This is a subject very close to my own heart, and convincing others that it’s the right thing to do is one of my obsessions. The simple fact is that your job/career, if you are employed by somebody else, is at risk every day. Do something about it.
It’s the Time
We live in a time where companies are going bankrupt all over the place, especially now after they have limped on for a number of years, trying their best but to no avail. This period of austerity will not end soon, and as long as it’s there, people will suffer at the hands of it.
This generation of 20-40 year olds are in a difficult situation. We have been brought up, conditioned in to, thinking that we must get a safe career that will ultimately look after us right through to the golden handshake. However, the world has now changed and the goalposts have moved. Firstly, we know that we will not have any pensions when we get to Cocoon-land, and secondly, we know that we won’t last in one job for all of that time either.
Although it seems like a difficult decision, and one that bucks the trend of rational thought, it actually isn’t. It’s just a step off the pier in to an uncertain future, but only uncertain not necessarily bad.
Two choices; stay where you are and just wait for something bad to happen to you; or, leave now, get on the front foot, and really make something good happen.
The 3 Steps to Escape
1. What do you want to do instead?
Seriously, you can’t get anywhere unless you know where it is you’re going. This is the hardest question of all to answer when you are stuck in a career that makes you unhappy, but you need to answer it in order to move on.
2. What do you need to do to reach your goal?
In the business world this is called Gap Analysis. But what you need to do is work out what skills and experience you currently have, and measure them against the desired skills and experience that you would need to follow your dreams.
3. How are you going to leave?
Once you know what you’re going to do instead, and how you’re going to get there, the only thing to decide then is how you’re going to get out of the miserable job you’re in. Don’t make rash decisions (punching your boss in the face, or telling everyone at work what you think of them), have a properly thought out plan, of when and how to leave, and then the next steps after that.
I would also advise someone to have a contingency plan, to use if it all goes pear-shaped on the other side. There’s no guarantees in life, but I would always argue that you’re better off taking things into your own hands, rather than relying on someone else.
The only thing stopping you from leaving what you hate is your own fear. Think through it properly, formulate your escape tunnel, and then, more importantly… DO IT.
How does that feel?