Sure, you might have forgotten about your career and gotten a job, but when that no longer satisfies you don’t just give up on it. Yes, there is an immediate temptation to quit and just get on with it. Resist that urge.
You see, the problem with just quitting before you have something else lined up is that you can’t be certain that there will be something one two three. You might, in fact, find yourself looking for that dream job for longer than you can actually afford.
When that happens, you’ll be forced to choose yet another job that doesn’t satisfy you. And then you’re once again stuck (and far less likely to take the plunge again – after all, you failed the last time, what’s to say the next time you’ll be luckier?).
So, instead of just cutting the knot, why not make sure that you’ve got all your ducks in order first? What ducks am I talking about?
What is your dream?
It seems like a straightforward question. It isn’t. Most people spend all of their lives trying to figure out what their dreams are. The trick, I’ve found, is not to try to find your life’s goal. That’s nearly impossible, probably in large part because life is made of many goals rather than just one.
Instead, focus on what you want to do right now. You don’t have to do it forever. You don’t have to commit to a lifetime of only doing that thing. Just commit to it until you’re satisfied.
Another thing to consider is that you’re not confusing one goal for another. For example, a lot of people want well-paying jobs because they believe it will make them happier. Not only is that not true, it is also a matter of focusing on the wrong thing. Why focus on money when you can focus straight on ways to make yourself happier? Wouldn’t that be more effective than going after something that might not actually make a difference?
Become better at the skills you need to pursue your dreams
Not every skill can be learned while you’re doing another job. Some, however, can. For example, if you want to be a musician, perhaps spend some time getting better at making music before you give up your day job.
Sure, you might plateau after a while and not get any better without actually plunging in, but until you reach that point, take it slow. Get better.
For once you’re doing something as a living, there’s often rarely time to reflect and philosophically consider how you can improve what you’re doing as you’re simply too close to the thing.
Is your resume ready?
While you’re still working at another place, you might as well get your resume in order. After all, once you’re back on the job market that’s your calling card, your marketing campaign and your history all rolled into one.
So give it the time it deserves. Hone it. Put it aside for a week then come back to it so that you can see if you’ve made any mistakes which you read over the last time.
Even better, get other people involved. Know anybody with an eagle-eye for detail? Ask them to look at it. Just make sure that they’re not your colleagues, otherwise, your boss might find out before it’s time (And that can be a disaster).
Don’t know anybody? There are plenty of services out there. For example, many academic writing services also do resumes.
While you’re at it, make sure you’re ready for the interview as well. After all, only getting your foot in the door for your dream job isn’t enough. You want the whole deal!
Have you left a good impression?
The problem with throwing in the towel at your current place of employment is that you might leave a lot of people in the lurch. Don’t do that. You never know how useful those people might be to you.
For example, your dream might fail and you might have to go back. Yes, that sounds unappetizing, but just because it’s not something you’d like to happen, you shouldn’t make sure it can’t happen.
So, make sure that you tie up your loose ends, that your ship is in order and that the people you’re working with are left with a smile on their face when you walk away (no, they shouldn’t be smiling because you walk away). That way, if you need a reference, a new job or something else like that, they’ll be there to back up your play. And then you’ll be smiling as well.
Don’t take what you’re doing for granted. Yes, I know, it’s a drag. But not everything can be rainbows and the sunshine. So make sure that before you call it quits, you’ve done your homework and you’re sure to end up on top.
You’ll thank yourself for the preparation. For regret is a truly ugly thing.
Of course, that works both ways. Don’t slow yourself down so much that you don’t actually end up doing anything. For ultimately those things that we don’t do fill us with far more regret than those things we do try but fail at doing. So do take the plunge. Just make sure you tested the water first.