Quitting a job, regardless for what reason it might be, is never considered an easy task in my opinion.
I only had to hand in my resignation letter twice, but each time I felt like I was betraying someone or that I was letting someone else down.
If this isn’t your first time on my blog, you are most likely aware of my situation and why I quit my job or rather why I was let go.
The emotions and feelings that were clouding my mind daily just made it impossible for me to continue that way.
But when should you quit your job and when do you know that you are ready for a career change?
In this article you will:
- See if you have symptoms that urge you to quit your job
- Find out how you can get ready for quitting
- Discover what to watch out for, when you do make the leap
- Learn how to prevent disasters
I will mostly speak of personal experiences that I’ve made but also link to other peoples stories.
As I am still no where near of my goal I can understand if some of you will be reading this, thinking “who are you to talk?”
But you will see that a lot of my thoughts and emotions will be found in other, more successful stories and maybe within yourself.
I’ve Been Thinking About It:
More often than not, I see creative people stuck in jobs that require the skill of an infant or highly intelligent people doing the most tedious tasks.
I’ve met tons of people that studied one subject, because they were generally interested in it or had a die hard passion for it.
But they end up working in a cubical that requires them to make dull phone calls and print papers with information they couldn’t care less about.
I too was one of those people. I love media I love marketing and I especially love films.
Ideally I wanted to be a director for horror films or direct adverts on T.V.
Instead I ended up working in a really stressful job where the majority of my daily tasks didn’t require more than 3 buttons on my keyboard (no joke)!
After having lived some of the best three years of my life, full of joy, freedom and jokes, to going to a grey, monotone, routine life, this was a bit of a shock.
I knew I couldn’t live that way for the next 45 years. After making some new connections and friends I felt like some people just accepted that life.
Although a lot of them should be managing the teams, they had the same position and salary as me.
But here’s the thing, there are some people, like me, that just aren’t made for this type of life, just like some aren’t made to become doctors or soldiers.
It all comes down to breaking out of that jail, society (and often ourself) created for us. John Gardner best explains it in his book “Self Renewal”.
At one specific part he says that “our parents and the society at large have a hand in building our prisons. They create roles for us — and self images — that hold us captive for a long time.”
Can You Relate?
If you feel like you wake up every morning and wish you didn’t have to go back to that horrible desk, then maybe it is time for you to change something.
If you’re unhappy with what you’ve become and what happened to the dream you once had, don’t ignore the dream.
Instead, try to plan out how you can make it come true.
Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of people that don’t mind their work and actually have quite a nice and interesting job.
But if this isn’t you, it’s time to set some rules and start reaching that goal of yours.
We usually wait for the right moment to get started but sometimes there is no right moment.
You have to get started by motivating yourself first.
If you ask yourself these questions…:
- Do you wish you could work with something you are more passionate about?
- Do you feel unappreciated?
- Do you believe getting a higher salary wouldn’t change the way you feel about your job?
- Would you be willing to sacrifice a lot to reach your dream?
…and your answer is ‘yes’ to all of them, then it’s time to change in my opinion.
You don’t necessarily have to start becoming an entrepreneur and open your own business.
As I’ve mentioned above, not everyone is made for the same destiny. Sometimes a simple move to another company can solve these issues.
But if you feel like no job could replace that gap that you feel, you might want to start being your own boss.
What You Can Do Now:
If you’re strongly considering to quit your job soon, I advise you to do the following.
#1 – Start An Online Course/Night Course
The things I learned in my university degree were completely different from the work experience I’ve made in the past few years.
However it’s never too late to get more experience after work. There are tons of night courses any country has to offer.
Take a small course that teaches 2-4 hours a week. Within a year you have a new degree and you could start applying to new jobs in a field you desire.
I personally know someone who did his entire 3-year degree online and got a very rewarding job, a company car, plus constant trips around the world.
#2 – Change Company
As mentioned previously, maybe the issue doesn’t lie within the actual job that you’re doing, but within the company and people you are surrounded by.
If you like what you do and you find it interesting, but you feel terrible walking into your office daily, maybe it’s just time to send out your CV to new places.
Changes are often hard to make because we like having routines but sometimes they are necessary.
Think about it this way, by applying for new jobs, all you have to lose is not getting it. You can always return to your routine after.
On the plus side you can get a higher salary, new colleagues which you might become better friends with and a much more rewarding lifestyle.
Why torture yourself with tedious colleagues and not being treated the way you’d like to be treated, when you can most likely find the exact same job somewhere else without these issues?
#3 – Have A Side Project
My personal favorite is, of course, to become your own boss.
The fact that I hated getting out of bed to go to that office every day, gave me motivation enough to study an hour or two every night.
If you don’t know what you are good at or what you want to do, but still want to break free from the 9-5 chains, I highly encourage you to start researching.
Do an hour or two, like I did every night, regardless of how tired you are.
Eventually you will find something that might interest you. Once you’ve found it, talk to people that have been successful in doing what you discovered.
Let them be your mentors and guide you in the right direction. Keep working hard and slowly you can work your way into quitting your job.
Most importantly you should always set some goals. My goal was to make enough money on a monthly basis, within a year (August 2016) to live off it.
If you fail to reach your goal, you have to keep working that job and find a new side project.
What To Watch Out For:
When I was let go of my new promising career due to economic reasons, I had two choices:
- Go to other job interviews that we’re lined up and almost guaranteed to get me another job, which were almost identical to my previous one (which I truly hated a lot) OR
- Risk it all and try my luck to be my own boss!
As you can assume I chose the latter.
Here’s what you should be prepared for when you make that second choice for yourself…
It might sound like heaven when I tell you that I work from home, but it’s not always glamorous.
In this article you will see how hard it can actually be to make the leap from a corporate life to being self-employed.
I found a lot of similarities that made this journey more than difficult for me, such as waking up in the middle of the night to scribble down ideas.
Although I slept terrible due to mental tiredness because of my old job, I slept just as bad, because my head is filled with ideas for my blog.
The online world has so many options and so many ways to make money and I try to sort out the most matching ways for my life and business of course.
I had several nights where I woke up in a puddle of sweat, which is related to stress I experience in my sleep.
But be prepared to cope with the stress when you’re awake as well. It haunts you daily.
Working on your own business means you have to start making money to live (if not survive). You don’t have that safety of the monthly income.
You have to start generating it for yourself. No one tells you what to do, you have to figure your daily tasks out for yourself.
There’s nothing scarier than that. Additionally you have the social pressure.
Again, a daily struggle where you have to explain to your mother that you’re now trying to be your own boss and that creating your own business takes time.
Every time I see my mother, I have to explain it to her and although I make new highs every week, she asks me to get a job and choose the safe route.
But besides family, there are friends and the entire social influence from their friends as well.
Every time I have to explain what I am doing and how it works, they have a condescending look. Very few people will encourage you.
(Usually its just the ones that have the desire to do something themselves that encourage you.)
Whenever someone asks me how my “online business” is doing I have to give the same answer: “It’s hard but it’s coming along”
I won’t be able to say it’s doing great within the next few months either.
Why? Because Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Microsoft, Apple, Facebook or any other empire we’re exposed to daily.
So be prepared to stress yourself with the thought of having to prove people wrong.
But most of all you have to be ready to struggle with money.
I was fortunate enough to have saved enough money for this project of mine. You can read here how I save about $2,000 a year.
You will find yourself reaching into your savings more and more as time goes on.
You start rationing and going out less. Eventually you leave the house a lot less, because leaving the house means spending money.
Luckily I am still doing fine on that perspective but soon I will have to dip into my savings a little deeper and it will be a painful moment.
Solution To These Issues:
As you can tell the road to being self employed, being your own boss and having to quit your job isn’t easy.
To make it a little more soothing do these things:
- Start saving now. Save enough to live off for a year and multiply that by 2 because that’s how much you’ll need. You can’t imagine all the things that came up in my first month (car broken, dishwasher broken, all the bills piling up etc.)
- Hang out with people that believe in you and keep your mouth shut to others. Why should you care what others think if they are the least likely ones to help you out when you are struggling?
- Start isolating yourself from the outside world. No more nights out, no more take aways and spend wisely. Ever heard of ‘work hard, play harder’? Just keep that in mind.
- Set yourself goals. I cannot stress the importance of goal setting. You will see gradual progress by doing so and you will see how your hard efforts will start paying off!
- Measure your progress and celebrate each small success.
The beginning of a journey is always exciting and filled with fear of not knowing what will happen with you.
Failure is the hardest thought to deal with but with positive energy, a plan and good company it is possible to succeed.
In the article written by Ali Mese, he talks about the positive encouraging girlfriend and how she helped him push through the tough times.
Not only am I lucky to be in the same position but it also shows how important it is to have someone important help you out during the hard times.
I hope that this ‘guide’ helps you make the right choice and helps you make that necessary career change you need.
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Thanks for reading,