Many have an image in mind of how amazing the first steps to their dream job will be. In reality, the switch can be risky business. In Jon Acuff’s new book, Quitter, Jon lists a few things you may want to consider before walking out of your day job.
By Jon Acuff
Before you quit your day job and pursue your dream job in a full-time capacity, make a list of all the risks that might come up. There will be some you don’t see, but it’s not difficult to brainstorm a few. Here is what [my family’s] risk list might have looked like before we moved to Nashville:
Jenny [my wife] will be leaving a group of girls she’s been meeting with for three years and knows like sisters. Jon will be at work, surrounded all day by people, so he won’t naturally feel as friendless as Jenny. Friendships taking a long time to form in Nashville is a risk.
If speaking offers go as well as possible, Jon will be out of town more often, at a time when the kids will be in a new city with new schools and will really need their dad around.
Websites fall out of favor in the blink of an eye. Ask MySpace or Friendster. If the traffic to Stuff Christians Like.net tanks and advertisers pull out, we will lose a significant portion of our ability to pay our bills.
We can’t buy a house until we sell our house in Atlanta. We’ll have to rent a house. That means for at least a few months, we’ll be carrying a mortgage and a rent bill at the same time. That’s a huge financial risk.
And so forth. That’s what we should have done. We didn’t. It ended up amplifying the stress when we actually dealt with those risks. You can’t imagine how much better you feel when you can go back to a journal or a whiteboard, review a risk list you made weeks or months before and say, “Ohhhh, this feeling we’ve got right now? We totally expected it. We’re on the right track! This is exactly how we should be feeling.”
A risk list removes the surprise, which is actually one of the most agonizing parts of facing a risk. A risk list can turn your feeling into a confirmation that you’re in the right place at the right time with a dream. That’s a huge gift to give yourself. Create a risk list before you quit your job and chase your dream job full time. It will pay significant dividends.
Read Quitter for more on the right and wrong ways to leave your day job in pursuit of your dream job.
Excerpted from Quitter by Jon Acuff. Copyright 2011 by Lampo Licensing, LLC. Published by The Lampo Press. Used with permission.
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