How and when to jump ship on your career.
Sounds scary doesn't it? Well, it is. When you have depended on your regular income from your regular job to pay the bills, prepare for your retirement, feed and clothe the kids, pay for a mortgage, make a car payment and insurance payments, etc.
When your daily job has paid for everything for so long, it is scary to suddenly step away into a new career.
Even now as we get older my spouse and I find it terrifying if one of us finds ourselves out of a job, even for a little while. Even though one of our salaries will cover all of our expenses plus a bit. We worry about what might not get paid, or what we will miss if we are down to one income.
First and foremost, don't jeopardize your financial security. If you want to step out of your old position into a new one, start slowly- do it part time, until it becomes a full time salary. Then step out.
So what will you do? That is entirely up to you-What do you want to do?
Personally, I like to write, so while still working my "Day Job" as a IT help desk operator for (state agency who shall go unnamed), I have begun a side career doing what I love- writing. I take gigs as a copy editor, I write my own blog, and I write novels. Am I successful at it? Somewhat. Iv'e been blogging for a while, and love it. While my readership is small, my affiliate websites are getting a lot of hits which is garnishing readership. I have one novel in the works, which will be ebooked, and I am currently accepting copy editing gigs. Once the income gets to an acceptable level I will step away from my DAY JOB, hopefully that will be sooner rather than later. I'm not in a hurry, I have a job, and a sideline I enjoy, so until that happens, I'll hang where I am.
Choosing a career, any career, when your young or mature like we are is hard. No matter how many of those " Who am I, and what career is right for me?" things you fill out, isn't going to help you decide what you really like to do. They also aren't going to tell you when or how to break into your field of choice. Sometimes you just have to stick your neck out there and try something new. If it works out, and you get paid for it, all the better. Never underestimate yourself, I didn't think there was anyone out there who wanted to read what I wrote, but there is, and its not just people I know.
When beginning a new career no matter how old you are remember to make sure you can keep yourself afloat financially before you sever all the ties to your day job- think of it as working " part-time" until you have the opportunity to go "full time", once that oppurtunity is there, go for it.
We all have problems staying the course, keeping on track. I am certainly one of the worst for following the nearest squirrel that catches my eye. My trend is " oh thats cool, let's do that", or " It was lovely to vacation there, let's live there". Immediately I'm packing our belongings and putting the house on the market. Bless my other half who rides along in my wake, happy to go where I tug, and help out on my most recent venture. It's a fault that I am fully aware I have. That inconsistency of nature, or flightiness. Even now at 50 something, I find it hard to focus.
Staying on a track that is going to actually lead somewhere is hard when there are so many options out there. How do you decide which way to go? How do you keep your focus? Well, the first step is a goal.
We all need goals, if we don't have them, then what are we working toward? Do you want a stable income? Or a new car? Do you want to buy a house? Or travel ? Choose one, just one, and focus everything you do on that one goal.
A few months ago, my one goal was buying a house, not because I needed one, I had a perfectly good rental. But, because there were other advantages for our family. Stability for one; a place to always come home too. Money for another, while the initial outlay might be a chunk, in the long run, my house payment was cut in half.
I was so focused on finding a house that I drove everyone crazy until we found something we could afford, in the right area, with the right acreage. Every weekend I was dragging my poor spouse to house viewings, until we finally found our house. It's not perfect, but it's something we can work with, and that's half the battle.
I can assure you, I did not enjoy my all encompassing form of focus, and my husband certainly did not. But, it paid off in the end, not just emotionally, but financially as well. Thats a goal I can get behind, and you should too.
Choose your goals wisely. Is your goal something that's going to benefit your life in more than one way? Or is it a temporary shot of joy? Long term goals provide the best payback. something that benefits the family in the long term, be it in income, happiness, health, or stability. Goals with a long term payback are the best goals to focus your efforts on.