Ever dream of walking out and never looking back? Often wonder if you could ever pursue a career, degree, or dream you think might be too risky? Now might be the time.
We spend too much of our lives afraid to make the big decision. But the vast majority of Americans aren’t fully engaged or enriched at work. Furthermore, studies show that most pay raises come after a job switch. You could be happier and make more money, if only you were brave enough to take the leap!
1. Make a financial plan
Of course, you’ll have to take a comprehensive look at your finances. If you don’t have a safety net to get you through a few months unemployed, then the time is not yet right. Consider making a quitting fund for next year, and start dreaming up what you’d rather be doing with your life. But if you do have the liquid to take the big risk, the possible rewards are overwhelming.
2. Make a logistical plan
Do your homework. How long can you make it without work? What’s your worst-case scenario should it all go wrong? Talk to the people who would be affected by your decision—spouse, kids, parents, business partners. Most importantly, start to rejigger your career identity so you won’t succumb to feeling like a drifter. Craft a preemptory answer to the dreaded cocktail party question, “So what do you do?” If you have an answer prepared, you’ll start to feel strong enough to use it.
3. Don’t leap blindly
Do the usual networking and job searching, but make sure to make room in your schedule for some soul-searching. What did you actually love about the work you were doing? What are some features of your ideal job? What would you like to do with your life if you had one more chance and one big re-set button?
There’s always time to make your life better. So go ahead and give yourself the option of being more fulfilled. One day, it might be too late for you to change, for one reason or another—but today is not that day.