When I tell them of my story, many people ask me “why?”, to which I politely respond “why not?”.
For some, the reasons not to quit may provide reason to make do continuing the cubicle life, working hard for somebody else’s cause.
Some people saw my situation as a lost opportunity — leaving a stable, well paying career — whereas I saw many, many opportunities to be gained. Besides, no matter what, I have the safety net of a degree for the rest of my life, so why not spend time being adventurous, daring, and create a journey on my own terms.
I’d done my time. I'd seen my career path laid out in front of me by my many bosses, and I didn’t like what I saw.
I quit my job, packed my bags, shoved life into my tiny car, and it the road towards new opportunity, inspiring friends, and a foreign land to explore.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. It was a tough mental battle fought to make it that far, to a point where I was freed from the chains of my desk job, and there were no shortage of people questioning my motives. The ensuing negative, damaging self-talk had the potential to derail my desire to be free and search for my true calling, and have me running back to corporate world, tail between my legs.
Living a life of cause isn't all fair rides and lollipops, it takes dedication, hard work, and guts. Heres a few ways I made a life on my own terms a reality...
1. build your tribe and keep them close
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn
I will note that if you want the best support on your journey to escape the confines of your 9-5, then it’s best to look for people that have made a similar move to you. These people will be the most understanding, will be more likely to encourage you, and may even offer some wisdom for your journey.
If you’re hoping to get the same from your family, loved ones, or close friends that share none of your desire, then it’s time to change tactic. It’s not fair to ask the same of people living in a completely different reality.
Find people who support your cause, and band together for the greater good. Some good ways to build your tribe might include:
- Going to Meetup.com and trying a new activity
- Check out blogs online of others who have done the same
- Talk about your situation with someone you trust. You never know what they can offer you
- Travel. You’re more likely to find people who can relate to you on the road.
Make building your tribe the number one priority when you decide to pull the pin. Your spirit, enthusiasm, and progress towards your goals will accelerate beyond imagination!
2. Believe Change is possible
Quitting your miserable job takes guts, that’s certain, and it also requires faith - a belief that your new path is the one you are required to take. Taking it to another level, I’m certain that to make your dreams come true, you need to believe in your ability to succeed.
Sounds simple I know, but this is a huge change in mindset that will have your confidence soar to new levels, and provide you with the strength to climb out of your 9-5 grave.
When times get tough and what you do seems silly, unrealistic, or impossible, these are the times you can call on your self-belief to inspire you. Remind yourself that all the ‘miracles’ of the past (think electricity, man landing on the moon, the invention of the modern computer for example) were created by normal people just like you. They were not that different from you and I, but they had mastered an important ability to have faith in their actions, their judgement, and in what they stand for.
Believe in your ability, stand by your goals, and climb towards your greatness.
3. Quit stalling, time for action
And I hate to bring it to you, it’s not going to get better as time goes on, despite what people say.
I spent years convincing myself that I could learn to like my job, that the next promotion would solve my woes, or even a new workplace would have me whispering the ‘L’ word to my job.
The reality is, if things aren’t better now, then chances are they’re not going to improve. You may be saving money, but ask yourself this: are you saving up happiness, enjoyment, and fulfilment?
There is never a good time to quit your job and experience change, but if you’re chained to a job you hate, it’s never a good time not to consider cutting loose. The longer you stay, the steeper the climb out becomes.
If you feel yourself sinking into an early grave at a dead-end career, then it’s time you considered doing something about it.
But what about all the excuses that have prevented you from taking action in the past? Things like...
- “Well I’ve already put in 5 years”
- “If I left now, all the work I’ve put in for that promotion will be a waste”
- “I can’t leave my coworkers hanging”
- “I’m only 9 months away from long service leave”
They may have been useful excuses in the past, but are you willing to fall for that again? Do you even want the promotion? Is it what you really want, or is it just what everyones else wants, so you think you should want it too?
Do you think you will be less stressed, more empowered, and having more fun in life as you climb the corporate ladder? If so, you’re in for a nasty surprise.
Snap out of it, and stop climbing the ladder to nowhere.
Living a life you love, one of passion, purpose, and fulfilment, doesn’t need to be hard work, but it does require commitment, and for you to take action.
Sure I get it, action is scary. What’s scarier though: acting with the possibility of success, or stalling with a guarantee of failure?
It’s up to you.
Plan your escape, put your best foot forward, and show yourself the door. Take action. The rest will follow.
freedom is your creation, not your gift
If you want to live and work on your terms, start by reclaiming ownership of your mind. Become the bearer of your decisions, and the master of your own domain.
So… over to you. What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing when it comes to quitting your job? Or if you are already self employed, what was a hurdle when you were preparing to quit?
Leave a comment below and share your story.