More and more people are feeling stuck and frustrated in their jobs. They feel that they aren’t fully using their skills and passions in their roles, or they’re not learning and growing. They have a feeling that they could do ‘more’, do more meaningful work and have more of an impact. On the other hand, they may be working themselves into the ground, approaching burnout and longing for more freedom and flexibility to spend quality time with their families and on other things that lie close to their heart. So how do you take control of your own career?
How to take control of your own career
First, the good news!
It’s easier than ever before to take control of your career and chart a new course, even after many years in the same position. This is in sharp contrast to the linear career paths of the past, where you would stay in the same profession, and even the same company, for your whole working life.
Technology has evolved so that you can work from anywhere as long as you have a laptop and Wi-Fi, while society and business has evolved so that there are more opportunities than ever to leverage your skills in the gig economy and provide freelancing or consulting services, or start your own little business.
So whether you want to change to a different kind of organisation, find a new way of working that works for you, or set out on your own and launch your own business, the fact is that this is absolutely possible.
The bad news is that leaving behind a corporate role or career that’s all you’ve ever known since school is incredibly scary.
The entrepreneurial and freelancing world is completely unfamiliar and foreign, and it’s hard to even know where to start. Building a business also takes time and the magical “six steps to six figures” formula simply doesn’t exist, while I’m sure you’ve all heard of that bleak statistic that most businesses fail in their first year.
More good news!
If you find that the jump away from the comfort of a familiar job and stable salary and into the complete unknown is too scary, you don’t have to do it!
You don’t have to take a huge leap, quitting your job today to start a business from scratch that needs to bring in an income to support you and your family as of day one. You don’t have to work out exactly what it is you’re going to do right now and make the changes overnight, putting your loved ones – not to mention your own way of life – at risk.
You can take small steps, taking your time to explore what it is you really want to do, testing and validating business ideas, establishing yourself in a new field and developing a little business that fulfils your urge for learning and growth as well as bringing in an extra income. It’s up to you, then, if you decide to keep it as a hobby or an extra revenue stream, an oh-so-fashionable ‘side hustle’ – or if you love it so much and you’ve built up both the business and your confidence enough to take that big step and make it a full-time business.
Maybe the best news is that whatever you decide at that point, I know you won’t regret having explored the different possibilities.
The reason is that learning about yourself, spending time finding out what you really love and what you’re actually good at, is hugely insightful and powerful. Starting a business is an incredible experience that is both challenging and exciting and will get you onto a steeper learning curve, bringing new ideas, new friends and all sorts of new and unexpected opportunities along the way. And simply having stepped out of your comfort zone and given yourself permission to explore other options will be hugely fulfilling and rewarding.
Whether you decide to pursue your business idea further, to scrap it and try a different idea, or to stay in the job you’re in and put that business plan away… I guarantee that you will have changed your life for the better.
I actually really like my current job because the work we do aligns with my personal values and my supervisor and the people I work with our amazing, including our CEO. Including, I still have a desire to leave my 9-5 in the next 5 years because I want to fully work my passion, work on my own schedule to have more flexibility to do what I want to do each day and spend more time with my husband and children. I am an international speaker, author (Bold, Brave and Courageous: A NO FEAR Success Guide for Teen Girls) and mentor who hosts the annual NO FEAR Ladies Conference for women and teen girls. I am working to get a solid transition plan together so that my family doesn’t suffer because of my transition.
That’s great that your values are aligned with your team and your management! This is so important. It’s also great that you have an idea of a mid-term timeframe for when you’d like to take that step outside the 9 to 5, giving you the time you need to work out exactly what you want to do, explore and build it up gradually, and minimise the risk as you say so that you manage your family priorities.
Thanks for sharing your perspective and do keep in touch and let me know how you get on!
I will. Thanks for responding.