Category: Career Change/Career Transition


5 Common Fears (and Myths) of Quitting a Job You Hate

You hate your job, but because of it you don’t have the time or energy to start the overwhelming process of finding something new. And you think you can’t quit it until you find another job. But is that really a true statement, or just common myth? Let’s look at some of the common fears most people have about quitting a job with nothing else lined up. Let’s challenge the assumptions that breed those fears.

Fear/Myth #1

I won’t be able to afford my bills. Is this a true statement? Do you have a little extra money stashed away you can get by on for a little while?

Are there some unnecessary expenses you can cut to help you pay your necessary bills? For example, could you sell your car and take the bus for a while? Or just park your car and cancel your insurance for a few months while taking the bus instead? Do you really need cable or a Netfilx subscription right now? Do you need numerous music subscriptions? Or can you just listen to good old fashioned radio?

Are there some things you no longer need you could sell? What about that treadmill the only gets used as a place to throw your clothes when you don’t feel like hanging them up (you know who you are!). What about the stack of books you’ve already read (or know you’re never going to read)? If you live alone, do you really need a TV in more than one room?

Are there some other ways you can earn cash like picking up some temporary side jobs or a part-time job? In addition, can you get a roommate and charge rent to help with some of your housing costs? Do you own something else others might want to rent on a short-term basis? Do you have a skill people will pay you to perform because of their lack of that skill?

Fear/Myth #2

I’ll lose my health insurance and retirement accounts. Not necessarily. If you leave your job you can always transfer your retirement over to an IRA where it can still earn some money and you can still contribute to it yourself a little at a time until you get your next full-time opportunity. The only thing you’ll be missing out on in the short-term is your company’s matching contribution.

When it comes to health insurance, you can visit ehealthinsurance.com to find temporary health insurance, alternatives to Obamacare, and more. If you happen to do a little freelancing on the side after leaving your job, you may qualify for very affordable insurance through the Freelancers Union at freelancersunion.org (also, it’s free to join the union!). I get my dental and disability insurance through them at very little cost per month.

Fear/Myth #3

It’ll look bad on my resume. Sure, if all you do is become a couch potato after quitting, it will look bad! However, if you use your time to improve your skillset, take some affordable online classes, do some side or freelance projects, volunteer with a local non-profit, raise money to travel on a mission trip, pursue a passion project, or work a fun part-time job, it’s not going to look bad at all.

Whatever you do, do something you find interesting. I’m sure if it’s something interesting to you, it could be interesting to the people who’ll eventually be interviewing you. Show on your resume what you’ve done and the skills and lessons learned from those interesting experiences. This will make your resume stand out.

Tim Ferris, author of the bestseller The 4-Hour Work Week suggests answering the interview question, “Why did you leave your previous job?” with, “I had an once-in-a-lifetime chance to do [interesting experience] and couldn’t turn it down.” He says because most interviewers are bored in their own jobs, they’ll spend much of the interview asking how you made it happen. You can then respond with how your skills and resourcefulness you used to make it happen will make you the person they should hire.

When I started phasing out my image consulting business due to burnout to decide if I wanted to return to career coaching or not, I worked a few weekends teaching beginner stand up paddling at my local SUP shop. If I’d had to go through a job interview following that experience, I can guarantee you I would pique the interviewer’s interest if I said, “I taught people the closest thing to walking on water.” Then, I would tell them about how I used my teaching and training skills to do so.

Fear/Myth #4

I need to have a “real job” instead of trying to freelance. Freelancing IS a real job! And it’s one of the fastest growing jobs in the country. Don’t believe me? Just check out this infographic courtesy of the Upwork.com and Freelancersunion.org:

quitting a job

Even if you have no plans to become a freelancer, you still need the skills of an entrepreneur to be successful in your next job. (Click here for a list of those skills.)

Fear/Myth #5

If I don’t quit now, I’ll never find a way out and will be stuck in my job forever! Not true! You may feel like you have to quit your job right away despite the fears listed above, but you don’t have to quit YET!

You can start creating an exit strategy now and implement it later when the timing makes more sense or if you’re not financially able to quit without having something else lined up. Yes, eventually you’ll have to rip off the band-aid and quit, but there are ways to be smart about it. I outline four ways to wisely plan your escape route in my previous post, “Don’t Quit Your Daydream (or Your Day Job)”.

How to Challenge Your Assumptions

Whatever your fears are about quitting a job you hate, I encourage you to challenge those fears and assumptions. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Learn how to deal with limiting beliefs (the annoying inner critic that tells you, “You can’t do it!”). The process for dealing with limiting beliefs is available for free in the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan you’ll receive when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.
  • Talk to others who currently work in a job or career field you think you might enjoy. Find out from them the career path they followed to get there. You’ll likely find most people didn’t had a single direct career path that led them there. This will encourage and inspire you. Also, they may provide you some tips for making the transfer to that industry.
  • Take a weekday off from your job and spend the day doing job search activities just to get a feel for what that might be like. Update your resume. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with LinkedIn. Can’t take a day off work to do this? Use one of your non-workdays.
  • Put your resume out there and see what happens. Post your resume with no expectations. You’ll be able to see what kind of opportunities your current resume is attracting so you can figure out how to tweak it with the right keywords to attract better opportunities.
  • Write your resignation letter, but don’t send it. Just write it to help you get used to the idea of what may need to happen in the near future.
  • Dip your toe in the freelance water by offering your unique skills or expertise to a few friends or on sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com. Determine from these small assignments if you like working for yourself or not.

Make Time to Experiment

Feel free to find other ways to experiment with the idea of making a job or career change. Short-term experiments don’t have to financially break you and don’t require a huge commitment. In fact, these little experiments might be just the thing to provide a little breath of fresh air to your current dreadful situation. They can either help you hang on a little longer until you’re able to quit your job, or give you the courage now to go ahead and rip off the band-aid.

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How to Handle Life Transitions Gracefully

“If you let it, life will take you on a grand journey beyond anything you could ever plan for. If you are receptive and open, you will be and do things far outside your current view of yourself.” Benjamin Hardy

In Benjamin Hardy’s recent article entitled How to Reach the Next Stage of Your Personal Evolution, he describes much of what my clients are currently experiencing in their lives and careers (and what I too have experienced in my own life and career). Here’s an excerpt:

How to Reach the Next Stage of Your Personal Evolution

“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” — Leonardo DiCaprio

Life is a multiple act play. In each succeeding scene in the play of your life, you will act in different roles, have different supporting cast members, and take on new challenges.

Going from one scene to the next is a transition, involving loss and newness. Without question, change and transition are always difficult, if that change is real. It’s easy to become over-attached to a certain role you’ve played, perceiving that role as your identity. It’s painful realizing that various characters from previous scenes don’t make sense in the next scene, yet still you awkwardly try to fit them in.

If you let it, life will take you on a grand journey beyond anything you could ever plan for. If you are receptive and open, you will be and do things far outside your current view of yourself. To quote Biblo Baggins, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The roles you will play

Lobsters are soft squishy creates that house themselves within hard shells with rigid and spiky insides. As a lobster grows, its shell becomes constraining, even suffocating and painful.

Once the lobster becomes too uncomfortable: it hides from predators under a rock, jettisons its old shell, and fashions a new one. This process repeats throughout the lobster’s life.

Each of the lobster’s shells may look drastically different from the previous one. Indeed, in its new shell, the lobster may be unrecognizable to its closest friends and even to itself.

Likewise, the various scenes in your life may demand you to be someone you never intended to be. Although you may have been timid and quiet in the previous scenes, your new situation may require you to lead and speak boldly.

Each situation is different.

In our individualized culture, we like to see ourselves devoid of a context, as though we are a self-contained entity. However, identity and meanings are housed within contexts. Take for instance the shirt you’re wearing. To you, it may be a shirt, to a baby it may be a blanket, and to a moth it may be lunch.

The relationship between things (the context) is the reality, not the things themselves.

In-between scenes (and shells)

Between each stage in your journey, you’ll go through minor — and sometimes major — identity crises. Although this isn’t necessarily enjoyable, it’s necessary and natural.

According to Identity Status Theory, before you commit to and achieve a particular identity, you’ll experience identity crisis. While experiencing identity crisis, you’re as the lobster whose outgrown its shell. You don’t quite know who you are, or what’s next.

Jeff Goins calls this phase “The In-Between,” — the tension between now and the next big thing. This in-between time is confusing and vexing. Like the naked lobster, you’ve outgrown and cast away your old shell, but haven’t found your new one yet. You feel exposed and vulnerable.

In each scene, you will feel like a child

At each new stage (or shell) in your journey, you will feel like a child. You’ll be required to learn and do new things. You’ll relearn past lessons but from new angles and with new meanings.

Continual growth demands you continuously become a child again. As a child, you will crave and seek understanding. Once you learn and adapt, you’ll likely become complacent. Thus, you’ll need to become a child again so your thirst to grow returns. In this way, you’ll never get stuck or stagnate. (Click here to read more.)

Learn to Relish Change in Life Transitions

In my work with my clients, I see these identity crises in clients of all ages. There’s no such thing as only one crisis that occurs only at mid-life. It occurs in my clients who are turning 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and so on.

One of the things I have to help them understand, as Hardy also explains, is to not only be patient in these times of uncertainty, but also to learn how to relish this time. These periods of life transitions can sometimes be the most exciting and exhilarating times of life because it’s when we finally open ourselves up to learning and trying new things. It’s when we feel most alive. Yes it can be uncomfortable, but it can also be fun if we allow it to.

If you’re currently going through a life or career transition, embrace it and let paNASH help you see the potential opportunities it can lead to. Click here to enjoy the rest of Hardy’s article.

How to Develop a Mindset for a Successful Career Transition

Thank you to Tom Kuegler, Huffington Post writer and editor of The Post-Grad Survival Guide, for recently featuring his interview with me on making a successful career transition, originally published on The Mission

4 Important Thoughts for a Successful Career Transition

Career Coach Lori Bumgarner, M.Ed. loves helping people with transitions, which is tough because most people hate them.

My father doesn’t want to move to Florida because that’s quite a big change from Baltimore, Maryland.

My friend doesn’t want to become a freelancer because she’s afraid of how she’s going to pay her bills.

I’m afraid of working at the library down the street because I love working from the comfort of my own home (seriously).

The point is we can all be afraid of transitions, especially regarding our career, because there’s so much riding on what we DO for a living.

As I spoke with Lori Bumgarner, she offered up a couple things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of a transition of your own.

Here are all four:


1. Give Yourself Permission

What are you “supposed” to be doing? My brilliant friend who’s considering quitting her job seems to be weighed down by the demands of student loan payments. She’s “supposed” to be responsible enough to guarantee they’re paid, right? That’s what responsible recent graduates do.

The only problem is those responsibilites are holding her back from pursuing something she really wants — a chance to be her own boss as a freelancer.

She isn’t giving herself permission. I know for a fact she could make enough to pay off her student loan bills AND freelance full-time, but she wouldn’t know that without making the jump herself. Lori echoes my thoughts:

“A lot of times people feel societal pressures,” she begins.

“They think: ‘You’re supposed to have a traditional job and you’re supposed to be responsible, and work’s not supposed to be fun.’ Well that’s not always true! Sometimes people feel guilty for wanting to do those things because of who they feel responsible for.

But most times by the time they get to me they’re realizing the negative impact it’s having on their family by not allowing themselves that. They know ‘I need to set a good example for my children, I need to be a happier person so my family wants to be around me,’ so there’s a lot of me giving them permission, and there’s also me helping them overcome their fear or stepping out of their comfort zone or having to take a leap of faith.”

It’s true. My friend’s quality of life is slowly declining due to her decision to stay at her job. If she decided to try something else, she’d not only uphold her financial responsibilities, but she’d also live a much happier life.


2. There Will Never Be A Good Time

I wrote a whole article on this topic before, but Lori sums it up just perfectly in a couple paragraphs below:

“There’s never a right time. Somebody in their 20’s might have student loans and people in their 40’s have a mortgage along with kids they want to be able to put through college.

There’s always going to be those financial demands. It’s just going to be at different stages in your life. Some of my older clients will say ‘I wish I wouldn’t have waited this long, I wish I wouldn’t have wasted my time.’ If you’re feeling that calling and it feels like a nagging thing, see why that is. Explore it and see why the reason you’re being called to it.

 
successful career transition
Lori Bumgarner

As long as you can be creative with the safety net. You know, safety nets don’t always have to look alike. It’s a good idea to try to get as creative as you can. It wasn’t like I quit my job, started my own business, and then done. No, I did work on the side for months before I ever thought about it. I networked for nine months until I had the confidence to leave that full-time job and take that leap of faith. Any time you do something like this it’s going to be a leap of faith. But there are certain things you can do that can make something act like a safety net for you.”


3. It’s Not Too Late

Along the same lines as the second point, remember that it’s never too late to pursue your passions.

“I had so many people [coming to me] who hated their jobs working for the past ten years or so, and working so hard they didn’t realize they missed out on their families, haven’t seen their kids as much as they wanted to, or haven’t pursued their dreams.

So they think it’s too late, but…

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

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Be Honest: Is Your Comfort Zone Actually Comfortable?

Is Your Comfort Zone Actually Comfortable?

You’re bored with your job, relationships, or life in general. But you’ve been unwilling to make any changes for improvement, big or small.

You’re stressed because you’re drowning in debt. But you’ve been unwilling to sell some of your stuff or cut out some of your unnecessary spending.

You’re lonely because you never asked out that girl or guy you found attractive. But you’ve been unwilling to risk rejection.

You’re worried about your job because you’ve been hearing rumors of a lay-off. But you’ve been unwilling to make a career change or look for something new.

You’re afraid to try something new because you’re unwilling to risk failure.

You’re medicated to help you deal with all the above feelings.

Does that sound comfortable to you? Your comfort zone is anything but comfortable. At best, it’s misery. At worst, it’s hell.

The Line Between Your Current Situation and the Life You Desire

The antidote for all of these feelings lies just outside your comfort zone. But the area outside your comfort zone is not the opposite of comfort. It’s not a “discomfort zone.” Instead, it’s what I call the THRIVE ZONE.

The “discomfort zone” is actually the thin border between your current comfort zone and the thrive zone. This small space is very awkward and painful, but that pain is short-lived. Once you cross that border, you’ll be in the thrive zone, also known as the life you desire.

comfort zone

Are You Willing?

What does it take to cross the border?

Willingness! That’s it.

The rest you can learn and figure out.

Are you fed up enough with how uncomfortable your comfort zone is that you’re willing to experience some temporary discomfort and make some changes?

Next Steps

If you answered yes, here are some steps you can take to help you figure out what to do to create the positive change you desire.

First, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter to receive an 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan. This complimentary resource will help you:

  • Prioritize your goals.
  • Set goals you can commit to.
  • Break your goals down into manageable steps.
  • Overcome obstacles standing in the way of your goals.
  • Ultimately achieve your goals.

Along with that, you’ll want to register for the complimentary on-demand program 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work. In this program you’ll learn how to:

  • Become unstuck and get out of your rut (your not-so-comfortable comfort zone).
  • Reframe your negative beliefs.
  • Pursue your life-long passions and discover new passions.
  • And more!

The Results You Can Expect

As a result of these free resources you can expect to:

  • Have more success in your life and your career.
  • Serve as a positive example for your family members.
  • Focus more on your goals.
  • Obliterate the obstacles previously in your way of your goals.
  • Develop an action plan.
  • Have a true sense of accomplishment.
  • Gain the courage and freedom to pursue your passions.
  • Obtain guidance and direction toward work you love and enjoy.
  • Lessen your negative self-talk and develop a more positive mindset.

Does all of that sound better than boredom, stress, loneliness, worry, and fear? Yeah, I thought so. Don’t stay in misery any longer. Instead, subscribe and register for the free resources above and start thriving today!

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Want more job security? Do this one simple thing.

Want more job security? Quit your job. Not an option? The next best option is to invest in career insurance.

What’s career insurance? I’ll answer that, but first let’s not just gloss over the first option.

I’m serious. If you want a guarantee of job security, then quit your job and you’ll eliminate all chances of ever losing it. Then you can become your own boss and make all the hiring and firing decisions. Including the decision to never fire yourself.

Since leaving my full-time job with benefits where there were constant hiring freezes and multiple firings, I’ve had more job security than ever before. I’ve been able to develop the grit and skills required to work for myself and bring in a steady stream of clients, to supplement my income at times when the stream was unsteady, and to eliminate the salary cap I had at my previous job.

Not only that, owning my own business has helped me develop skills I never would’ve developed in my previous job. This has made me more marketable for even more job opportunities if I ever decide to close my business and work for someone else again.

But, if quitting your job isn’t a feasible option for you right now, there’s still one more simple option available to give you a little more job security. Invest in career insurance.

What is career insurance?

What is career insurance? It’s basically another term for comprehensive career coaching designed to prepare you for any event that may arise in your career. This includes the expected, like a promotion, voluntary job/career change, or starting your own business. And it includes the unexpected, like a layoff or a loss of business.

Think you don’t need career insurance?  Let me share a few stories with you.

job security

Photo by Tyler B on Unsplash

The Unexpected Layoff

I’ve recently been hired by a company to provide career coaching for the employees they’re laying off. This isn’t something all companies provide their pink slip employees. So don’t assume your company will do the same for you if you get laid off. If they do, take advantage of it!!! It’s on the company’s dime and it can help you find your next opportunity much faster than trying to do it all on your own.

This particular layoff came as a total surprise to those affected by the company’s decision. Each of them have said to me, “I always thought I’d retire at this company. I love my job and the people I work with. And I had no intentions of ever leaving and never thought I would get downsized.”

Lesson #1:  Never assume you’re not at risk of losing your job. Even if your company is growing and promises to be loyal to you. Business is business and things change. If your company doesn’t provide you any outplacement services or career coaching, you may want to invest some severance money into career coaching so you can find your next opportunity quicker and learn how to negotiate a higher salary. Learning such skills will pay for any coaching expenses, and then some.

The Need for a Change

Teresa* hired me for some career coaching services because she was very unhappy in her current job due to a lot of changes in that job. She wanted to start looking for a new job and also explore the possibility of working for herself. So I got to work on helping her meet these goals.

After only three coaching sessions, Carolyn found out her current job was being eliminated. When she got the news, she felt a sense of relief that she already had (and had already paid for) a career coach and had already begun the steps to a successful job search, making the news less of a blow.

She knows our first few sessions and our remaining sessions will put her in the best possible position to find her next opportunity more quickly. She also knows the coaching will help position her for promotion by this time next year.

Lesson #2:  It’s better to already have some career insurance in place if and when an issue arises, than to not have it and wish you did. Especially if you don’t receive a good severance package.

Prepare for the Worst, and the Best

I started working with Shane* at the beginning of the summer. He chose my basic package of just four sessions which we completed at the end of July. I recently received an update from him and he had this to say,

All of my worlds have been colliding since our last session, and I’ve only been able to handle it all because of the great place we got to through our sessions. So thank you. I just had my interview for my promotion that was in the works earlier this summer. Whatever shakes out, the confidence and clarity I gained from our sessions made the interview process really rewarding.

Lesson #3:  Career coaching isn’t just for leaving your company. If you like where you work, coaching services can also help you advance in your company if that’s your goal. It can also prepare you for any career curve ball (good or bad) that may come your way.

How to Increase Your Job Security

While you have no control over your company’s decisions or the current job market, you do have control over your own career strategy. paNASH’s career coaching services help you develop a strategy to leverage your skills and market them for new opportunities, providing career insurance no matter what happens with your career.

Is it time to for you to invest in some career insurance? If not now, when? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Click here to get started.

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*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

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