Unlock Your “Golden Handcuffs”

photo credit: myoptimalcareer.com
We spend over 1/3 of our entire lives working, so why shouldn’t that work be meaningful to us, instead of simply a means to gain increased status and wealth?

Have you considered casting off the successful career you’ve spent so long building and choosing a happier path?

We spend over 1/3 of our entire lives working, so why shouldn’t that work be meaningful to us, instead of simply a means to gain increased status and wealth?

Taking that leap from a secure job that pays well to transitioning into an occupation that you love but holds not promise of stability can be incredibly stressful, but deeply rewarding. Here are some tips on how to ensure you make that transition with confidence.

photo credit: https://elev8.com
photo credit: https://elev8.com

Lighten your load: Your biggest consideration when making the leap will most likely be how you will be able to afford the pay cut that starting a new venture will present to you. Ask yourself this question first: “What do I really need?” Do you need the big house, the cable bills, the multiple telephones, the expensive car and the high insurance that comes with it? Do you really need to dine out four times a week? Take inventory of all your expenses and discover what you absolutely have to have to make ends meet. You’ll quickly discover that you need this high-paying job to pay for all the things you don’t need anyway. As you cut down your expenses, you’ll cut down your need for a huge paycheck. The side effect is that as you lighten your financial load, you’re also lightening your stress level, leaving you more time for your new venture!

illustration credit: James Yang
illustration credit: James Yang

Losing to win: There is no doubt that taking the leap will result in some judgment, skepticism, and envy from your peer group, and that’s to be expected! Your leap into the unknown, especially if you’re in your thirties and beyond, can seem like a much bigger risk than the rewards can ultimately offer—the reality is that most startups fail after five years, which may be something you hear during this time. Listen to their concerns, but don’t listen to the negativity. There will always be a select group of people who will never tell you that they equally dislike their job, but lack the courage to do anything about it. Your courage is a reminder of the lack of their own. You may lose some contacts and friends in the process of following your passion, but you’ll win the life you’ve dreamed of and new comrades along the way.

photo credit: whatsamsawtoday.com
photo credit: whatsamsawtoday.com

A head full of dreams, but tightly screwed on: When considering a career and new life for yourself, you may find that your passion will motivate you to make drastic and sudden life decisions as a symbol of your transition. Do not lose your head! You’ve succeeded in your previous career because you kept a steady and patient pace, and these are terrific qualities that will serve you in your new job. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! Your success is fueled by your passion, but it needs a ship-shape vessel and captain to ensure it reaches the destination. Keep in mind, “How will this affect my ability to survive in the meantime?” “What can I do to ensure the stability of my family and personal life so I’m not stressed out and able to creatively focus on a business plan?”

photo credit: coachaina.com
photo credit: coachaina.com

Patience is a virtue: Don’t get discouraged! You will feel a shock of loss and fear after you’ve left your stable, well-paying job. “Was this a bad idea?” “Should I have waited longer to make the leap?” Your identity was wrapped up in that occupation, just like an old girlfriend/boyfriend, so it’s important that your mourn the loss of your old life while remembering the reasons why you disliked it. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile—be proud that you took the initiative to improve your happiness quotient. This was the biggest step in the process, and now your journey has begun! If you were successful in a job you didn’t enjoy, think of how successful you can be when propelled by you own individual passion!

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