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I don’t know about you, but I used to be afraid of changing careers because there isn’t really a good way to tell if the grass will really be greener on the other side. I mean, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves if things don’t work out, right? So, do you know what I did? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was too afraid to rock the boat, and I certainly didn’t want to put my family in a position where our needs would not be met. Was this the smartest decision I’ve ever made? Probably not. However, I did take what I learned from working as a teacher, and apply it to my business now.
If you’re feeling afraid to change careers, jobs, or pursue a business venture of your own, I want you to figure out why. What is it that is so scary? As I mentioned in our previous post in this series, testing out a new “vehicle” doesn’t mean your purpose has changed. So, I want you to dig deep and figure out what’s really going on. What’s holding you back? For me, a big part of it was because it was tough to leave a “secure” job. Yet, when you think about it, are we really able to say we have job security?
Let’s be real here, folks. Anything could happen. I’ve personally seen a business (in good standing, mind you) close unexpectedly because of issues between the owners. It was a few days before the New Year, and when the manager (my hubby) called to verify some information with the owners, he found out they decided to close their business for good. What a way to bring in the New Year! (Yeah, it was tough finding this out, y’all!)
So, what I’m saying is, don’t decide to stay somewhere you clearly don’t want to be just for the sake of “job security”. The cold, hard truth is that you will never know if the grass is truly greener on the other side unless you take some action to find out for yourself. Just remember: every job has pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide what you will and will not put up with.
Well, what can you do if you’re still too scared to quit your job?
I’m so glad you asked, my dear. I have three things you can do if it still makes you hyperventilate just thinking about leaving your job.
- Stay where you are.
You always have the choice to stay exactly where you are and finish out your career with your current place of employment (provided nothing drastic happens, right?). However, if you do decide to go this route, I don’t feel you are justified in complaining anymore about how much you dislike your job. If you’re not willing to change the problem, then you can’t really expect things to be different for you. (Sorry guys, but I had to give a little tough love!)
- Do volunteer work at a place that aligns with your passions or interests.
If you’re not quite ready to quit your job, there are other things you can do. Depending on your interests, you could do some volunteer work in that particular field. For example, if your purpose is to help shape the growth of children, you could volunteer to work with the children’s ministry at your church or you can volunteer to do tutoring at a local school in your community. This way, you’re still able to maintain that salary you want, and still have an outlet to fulfill your purpose.
- Start a side hobby / hustle.
Maybe you have a business venture you’ve just been dying to try, but don’t want to leave your job just yet to do it. Not a problem. You could test the waters by doing what you love on the side before diving in. Want to start your own catering business? Offer your services to your church, host parties in your home, or offer to cater food to teachers at a local school. You can do services pro bono initially to gain exposure or you can charge right away—it’s up to you, my dear. Just make sure you get those client testimonies (these will come in handy when you begin marketing yourself)!
If you see that you’re making more money on the side than you’re bringing in from your main gig, then you will need to decide where you want to go from there. (If you want more information on how to start a side business, you should totally check out my girl Natasha ‘Tottie’ Weston’s best-selling book, 10 Effective Ways to Start Your Business with 0 Dollars. No affiliate, just an honest opinion after reading her book myself!)
So, there you have it. Will you ever know if the grass is really greener on the other side? Probably not if you don’t try it. (Don’t just take Uncle Bob’s word, okay?) Even though you may be afraid, I just want you to know that you are more than qualified to succeed in any area you choose. If you want to change jobs, do it. If you want to try a new career, do it. If you want to get your entrepreneur skills going, have at it! Just make sure that whatever you do, it should align with your purpose.