Are you possibly going though a point in your life where you need a new start? Maybe it’s a change in lifestyle, perhaps you want to switch careers, or you simply want to move out of your current city in search for inspiration or new opportunities. These are all big changes that, if you’re willing to work for, might be absolutely rewarding.
It was exactly a year ago that I put in my two weeks notice at my corporate job in search for a more purposeful career and life. I can tell you that my transformation has been phenomenal. I’ve been able to meet more people, make better connections, laugh more and enjoy my time doing the things that I love the most. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. I’ve cried and panicked at times, but thankfully I’m able to remember exactly why I’m doing this.
No matter what your goal is, there are certain things you need to consider before taking that leap of faith. Here are 5 tips for making a change that will help guide you in this journey:
1. Have a timeline and a plan: Don’t leap into the unknown without a plan. That’s just irresponsible. Instead, know where you’re headed and write the steps down according to a specific timeline, ie: Always wanted to live/work in the Big Apple? Try this; Research job postings, apply, and get hired within the next 6-8 months. Once a job is secure, move to a rental in Brooklyn for a year to get a feel for the commute and the city. Make sure to have enough money saved to cover all rental and moving costs if the company doesn’t offer it.
2. Make sure that your decision is rational and strategic. “On a whim” sometimes doesn’t work with long term changes. You will soon find yourself scrambling for money or getting seriously scared for your future. You want to make sure that you think this through well enough, while looking at both the long term and short term repercussions that this decision might entail within the financial, physical, emotional, and lifestyle realms. In the end you should be at peace with your decision.
3. Plan your finances: consider all your monthly expenses. Can you afford them in the case that there is no income? If so, for how many months? Do you have enough in your emergency savings? Also, don’t you dare dip into your retirement for extra cash. That’s a big no-no. If you have to cut back on expenses, make sure to stay true to the ‘need’ vs ‘want’ approach, and avoid splurging on unnecessary items.
4. Have a group of supporters: This is so important! Going at it alone is attainable but difficult. Having someone to share your successes and failures with, is key to overcoming hurdles and enjoying the milestones. Most importantly, if your partner/spouse is not aligned with your thinking… I smell trouble.
5. Ask yourself… Is this decision aligned with my personal/career goals? Am I serving my purpose? Knowing your goals and the purpose behind your decisions is vital. Sometimes we think we’re making the right choice, only to end up at another company doing the same thing we were doing at our previous job. Be aware that some days will be filled with happy dances, while others will occasionally be tearjerkers…But in the end, it will all be so worth it!
On a personal note… The other day, a friend sent me a random text message saying “I am so happy for all you’ve done. I congratulate you on being the risk taker that you are.” Me? A risk taker?? I would’ve never EVER called myself that. But now, I guess I am!