Since all of this is quite new, I will detail my plan of action so you can replicate it yourself. Timing is everything, so don't quit just because I'm encouraging you to do it. Your heart knows when the time is right, but the time for me came at the time of tax refunds. Use your tax refund to fund your new life. Don't buy anything, don't pay off your credit card bills, start your new life, choose yourself and start putting your plans into action.
The first step in quitting your job is to recognize the following symptoms of job unfulfillment:
1. Unnecessary fatigue
2. Verbal abuse from managers
3. Intense daydreaming
4. Addiction to social networks while on the job.
5. An uncontrollable sense of dread the night before going back to work.
If you suffer from some of these symptoms, it may be necessary to formulate your escape now.
But what if you have kids? What if you have no money? Fine, that is all covered in the steps below:
1. Before you actually quit, you have to know what you want to do. Also, once you've identified the source of your unhappiness (the job), you can spend your time doing research while you're on the job. It's not something that your employers will want, but since you have not been respected at your job, you deserve to be given the time necessary to plan your escape. Research now while you still have money coming in. What kind of research you ask? When you have a passion for something, you research everyone who is successful in that field. You find people who resonate with you and who make you feel better about yourself. Reach out to others who are living their passion and then replicate what feels good to you. I did this with the following people: James Altucher, CEO Pam Hausner, Millionaire By 25, Brad Feld, Ben Barreth, Alana Muller, Elizabeth Allen and Rachel Ellyn . From each of these people, I learned a core attribute that I admire and then replicated in myself. Everyday at my dead-end job, I would study new ideas from people who are changing the world and then I would apply this knowledge to an action plan for my company, Stellabelle.
2. Timing is everything. Your heart knows when you're ready to take the plunge. But just in case your internal wiring is messed up, quit when you get your tax return so you can financially coast for a bit. But never take much of a break after you quit your job, because you could be wiped out fast. Take one day off, that's all. Then, get to work doing what you're supposed to do. For me, I've known for a long time that I love the following attributes and activities: imaginative video creation, self-deprecating and dark humor, open source technology, resource-driven information, structure of B Corporations, free exchange of knowledge and helping marginalized, scared people take control of their lives. So, I know exactly where I am headed career-wise. I started joking about wanting to be a CEO many years ago, but deep down inside that joke was the truth: I do want to be a CEO. I am tired of working for other people's dreams.
3. Take action, now. Start by acting on one thing per day. The day before I quit my job, I accepted an offer from my friend Pam Hausner, CEO of Big Vision Media, to meet with her and her partner to discuss a future venture. She paid me $125 to brainstorm with them for 2 hours. This opportunity would not have come to me if I had not made a firm decision to quit my loathsome job. I'm on my fifth day of quitting my job and I've done the following things: written two blog entries, made a How To Self-Publish an Ebook With Rachel Ellyn video, secured a future lesson to learn Word Press, attended my first 1 Million Cups event.
4. Do things that seem scary to you. Really corporate people sort of scare me. I feel way too odd around them. Older men in suits sort of frighten me also. Rich ladies who wear pricey jewellery and high heels intimidate me. Young guys who wear jeans and zip-up jackets to formal events and who talk about open source don't scare me.
I was nervous going to the 1 Million Cups event because I knew it would be male-dominated, but I went anyway. Of course it was, and I was the only woman who stood up and asked a question, but it was all worth it because my fear had dissolved. I met a very nice attorney named Ralph F. Munyan, who seemed to be at least slightly amused by my wacky ideas. Ah, good Ralph, a man in a suit who crushed my stereotypes with his warm smile and engaging laugh. He told me he's looking for opportunities currently. If I had any money, I'd hire Ralph right now. The other great thing I learned about at 1MC is startupgenome which is a wonderful, open source website that aggregates all the startups in a particular location. If you are involved in a startup, go there and add your company to the database. It's free. They have curators, so you may or may not be added, but the idea is to be as inclusive as possible (good).
5. Surround yourself with people who believe in your idea. If you're a woman, start a Lean In Circle. I've started the process of creating a circle and am looking for around 8 other women to participate. The great thing about the circle I want to create is the fact that children are welcome to attend. This should free up mothers who would otherwise not be able to participate. Ideally, I'd like to meet every 2 weeks or once a month. If you're really wanting to meet professional or personal goals, send me an email to discuss the Lean In Circle idea.
6. Choose yourself and watch the excuses go down the toilet. Equally important, embrace your inner loser and watch as you start to admire your worst traits! After fully accepting yourself, good and bad, you longer have any shame or bad feelings inside. My self-esteem has improved greatly since leaving the prison-like environment of my last job. After I acknowledged that I don't deserve such shitty treatment and an ugly workspace, my self-esteem expanded. Also, by deciding what I will work on every day, I have a new feeling of control over my life. I don't understand how it got so bad, but that will be covered in another blog entry.
7. Trade childcare with trusted friends. I have elminated child care costs by trading days with my friends. Also, a few of my friends are such dears that they help me by volunteering to take care of my daughter on certain days. Plus, my parents are always there to help me and my daughter. I feel very lucky to have all this support. This support makes it possible for me to focus on creating a sustainable financial future. It's my goal to pass down a self-sustaining company to my daughter and also to repay my parents everything they have given me.
8. Connect with people constantly and give praise. It feels good. You're already on the right path because you made it to point #8 on my blog. Congratulations!