Numerous successful entrepreneurs out there suggest us to find or create a job that we’re hugely passionate about, before we eventually achieve financial freedom. However, the million-dollar question (no-pun intended) is that our passion doesn’t quite pay our bills. We need to come to terms with the fact that this might well be the biggest risk if we quit our day job and are unable to pursue our passion afterwards. Or, should we be realistic and find a job that we may well hate pays well? Here, Dr. Partridge shares her insightful advice on similar scenarios given from our readers:-
1. “I really want to go out there and explore, and do what I feel passionate about, but I don’t want to abandon my current job either; it’s too much of a risk-taking…”
Unless you have a financial cushion of savings, I don’t suggest abandoning your current job without a clear plan terms of what you need to do next. The fact remains that the financial stress will not create the space to allow you to explore your passions with ease. So, how can you create that space to explore your passions and determine your next career move? Do you have any vacation days that you can use purposefully to explore career options? However, there’s a caveat. Don’t go party with friends on a beach vacation – that’s just a distraction if your #1 priority is determining what career or job you will find most fulfilling. Instead, plan a staycation, attend a retreat, or go away on a trip by yourself. If you don’t have the ability to take the time off work, start using whatever free time you have – with purpose.
It’s also important to accurately pinpoint where you fall on the risk-taking continuum. Some people are natural risk-takers and actually need a certain level of risk and uncertainty in order to feel motivated to make big life decisions, such as the best-fit career path. You know—some people will be able to make a quicker decision (actually without a lot of stress) with some fire under their belt! On the other hand, some are viscerally risk adverse and stabilize risks. They need to take very calculated risks after carrying out in-depth research. Determine what kind of risk-taker you are and plan accordingly.
2. “I know that I hate my current job but I just need the money to survive…”
I don’t suggest being miserable in a job any longer than you need to be. Ask yourself: what’s my minimum income requirement? Be on the lookout for only those jobs that help you meet that income requirement. However, what often happens is that you can get used to hating your job — it almost becomes comfortable. You think you could never get another job or shift to another career path that generates the same level of income or more. Let’s face it; misery is a confidence deflator. It’s very possible to get another job that pays the same, if not more, that would also create the same kind of career happiness and success. I have seen this happen over and over again with my clients — so, believe in the possibilities!
3. “My current job is ideal to both my family and people around me, I don’t want to disappoint them if I were to quit it…”
Ok, this is what I call the people pleasing mindset. And, this is a dangerous mindset to continue nurturing! STOP! If you are only keeping your job or staying on your current career path to please and not to disappoint those around you, you are stuck in carrying-out the shoulds in your life. We all have things we have to do. Then, there are the things we want to do, and THEN there is this dangerous category of should. Start squashing the people pleasing mindset by playing what I call—“The Disappointment game.” Abandon or say “no” to at least one thing this week that is a “should.” This might “disappoint” another person, but you first need to learn to be true to yourself as well as your wants/needs before anyone else’s, particularly if you are stuck carrying-out career “shoulds.”
4. “I do see my potential growth in my company but I just don’t see a purpose doing work that I don’t enjoy at all…”
First, it’s important to differentiate between not liking the work due to the actual role, or perhaps it’s the company culture that causes you not to enjoy your work. Figure out which or if both are the reason.
No matter how far you advance within a company you will never feel truly fulfilled if you do not enjoy your work. There is no purpose in doing work that you do not like. Start by reflecting upon the following: “What are my greatest gifts and talents that both make an impact and in which I feel fulfilled when I put them to use?” This will give you ample information on what your true career purpose or mission is. You can then align this with possible career paths and jobs.
5. “People told me that I should take care of earning money first then pursue my dream/passion…”
Simply not true. You CAN pursue your dream and passion and have financial abundance at the same time. However, I am also a realist. There are certain careers where it’s harder to break-in and to make a good living from. Or, it takes some time to get traction financially. So, be realistic, but refrain from limiting yourself.
6. “I don’t want to quit my well-paid job because I’m uncertain if the consequences will be worth it…”
Oftentimes, all the data in the world cannot tell us in which direction to go, especially when it comes to big career decisions such as these. And, no one but you can answer these important career questions. This is where your intuition or gut comes into play. It’s important to get quiet with yourself in order to tap into your intuition. Your intuition is always your best guide. But, also be careful not to let the “shoulds” in life cloud your gut feel. One way to tap into your intuition is to undertake a journaling activity where you write an open-ended question (not a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question), such as “What career path is going to give me the greatest amount of fulfilment, while also supporting me financially?” or “Why am I so uncertain if the consequences of leaving my well paid job will be worth it?” Write till the point when you have nothing left to write. You may or may not have an answer at the end. But, you will likely have more clarity.
Interested in working with Dr. Partridge? Visit www.adriennepartridge.com to learn more about her programmes, workshops and events. Find Dr. Partridge at U.S. News & World Report / Fox TV / Inc. / Thrive Global / Huff Post . Download her Leadership Guide: “3 Steps to Becoming a Confident Leader”