The nine to five grind… you’ve been a participant since your late teens, early twenties. Is it time to take a hike? Here are six questions to ask yourself BEFORE you ditch those bennies.
Take an extended vacation… how does it feel?
Do you have some extra vacation stored up for a rainy day? Most of us do! This is the perfect time to see how you can really handle not going through the daily grind. Spend some leisurely time with your family and your hobbies. Find a hobby if you don’t already have one…reading, writing, biking, hiking, cooking. See how you handle your extended break, and make the determination of whether you want to leave the structure of your job to pursue other things.
How are your finances?
If you plan on starting your own business or not working at all…determine if your finances can handle your sabbatical. Does your 401K have enough for you to live your life without worry? Can you find things that you would be willing to sacrifice? If you’re transitioning to business ownership, can your bank account bear the brunt of startup expenses? Investigate possibilities like aggressive investments, a business line of credit, or a loan.
How supportive is your family?
Before you jump ship, run it by the spouse and kids. Is your partner able to float things while you put your career on pause? Think about whatever you plan to do with your career, and how such change will impact your daily life. If work from home is a possibility, have you thought about setting up a schedule, and how you’ll be able to establish boundaries between work time and family time when everything is in such close proximity? Have a sit down with the entire family to talk about how life will change once you adapt to your new work situation, whatever that may be.
Downsizing… is it for you?
Are the kids on their own and you are living in the big house with your wife so that you can all get together under one roof for Thanksgiving? Sometimes the large house is more of a maintenance nightmare than it can be worth. You can save both time and money by downsizing to a smaller place. This is a great way to make your retirement fund go farther and just make life easier in general. Why stress over home maintenance, the high cost of heating and cooling, and everything else that adds to the expense of owning a home that’s too large for your needs.
What do you love?
If you’ve been waiting your entire life to spend days on end fishing on that lake in Maine… do it! If you have been wanting to start your own pottery business for years and finally feel that the time is ripe… go for it! There is no better reason to exit corporate America than for something that you’ve been dreaming about. Find a way to turn it into profit, and you’ve got a business based around your greatest desires.
Would you want to go back?
What if you find after 6 months that you simply miss the structure of a 9-5 job? Are there consulting opportunities in your field? Could you ease back in with part-time work? A consideration that should be made especially if you are looking at an early retirement. To find help with this, visit career sites, go to online job boards, and get your name in front of a few headhunters who can scout out the best alternatives for you.
Leaving the security of a career can be scary. But if you feel that this would be the change you need to fulfill your dreams, go for it! You only live once… why not make life the best it can be?
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Thanks to Working at Home on the Internet for publishing this article in the Working at Home Blog Carnival, to Corporate Vigilance for including this article in the Carnival Blog on Corporate Vigilance, to Blog Me Cash for featuring this post in the Blog Me Cash Blog Carnival, and to Social Entrepreneurship Today.