With rumors of economic doom getting louder, it’s easy to get scared for your professional future and relegate following your dreams to the back burner.
However, if you look at things the right way it could be a fantastic opportunity in disguise to finally follow your dreams.
1. YOUR HEART IS NO LONGER IN YOUR CAREER
When you started your career, you were probably fresh, young and full of illusion.
You may have loved how ‘important’ the title and everything about the job sounded. You probably had dreams of ‘important’ meetings with ‘important’ people doing ‘important’ things.
The problem is that you were never were too clear what ‘important’ really meant. It just sounded good and it boosted your ego.
Fast-forward a few years later, the un-glamourous reality has set in: the many all-nighters, the week-end plans cancelled, the phone that is forever ringing, the tasks that are no longer so exciting, and even the questions that start to arise as to the value, the impact and or even the actual legitimacy of the career itself.
By now, you may even have noticed questionable practices, gross incompetence or actual malfeasance from key members of your organizations or of your industry that make you wonder if you haven’t signed a Faustian bargain.
In any case, it’s a long cry from your dreams of making a difference, of being a positive, impactful, important change-agent in the world.
2. YOU’VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE
Safety is an illusion.
You may have known intellectually that your future wasn’t set in stone. Now that the smoke is getting closer, you can probably feel it too.
The safe and cushy job you were holding on to may not be so cushy (or may not be at all) in the near future.
If you were thinking about changing your life to follow your dreams, it’s the perfect time to plan your exit.
1. The money is still coming in and you can still plan with peace of mind.
2. Looking at the potential axe coming your way gives you enough motivation to overcome the fear of the unknown that most people experience when they think about striking it out on their own.
In other words, it’s better anticipate than to be caught by surprise.
3. YOU STILL CAN
As mentioned above, given the global climate you don’t have much to lose.
In most industries, job and career safety as we have known them before are a long-gone memories.
However, you still have your career. You still have your comfortable income.
You can still plan, save, re-train, do whatever you need to do to prepare for a smooth transition so you can finally follow your dreams.
Think about it, if the axe was to fall you would probably have more than a few fires to put out and that probably wouldn’t be the most comfortable time to ponder the meaning of your life and experiment.
Now you still have this freedom.
4. LESS STIGMA
I still remember a time when people were having lifetime careers in one company.
Those times are long gone.
People are now changing companies and even career at a much faster rate than ever.
This means that while your aunt my throw a fit and think you’ve lost your mind when she hears that you’ve left your prestigious law firm, most people won’t.
Granted, if you leave finance to go full time into belly dancing, you’ll probably raise a few eyebrows amongst your former peers.
However any more traditional change, will probably go unnoticed.
5. YOU’VE BEEN SECRETELY DYING TO
Have you been saving articles about lawyers turned yoginis, of former Wall-Street bankers turned bakers, of tech-mavens turned business moguls?
Have you been secretely admiring them and envying their courage, their boldness, their new exciting lives, their freedom?
Then now is your chance to stop living vicariously and star in your own production.
What do you want to be?
Who do you came here to be?
What will you write in your future?
The world is smaller, the tools are more powerful, the barrier of entry is lower.
25 years ago, if you wanted to go into business, you had to rent an office, buy expensive furniture and equipment, hire staff…
There was no internet, you had to do your research by purchasing books, ordering brochures, going into libraries, attending conferences.
Everything was slower, more complicated, more costly.
Today, you can research any topic and have a wealth of information that would have taken you years to gather in a few hours. If you want to start a business you could be up and running in a few days.
Right now, there are millions of ways for you to create and sustain the life you dream of.
I am not saying it will be easy.
I am not saying it will be all roses and macarons.
I am simply saying that you never had so many cards stacked up in your favor.
If you want out, there has never been a better time.
Now the choice is yours:
– you can choose the drudgery (without much safety left…),
– or you can stop living by proxy, plan your escape and follow your dreams.
Which one will it be?
I’d love to hear your take. Share your thoughts below.