How to quit a well-paying job for a lifelong dream
Letting go of a job you worked hard to get and is now paying handsomely is a daunting thing. Just when you are ready to walk out of that cubicle, the reassurance of a steady paycheck and a comfortable life pulls you back in. However, once you’ve entertained the thought of living your dream and following your passion, you know you can’t live without it. With a little planning and preparation, you can make the transition a smooth one.
Plan Your Next Move
This does not mean having a step-by-step plan written down in all caps. All I’m saying is that you should have your passion figured out. If you are unhappy at your job, quitting it may seem to be a relief, and rightfully so. However, a lot of people quit their jobs on impulse, without knowing what they’ll do once they’re out. That only sounds good in blog posts. In real life, that fleeting relief of having finally walked out is amazing, but anxiety of financial insecurity can soon set in.
Begin planning your transition while you are still at your job, with a steady paycheck. Depending on what your passion is, you can even begin forming the foundation of the future you want to build. You could begin designing a website, writing a few blog posts, or start creating a photography portfolio. Do anything you can to help with the transition as well as giving yourself a taste of what’s to come.
This could be the most actionable advice ever, and you’d be better off heeding to it. Turning your dream into a full-fledged career can take a while. It could be months before you begin seeing adequate cash flow. During this time you shouldn’t have to worry about bills. Having a substantial stash in the bank will help you keep your sanity during the development phase of your dream career. If the paycheck was the only thing that kept you at your job all this while, at least put it to some use in building your dream, right?
While we’re talking money, also remember to start learning how to live frugally. When you quit the job, you might be strapped for cash for a while. Whatever money you do make, you will end up reinvesting most of it into the business. So get used to buying fewer lattes at Starbucks, cooking meals at home, and don’t worry about, amassing stuff like clothes and bags and shoes. Focus on the bigger win and let go of the little splurges that don’t add any value to life anyway.
Don’t Burn Your Bridges
Every go-getter must accept the fact that ventures can fail the first time, or the first few times. If you set out to open up your own company after quitting your job, be prepared for the fact that you may fail. You may lose a lot of money and end up back at square one. That only means that you’ll take a second shot at it and if needed, a third one and more. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If such a thing happens though, apart from keeping your optimism alive, you also need to be very real about money. If you lost money in your business venture and your savings are also depleted, you will need more money even to take that second shot. It’s possible that you may have to find another job temporarily to cover your expenses.
That is why you shouldn’t sever your ties with the corporate world. When you resign, be honest with your employer and leave on good terms, so you have the option to go back. Be mentally prepared to find another job again, so you can save up and start again.
Get Comfortable With the Business Side of It
How well you can bake is only partly at play in running a profitable bakery. There’s so much more to learn – legal matters, licensing, food industry permits, health/hygiene checks, buying/renting property and infrastructure, taxes, calculating costs and margins, marketing, advertising, the list goes on. For different industries, the criteria will change, but one thing will remain common – you’ll have to understand the math of business. If you are entirely unaware of this, consider taking an evening, or online, class.
Stay Confident Despite the Challenges
Ships are safe in the harbor, but that’s not what they were made for. There’s definite merit in doing your job and earning a steady income. However, if you feel unhappy, or that you’re not living your life to the fullest, remember that the time we are living in now is conducive to an artistic and entrepreneurial lifestyle. So don’t let fear hold you back. If these guys could do it, you can too.
It’s never too late to answer life’s calling. Whether you are 20, 30, or 50, you can always quit your day-job to pursue your passion. Bankers turn authors and corporates turn fitness trainers. The digital age has empowered everyone to put themselves out there and attempt the most outrageous adventures. With a truckload of hard work, grit and perseverance, you can achieve anything!
Feature image courtesy of Unsplash
Thieu Danny Gian
Thieu Danny Gian works as Digital Marketer at AutoCraze. He is an experienced marketing coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry. He has a strong marketing background with a Bachelor of business focused in Marketing and Advertising from the University of Technology, Sydney.