Why you'll never be ready to quit your job (but how to leap anyway)

aat comment

It’s easy to get lost in the daydream of quitting your job and starting a new role, career or business. You’re re-training, working on your website, going to networking events and building it bit by bit but when it comes to actually taking the leap?

You keep putting it off.

And if you’re anything like I was, you keep giving yourself wonderful excuses why the timing’s not quite right. I’ve seen this happen enough times to understand the hard truth about taking the leap:

You will never be ready to quit your job 

There just isn’t the perfect time when the stars align magically and you feel 100% ready and confident to do it. So if you’re clinging onto your comfort zone for dear life and are secretly waiting to get fired or made redundant so you don’t have to make the big scary decision yourself, here’s four reasons why you won’t quit and four top tips to help you take the leap anyway.

REASON ONE: You dont set a quit date

This is one of the first things I get my clients to do – pick a date that they’ll hand in their resignation. Why? Because it gives you a time frame for your exit strategy and motivates you to get stuff done prior to leaping. Plus, it makes it real and not some day dream you have every time you have a rubbish day at work. But it’s no good just picking a date out of thin air – you have to write it down (preferably somewhere you’ll see it daily) and hold yourself accountable by telling someone about it who will badger you and ask you how its going.

It’s all too easy to pick a date and then let it pass and pick another. If you’re serious about getting out of your job:

Pick your quit date + write it down + tell someone

REASON TWO:  Quitting your job is the scariest part of taking the leap

Making the final decision to get out of your current situation is the most terrifying part of the process because it feels like there’s no going back. It feels like all or nothing and you’re worried that it won’t work out and you won’t be able to go back to what you were doing before.

Feel familiar?

If you’re not into taking huge risks (and most of us aren’t on a daily basis) you’re going to need to find a way to reassure yourself that you’ve got a contingency plan in place.

So here’s how to get it:

1)       Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? It’s usually not as bad as we think.

2)       Create a plan B. What will you do if it doesn’t go to plan?

3)       Create a plan C. What will you do if plan B doesn’t work out?

I had a plan B and plan C, but never had to use them. But just knowing that I had thought it through gave me comfort when I made the final decision to leap.

REASON THREE: You like your comfort zone (even if you hate your job)

It’s easy to stay stuck in your comfort zone because on a physical level it’s quite literally comfortable. When you try new things or take risks, your body responds with a spike of adrenaline and feeling of anxiety, which feels really uncomfortable. The thing is, your current comfort zone was once new and scary.

Remind yourself how you felt on the first day of your job. I bet you were nervous and unsure. But now, because you’ve been doing it for a while, it feels OK. Once you take the leap, and get over the initial anxiety of it, it will become your new comfort zone. So, remind yourself that every experience that now feels comfortable was once new – and that taking the leap is just the same.

REASON FOUR: Money (in the guise of security!)

I get asked this a lot: How can I feel more secure when I take the leap?when what they’re really asking is: How can I feel more financially secure when I take the leap?

Money is a big block for many people who want to start their own businesses. They get used to a regular salary and that feels really secure and they’re not sure they can earn that for themselves.

Here’s two things I suggest if this is coming up for you:

1)       Realise that your day job isn’t actually that secure. You could be asked to leave today and only have your notice period to find                        something else.

2)       Figure out exactly how much money you need to bring in to feel secure (i.e cover your key outgoings). It’s not usually as much as                   people think in their heads.

Leave a Comment

Over to you – leave a comment if you feel like you’ll never be ready to quit your job. Specifically, which of the four tips will you be trying first?

Hate your job and fancy yourself as a freelancer? You want to say hello to Jen, our guest contributor with a passion for going for your dreams. When Jen isn’t writing for us about starting a biz, she’s hanging out with her tabby cat Monty and coaching women to quit their jobs and take the leap. She likes jigsaws, cheese, books and crafts and loves nothing more than the feeling of sunshine on her face. Has been known to throw Zumba-moves in front of her idols. 

Jen Smith coaches entrepreneurs in social media.

Related articles