Who Else Wants To Quit His Day Job?
A few days ago, a colleague who had just joined our team for 5 months told me he was resigning. “Oh, having worked for more than 10 years, I’ve decided to give myself a break. Maybe I’ll take up full-time studies.” He thought for a while and added, “I’m also considering starting a business venture.”
I looked at him, stirring the cup of coffee I’d just ordered and grimaced, “Oh my, oh my, I can’t believe he’s one step ahead of me!”
Since reading Robert Kiyosaki : Rich Dad Poor Dad 5 years ago, I’ve already been planning for the day when I can declare to my boss, “I’m quitting!”. And I know I’m not alone. Many a time over lunch, friends have been sharing with me their ambition to quit and pursue their long-time dreams and ideals. Some told me they’re working on it. A few lamented to me what’s stopping them. One gleefully announced she has already done it.
But hey, before you start getting pumped up and want to make quitting your day job the goal for the year ahead, take a step back and do a reality check :
Are You Willing to Change?
If you’re someone who give answers like “I don’t know”, “I’ll wait and see first” to questions such as “What are you planning to do in 5 years’ time?”, “Are you serious about leaving?”, do yourself a favor and stop thinking about whether you ought to leave. You aren’t ready for it.
People who’re really committed towards making such a decision are consciously aware that change is inevitable. They’re forward looking and view this decision as a means to improve their life for the better. Deep inside their heads, they’re probably thinking “If I quit my job, will it improve my condition? Or, should I change the way I look at things?
A lot of people whom I’ve seen complaining about their colleagues, boss etc, are often caught in a vicious cycle. The more they complain, the lousier they feel, giving them a false belief that they’re indeed in a bad situation. When you tell them things like “since you hate your workplace, why don’t you leave it?”, they’ll give you a thousand and one excuses why they can’t go. Most of the time, the excuses relate to their unwillingness to accept change.
Is Your Job Aligned With Your Values?
A friend who’d left her prestigious vice president post in an offshore bank told me her job was depriving her of quality time with her two year old daughter. She was clocking 9-10 work weeks and by the time she was back from work, her daughter was tucked off to bed by the domestic helper.
The last straw came when the domestic helper went back to her hometown in the Philippines and the girl became emotionally uncontrollable. My friend reckoned, if she was the one leaving the daughter, would the kid behave that way as well?
“No, probably not”
“That’s why I’ve decided to quit my job. No amount of money earned can replace the bonding I want to build with my daughter.”
When the value you’ve been upholding is being challenged, you’ve to make a choice. Either you change the belief that stays attached to your value or surrender to the challenge. In my friend’s case, she chose the latter. She decided to leave her job and become a full-time housewife.
Of course, you can try to change your belief too. For example, if kinship is important to you, do interpret it as working hard to give the best to your family and making time during weekends to spend quality instead of quantity time with your children. When you start changing and accepting your beliefs, your mind associates a positive connotation to the job. You shouldn’t feel guilty next time you see your child tugged in bed, after a long day at work. In fact, you should feel thankful that you’re able to afford the best for your kid and letting her sleep without any worries.
But it’s no point changing but not accepting your new beliefs. Because you’ll end up deluding yourself. You’ll know if something isn’t right when you continue to get surges of negative feelings which are eventually translated into stress and worry.
If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail
What are you going to do after you leave? If you want to apply for a new job, have you been checking the recruitment papers or registering with headhunting companies? If you’re thinking of starting a business, do you have a business proposal drafted up?
Sadly, a lot of the people I’ve talked to do not have a plan. They’ll tell you, “I’ll start planning once I tender my resignation.” Otherwise, they’ll say “Maybe I do this”, “Maybe I’ll do that”. But the truth is, most fall into the trap set by the law of inertia. When you start punctuating your sentences with “maybes”, you’ll end up with a definite word.
If you’ve absolutely no clue as to what you’ll want to do, I’d suggest doing a brainstorming exercise on your Career & Economic Goals. Start asking yourself relevant questions to start brainstorming. Some of these questions can be
- What are the things you can do consider taking into considering your values?
- What is your career path?
- Do you have a start-up in mind?
- How much do you want to earn?
Let your creative juices flow and list down all your options. Don’t be overly concerned on how you should go about doing it at this point. The key is to focus on the what.
Once you’re done, you may have a whole grocery list of options. Differentiate each of them by tagging a timeline of when you think you could accomplish them. If it takes 1 year, just indicate a “1 year” behind the goal. If you think it’s going to take 5 years, put a “5 year” behind it. Be truthful. You don’t want to end up working on a career goal that’s probably less crucial than u thought, right?
Then select the single most crucial 1 year goal that you’d want to work on and start drafting a plan. If you need more details on how you’d draft out this action plan, download our Goal Setting Tutorial. It’s free.
Sell Your Plan to Your Family & Friends
If you’re making a big decision in your life like getting married, moving in with another person, having kids etc, who’s the first group of people you notify? Likely to be your family or closest friends, yeh?
Initially, they’ll express shock over your decision, and chant “whys” as if they’re part of a mantra. It’s a kind of natural defense mechanism that one will build up in order to protect someone they love. Don’t mistake it for rude skepticism or that they’re dream crashers, trying to demolish the long awaited plan that you’ve been harbouring.
Instead of turning nasty and saying things like “Oh, you don’t understand what I’m going through!” and run for the door, why don’t you try selling your plan to them? Convince them why you want to do it. Most importantly, hear what they’ve to say about your proposal and their opinion of whether you’ve got the mettle to stick through it. If what they say makes sense, you may want to factor them into the master plan just to ensure that all are covered.
If you’re able to say “Yes!” with any hesitation to their questions like “Are you sure that’s what you want to do?”, you’ll know you’re ready to move out of that comfort zone and make a dash for the finishing line. What matters more than to have the people whom you love, cheering you on the sides?
Deliver Your Promises
I remember another friend’s words when she quit her job as an accountant, only to go back into the accounting profession again after a year’s stint in Interior Design sales. “I’ve been there and done that. No regrets with my life whatsoever. I’ve delivered the promise to myself to be true to what I want. No doubt I might have failed, but I’m glad I tried it anyhow.”
“Most importantly, I get to share my experiences with people who’ll like to try the same.”
Now, what was your promise to yourself, family or friends when you try selling your plan? Was it to “do your best and work on your plan, never to quit no matter how difficult the obstacles may be”? Or was it a simple “just to be happy and pursue what you think is right”? Whatever your promises you’ve made, make sure you actually deliver.
It brings you and the people whom you’ve assured to a different level of consciousness that you’re someone who “means what you say”.
Whilst accomplishing the promises you’ve set, do think of the greater cause of sharing your experiences and helping others who’re still facing the dilemma of quitting their jobs. When you deviate from a mentality that’s focused on your own ego or achievements, you’ll likely to get more. Imagine the gratification and the growth you’ll go through!
Perhaps even more satisfying than you’d have done it yourself.