One of the questions that often plagues us as workers is how to know when it is time to quit our day job and seek supposed greener pastures. According to a 2014 Forbes.com article, over half of American workers are dissatisfied or unhappy with their work, 52.3% to be exact. This is an epidemic and the the number has been growing every year. Not a week goes by where I don’t get a call from someone looking to make a career change.
3 signs to know it’s time to leave your day job.
- You don’t see upward mobility or constant fear of being laid off: Job insecurity and lack of upward mobility are some of the biggest contributors to workers dissatisfactions. It is safe to say that if you are in an industry or a job that you think there is a very low ceiling or that your continuous employment is bleak, it is time to start seeking a new job or a new industry. Most people experiencing this phenomenon describes it as “feeling trapped” in their job.
- Your ideas are not being heard: One of the biggest needs of humans is the need to feel important. We all have a basic need to feel that we matter. If you are at a job or in an industry that you feel that your voice or ideas are not being heard. If you feel that your efforts do not matter or you don’t have any control over your work, then it might be time to consider a job/career change. Most people want to feel that their efforts and ideas matter. This is one of the biggest intrinsic factor of job satisfaction.
- Steve Jobs test: This is perhaps the most important of all three signs. I call this sign the Steve Jobs Test or the Death Test. In Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech to Stanford University graduates, he said he woke up every morning, looked in the mirror and asked himself, if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? If the answer has been “No” for too many days in row, he knows it is time to change something. This exercise has helped me make several key decisions in my life. Keep in mind, that he said that the answer should be No for “many days”. So don’t quit at the first time you don’t like what you are doing, give it some time.
3 ways to leave your job successfully.
Let go of your fear: Perhaps the biggest reason why most of us stay in an unfulfilling job or career is the fear of the unknown. Most of us are just afraid of what will happen to our future. How would will pay for our obligations? How will we eat? Would will get a better job? Can we survive? Well below are three ways to navigate this fear.
- Savings & Credit: One of the best ways to mitigate this fear is by temporarily reduce our lifestyle drastically, save aggressively, and obtain some revolving credit (only for emergencies). The combination of these three things should give us the confidence to be able to seek a more promising career without neglecting our obligations.
- Seek a mentor: Seeking out a mentor is perhaps the best way to accomplish anything. The blueprint to success has been laid out several times by several people. All we need to do is to seek out someone or several people that have successfully quit their day job and proceeded to lead a very successful career and life thereafter.
- Develop a network: We have all heard of the phrase, your network is your net worth. This is extremely true. The most successful people are the people that have the biggest network, they impact the most lives and they know the most people. In your path to making a career change, you should join several organizations, meet more people, talk to more people on the phone, have more lunches. Impact more lives and your life would be impacted.
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