It wasn't that long ago that I quit my last full time job. I'd been running my business on the side for about 3 years, always with the security of having a paycheck and regular income, which was a super important value of mine. I've known for years that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and have complete control over my life and my work and my income and my time and my location. But I also have always really valued security, a sure thing, responsibility, money, safety.
But there comes a time sometimes when you may have to choose between two things you love or that are important to you. My full time job was taking up so much time I didn't have the space available to give my business enough time and effort to actually succeed. I didn't want to let the full time security blanket go, but I knew that if I kept it going, I wouldn't ever be able to see the business grow, and that gnawed away at me. I needed to quit, I knew I did, but I really, really struggled with that choice.
This might be you, too. Whether your struggle is about changing your career, or trading in some time or work to get different or new skills, or going to work in a different industry, or going after a job that's more satisfying, or pursuing a side hustle or running your own show, you might feel like you have a trade-off between stability and security, and freedom, possibility, satisfaction, or the future you.
The Solution: Get Time Perspective
One thing that can make this easier is remembering that no choice is permanent, and choosing one thing that you want NOW, doesn't mean you'll always have to sacrifice the other thing that might still be important to you.
Choosing to quit my job and run my business full time was super freakin' scary. What made it a little less scary was knowing that I was prioritizing my lifelong dream of running my own business TODAY, at the short-term expense of security. But I wouldn't always have to make that trade-off. I reminded myself I could go back and find a regular full time job any time if I wanted to or needed to. And ultimately, if I was successful at running my own business, I'd be creating much more security and stability for myself later on. I was choosing satisfaction over stability for right now, but only for a short while, not for the rest of my life. Those two things don't have to be mutually exclusive forever.
I talk with clients all the time who have an idea of what they want to do that's interesting or appealing, but involves giving up a stable income or the promise of security. In my experience, the number one thing that keeps us stuck doing what we're doing that we don't like is fear of losing stability. So if that's you, try putting a time stamp on your trade-off. If you know that to make a change and do something more interesting involves giving up some stability and security, give yourself a time period where you'll allow that to happen. Maybe it's a month, or 3 months, or 6 months, or a year, or 2 years, any time frame is fine as long as you give yourself enough time to have the experience. After that, you can go back to prioritizing stability and security again, no questions asked. Set the date, then make the commitment to try the change, and see what happens. Know that you can always make another change later. Nothing is permanent.
If you want some help navigating your tough career choices, I can help. Get in touch.