In this economy, quitting one’s job is not the most practical thing to do. When you tell people your desire to resign, you’re bound to get a few crazy looks and unsolicited advice like “don’t do it!” However, there are some things in life that are far more important than practicality – to start with, happiness, good health and the pursuit of one’s passion. All of these can be compromised by choosing to stay at a job that’s not right for you.
With all of that said, there are things that you can do to mitigate the risk so that you don’t have to lose everything in the process.
The first step in a successful exit from a job that you don’t love is to have faith that things will turn out fine. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. There’s also a lot to be said about the power of positive thinking. Whether or not you happen to be the religious type, you have the option to have faith either in something greater than you or in yourself, your talents and abilities. This faith will serve as your guiding force on this new journey.
Have a Plan A and B
I don’t recommend that you leave your job without a clue about what you’ll do next. If you don’t already know, take some time to discover what you’re passionate about and create a road map for how you plan to achieve your professional goals.
Once that’s done, you’ll definitely need to think about how you’ll make money. It’s best to plan multiple streams of income just in case one well begins to run dry. Always have a backup plan just in case things don’t work out exactly the way that you expected.
Create a budget that will cover all of your expenses as well as realistic projections for how much income you can make in your new career.
Make Peace With the Worst Case Scenario
Woody Allen once said “if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
The truth is, things just don’t always work out the way that we thought they would. You may fail. That’s not the worst thing in the world, many of the most successful people in history will tell you that they failed many times before they made it. We can all learn great lessons from our failures. Or perhaps things just don’t happen on the timeline that you set out for yourself.
Before you take the leap to leave your job it’s best to give some thought to the question “what’s the worst that can happen?” If you don’t make any money at your new venture, what would happen? Would you be unable to pay your bills? Could you lose your home? If you did, where would you go?
For me, I had to accept the fact that the worst case scenario would be that I would be unable to pay my rent and if that happened, I’d have to go home few months. Do I want to go back home to mommy in my 30s? Of course not. Would that be the worst thing in the world? Not really.
I was willing to take that risk in order to have the chance to fulfill my dreams. However, for you, that risk might be too great, especially if you have children or other people counting on you to support them. If you have a spouse with an income, the risk may be bearable, but if you’re a single parent, it may be out of the question.
You just have to figure out the worst that could happen to you and decide if you could deal with it before walking away from your job. Once you know what that is and have made peace with it, it’s a lot less scary to take that leap of faith.
You’re much less likely to end up homeless after leaving your job if you create a solid plan for how you’ll earn money as well as a sensible backup plan just in case plan A doesn’t pan out. Additionally, you’ll need to define your worst case scenario and make peace with it. And the most important thing is that you have faith that you will succeed in all that you set out to do. In life, there are no guarantees. But what I do know is that if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same result and that with great risk, comes great reward.
Are you willing to bet on yourself?