If you choose to read this, it’s probably because you’re mulling over a career change.
You’ve run all the scenarios in your head, yet you still can’t bring yourself to just…jump. If only someone will tell you what to do….
You’re in luck.
Mike Lewis’ “When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn’t the Life You Want” lays out the steps to pursuing the career of your dreams.
Lewis himself is the living proof that it can be done. His journey from corporate geek to pro squash player started by googling “When to Chase Dreams.” That didn’t help much. “I began to ask around,” Lewis says. Over the next five years, he collected stories from hundreds and hundreds of “jumpers,” from the Humans of New York creator, the founder of Bonobos, the author of “The Big Short,” the designer of the Lyft logo, and many more. So how do you know when it’s time to move from work that is comfortable to your dream job?
Lewis shares five telltale signs:
1. You are ready to listen to that little, nagging voice in your head.
It’s telling you to go do something new – maybe small, like picking up a hobby or finally learning how to do graphic design. Maybe big, like applying for the internal promotion at work or switching careers entirely to launch that non-profit you always dreamed of. If you’re ready to listen to that voice, you’re ready to jump.
2. You’ve planned.
Now the topic of financial planning is highly unfun to talk about in the conversation of chasing your dreams, living your truth, yada yada yada. But it’s one of the most critical aspects of preparing to take a jump. It starts with spreadsheets and budgets or stashing away as little as $5 a day.
3. You can nail your current job with your eyes closed.
I’m talking about an over-excel. A sense of mastery that now makes the work trivial, and boring. You’re so good you can answer questions before they’re asked. At this point, it’s time for something new.
4. You’re over trying to look cool.
People, myself definitely included, can easily talk themselves into a job because it sounds cool. “Imagine what my LinkedIn title say!” or “I wonder what my nemesis from high school algebra class would think if he knew I had this gig.” The sooner you can get over yourself, the better.
5. You’re ready to tackle a set of unsexy steps and face the worst possible ending.
Chasing your dream is not gonna be pretty. Jumps will often require: taking a pay cut, becoming an intern again, practicing – and failing – at new skills on your own time, meeting random people and getting rejected, moving back in with your parents. If you can deal with the suck that comes with the joy of jumping, you’re ready. You should also imagine the worst possible ending to your jump story. Does that make it worth is? If so, go. Jump away, grasshopper.
Snack On This:
Check out Lewis’ When To Jump Podcast featuring conversations with everyday people and public figures including Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer. Here’s Lewis giving a talk at Google.