• Planning a career change?
• Starting a new business?
• Taking an extended career break?
Well – here’s a suggestion – Don’t Give Up The Day Job!
Your “day job” – i.e. the “work you’re known for” is what pays the bills when you’re making a transition. It’s what provides some stability when your new business idea or career transition takes a stumble, which it will at some stage.
So as liberating as it is to say “I’ve left my banking/legal/marketing job forever!” – don’t do it.
Always keep your hand in and always keep your contacts warm – even if you have no intention of going back into the same career.
I’m sure there will be a whole bunch of life coaches and career experts that disagree with me. They will tell you to “burn your boats” because “when you follow your dreams everything will work out.”
Sure, that all sounds romantic and very inspiring. The reality is that the journey towards your dream career, business or lifestyle is never quite as romantic as they make it sound.
Career transitions and business start-ups:
1. Always take longer than you thought they would.
2. Usually cost more than you had planned.
3. Usually take you through various incarnations of a career direction or business idea before you actually arrive at the career or business you end up pursuing.
And that’s why you should never completely give up your old career and contacts completely. You never know when you may need to go and do some quick freelance work, or part-time work to raise some cash. The very best way to increase your cash flow quickly is to go and do “that thing” you’re best known for. Do the work that helps you command the highest income for your time (i.e. your previous career) to subsidize your career transition.
So, by all means, be totally committed your new business and new career. Just remember there will always be bumps and set-backs along the way. So ensure you have an insurance policy in the form of connections with your previous “day job”.