You’re not alone. Whether it’s a health scare, life crisis or just a growing feeling of unsettlement, more of us are asking the question ‘is this all there is?’.
For me, it was two major health challenges that made me woke (apparently this is what the young folk call waking up). The first, a burn out induced anxiety disorder, diagnosed in my late 20’s. The second, breast cancer, some 12 years later. In both instances, I longed for career change, but opted instead, for the relative safety of travel. Travel and awesome International roles, in the field I was longing to leave.
Naturally by the time I was recovering from breast cancer (aged 39), I had enormous financial responsibilities. These were amassed through 20 years of rising up the career ladder. I also had a very nice lifestyle, thank you very much. Flash car, two mortgages (the second a holiday home), a wardrobe full of fancy clothes and an enviable travel agenda. So much stuff.
So no, I didn’t boldly walk out of my job, although the urge was there. In the end, it took me until 6 months ago (eight years after my breast cancer diagnosis) to finally rip that bandaid off.
This may seem a long time, and is, it was also enormously valuable. I had incredible life & career experiences, met life long friends (globally), amassed more transferable skills, had time to explore what was really important to me, I studied hard and I reduced the potential risk over time. I believe things unfold as they're meant to.
That being said, now I'm on the other side, I must say the view is pretty incredible! If it's total career transformation you desire, if it's soul on fire purpose you seek, I'm here to encourage and help you along the way.
So whichever stage of this journey you're at, here's a thing or 10 to consider along the way:
Don’t leave your job until you have completed all of the following steps
Figure out your why (your purpose, your unique gifts and the legacy you want to leave). I’m writing an e-book on this at the moment, send me a DM if you want a copy
Once you have your killer ‘why’ it’s time to start crafting and creating your future & planning out how to go from where you are now, to where you see yourself. 1. You may not know exactly what you’re going to do, but by this stage you have enough information to invest in training and qualifications (yes you may need to study on top of your day job). 2. Do the training, earn the qualifications, as you do, consider how your unique experience and skills can merge with your passions to deliver something special to a specific audience. 3. Get clear on this/your audience, who do you want to work with/sell to? Why? What? How? 4. Talk to everybody you know (particularly if in this audience) about what you’re planning and seek their honest feedback, continue evolving your idea. 5. If possible, take advantage of your ‘day job’ to integrate your passions, grow your credentials in the field your heading towards 6. Finally, create a basic business plan + road map taking you from where you are now to where you want to be (and by when)
It’s time to side hustle - see number one
Take control of your finances: save as much money as possible you will want a buffer, begin to down size your out goings. I promise you don’t need so much excess in your life. Did your plan have an ‘I must earn x before I leave my job’ in it? Are you for real? Can you live on less? Now’s the time to start trying….
Assess whether you’re in a position to scale down your day job as you scale up your hustle & if you are, initiate and agree a plan with your employer (no you don’t need to tell them you’re planning to leave you can simply request to reduce your hours/go part time)
Make self care a priority, figure out how you’re going to nurture yourself while you go through what is a transition, that is going to test you. Create a self care routine and stick to it like it’s your job
Invest all you’ve got into your hustle, but keep an eye on your why (abort mission and go back to no. 3.3 if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point?!)
Grow your business as much as you can in the time your’ve got, until you reach one of two tipping points: 1. You simply can’t drag yourself into the office anymore because the fire in your belly is too bright 2. Your projections show you can afford to make the transition
Go forth and live your life feeling #litupandliberated
Oh and while you do that, please be aware:
You will feel like throwing in the towel and running for the safety of a job at times, don’t you dare quit on your dreams
Your business will evolve enormously in the first year, you might shift direction entirely, or need to take contract work at times, see above
Investing in a coach will pay dividends (I wish I'd done that sooner)
I finally walked out of my ‘day job’ to pursue more passion, meaning and fire in my life six months ago (my why is to feel #litupandliberated & inspire more people to do the same). It’s been every bit as hard as I imagined. It’s also even more fulfilling than I ever dreamed. My life is transformed.