️ Not everything about the corporate world is necessarily doom and gloom
✔️ There are some amazing (and not so amazing) people working in the industry

But, something just always rubbed me the wrong way when it came to those of us lower on the corporate totem pole. 😞

You see, the “grind” was real for most of us…

So for many, especially myself, lunchtime, after-work events, and ending the workday or week was seemingly our only (albeit temporary) escape.

The sum it up in few words, the Silicon Valley lifestyle to me was a fucking grind. In my experience, quantity also often trumped quality when it came to the work.

🙄 Blah…

At the end of the day, my role in Silicon Valley no longer had any heart and soul. I felt as if I was one cog ⚙️ on a wheel of never-ending cogs, or a rat 🐀 in an unsolvable maze.

And so, this brings me to two very important points…

✔️ Many of us are simply afraid to leave the ‘comfort’ of our corporate jobs
✔️ We all have ‘the choice’ whether or not we want to continue working for “the man”

❔ Why I Quit Working in Silicon Valley

The burnout and direct realization that I had ‘a choice’ whether or not I wanted to continue working in Silicon Valley ultimately got me planning my Silicon Valley exit strategy.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy for me and likely isn’t going to be easy for you to leave the “comfort” of familiarity either, but it is possible and without a doubt within the realm of possibility.

💡 Remember this… It starts with YOU!

If YOU are no longer happy working for “the man,” it’s time for YOU to plan your own exit strategy too.

silicon valley exit strategy

For me, it was a no brainer. I not only craved more FREEDOM in my life, I literally hit the point where I needed it.

I gained a lot of weight, lost a lot of hair, and even part of my soul over the years. To sum it up, I was frickin’ miserable.

🚪 So, Are You Ready to Plan Your Own Silicon Valley Exit Strategy?

If you feel that you literally can no longer take the corporate grind anymore, planning your own Silicon Valley exit strategy will be a critical (yet scary…) time for you.

Though… Get excited about it. Do it, and do it now!! 😁

It might be scary, sure, but it’s the beginning of a necessary ending and the start of an exciting journey forward!

However, I’m not going to sugarcoat things. It’s going to take work, and most of all, some strategy and patience.

Unless you’ve saved up a whole lot of coin, are single, don’t have a huge mortgage, etc., quitting your money train 💵🚂 isn’t going to be an easy endeavor.

🔎 But, it can totally be done! Here are some effective exit strategy tips for you…

✔️ Take it slow. Transitioning out of your current career, especially if you’ve been doing it for many years, won’t be easy or happen overnight. Patience is a virtue

✔️ Have realistic expectations. It will take time to prepare and make the transition from the corporate lifestyle to what I call the freedom lifestyle. Also, six-figure incomes don’t come easy

✔️ Don’t quit until you’ve secured at least one new income stream. You need to be able to sustain your current lifestyle or a new ‘less-lavish’ one (I highly recommend downsizing your life!)

Being that we live in a world where money is pretty much required to exist, the third bullet above is going to be most crucial for you.

For me, I began building a few income streams over the course of about three years before I felt I was ready to finally quit the corporate world and say goodbye to Silicon Valley. 💰

How’d I personally make it my reality?

AFFILIATE MARKETING! 🙂

That is how I built my first online business. While it didn’t quite match my corporate IT salary at the time, I made a hell of a lot of money.

And so, this brings me to some potential business ideas for you to consider.

🔎 They are…

✔️ Become an affiliate marketer (huge ROI potential and what I recommend)
✔️ Become a freelance web developer or designer
✔️ Become a WordPress consultant
✔️ Become a personal trainer
✔️ Become an online coach
✔️ Become a content writer
✔️ Become a virtual assist

Now obviously, this isn’t a be-all and end-all list; however, these are some potential ideas that I know can work.

In fact, it’s great to diversify because multiple income streams (ideally passive👍) are the goal.

But, this takes me back to affiliate marketing because it’s the path that I highly recommend you consider.

Why? Because it works!

🏖️ What I Do Now Since Leaving Silicon Valley

lessons learned working in silicon valley
Enjoying a cold, fresh coconut in Vietnam! 🥥🍹🌴🏖️

Since leaving Silicon Valley, I work remotely and travel, mostly abroad.

It might sound cliché, but it’s what I do.

Currently, I’m living in Vietnam, after having spent some time between Thailand and Laos.

Before this, I lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the United States, for many years.

Affiliate marketing has changed the course of my life, and it, among other things, facilitates this freedom.

😎 Breaking free from Silicon Valley and branching out into the wild world of the unknown was the best decision I’ve ever made!

But, it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t take the necessary steps to prepare for the journey forward.

One of those was securing multiple income streams. One can be enough to get you out of the rat race, but multiple streams offer the ultimate redundancy plan if things ever go black swan.

🔎 So, to sustain my lifestyle, I do several things, including… 

  1. SEO consulting
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Running multiple blogs
  4. Buying and selling websites
  5. Investing money in the stock market
  6. Parking savings in crypto (notably stable coins such as DAI – 7%+ interest rate)

The sky’s the limit, and your options are plentiful.

It’s true!

😎 Get out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself. Go ahead, create the lifestyle you know you deserve!

It’s time to plan your Silicon Valley exit strategy and leave the monotony of working for ‘the man’ behind.

And, if I can do it, you can do it! 🙂

freedom

Also, don’t forget to check out some of my latest articles…

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