Motivation For Career Change When Times are Bad? Keep Looking, But Don’t Quit Your PAYING Job!

The other day a client was talking to me about pursuing his dream job. He asked for motivation for career change when the economy is so horrible.

My advice was fairly simple: Don’t Quit Your Paying Job!

Let’s get one thing straight, there’s nothing wrong with pursuing your dream job on one hand and having a supplemental job that employs the skills you already have to pay the bills on the other. The trick is not hating the job that brings home the bacon, but finding fulfillment in it by realizing that the income it provides is the means to the end for securing your dream job. Which brings us to the following integral reasons for establishing a long-term plan for success that can help you have the motivation for career change later when you are ready

  1. Don’t try to build your dream career without a plan. If you told a contractor that you wanted to build a house, the first thing they would ask for would be for the blueprint. Lumber and concrete are no good unless you have a plan to put them together. The same goes for your ambition and innate abilities without any sense of direction.
  2. A plan provides a clear picture of where you are and where you are going.
    In a little league baseball game, a boy got a hit, ran to first base, on to second, then hesitated and yelled to his coach, “Where is third base?” During this brief moment of confusion the shortstop tagged him out.
    When searching for your dream job, you must have a carefully thought out plan covering all your bases and, in most cases, a supplementary income to take you all the way to “home plate” or you will you get lost along the way.
  3. A plan keeps you moving in the right direction. Suppose you were on a nonstop flight to the Orient and heard this announcement: “Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking. We’re traveling west across the Pacific Ocean. In a few hours, you will be able to look down and see land. When that happens, we’re going to start looking for a big city with an airport. If we find one before our fuel runs out we’ll land. Then we’ll figure out where we are and decide where we want to go next. In the meantime folks, just sit back, relax and enjoy your trip.
    If you find this scenario tremendously unnerving how can you even imagine “taking off” in search of your dream career without first conducting a “flight check” by planning ahead?
  4. We can lose it all by prematurely deviating from the plans that have got us where we are so far. In the first century B.C., the gladiator Spartacus led a rebellion in the city of Capua to gain freedom for himself and other slaves under the dominion of the Roman Empire. At first his rag-tag army was invincible whenever Spartacus guided them into battle. His plan was to fight their way northward into the Alps and then escape back into their individual homelands. The plan would have worked, but the slaves overconfident from past successes, refused to continue their retreat homeward and insisted that Spartacus stand and fight against the entire Roman Empire. As result most of the rebel army, including Spartacus was destroyed and the few remaining survivors were returned to captivity.

As you can see when the stakes are high (i.e. your income, health insurance, standard of living, food supply, rent or mortgage payment, etc.) there is absolutely no substitute for advanced planning. As minister Robert Schuller once said, “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”