Would you be willing to go out on a limb for the chance to end up with a job you're passionate about? Choosing to follow your passion can come with risk, but there are ways you can prepare. Here are some tips to get you started.
Figure out what you want
It's not uncommon to feel apathetic about your job. A Deloitte study found that 87.7% of American workers aren't passionate about the work they're doing. But what can you do about it? You could find a new job or start a business - but you'll want to spend some time thinking about what you want to do to ensure your new venture is in line with your interests and goals. (Otherwise, you might end up in the same boat again.)
- What do you want to gain from this career shift (i.e., more time at home, a legacy, rewarding work, a challenge)?
- Which of your current or past passions or hobbies could provide a source of income?
- Is there a job role that relates to one of your passions or hobbies?
- How does pursuing your passion fit into your vision for your future?
Your answers can help you determine a career goal and make a list of potential job roles or business ideas to further consider.
Research job requirements
Once you have an idea of what you'd like to do, research what you'll need to move your job search or business plan forward. Your career shift might require additional education or training (i.e., certifications, online learning, degrees), equipment, support (i.e., friends, family, angel investors) and a portfolio or business plan. There may also be specific considerations based on your industry and location.
For a job search, you’ll most likely need a new résumé and to update your LinkedIn account. You could reach out to those currently in similar job roles to get a feel for what the day-to-day would be like. You may also be able to find content online (i.e., YouTube videos and blog posts) about the role or industry.
When starting a business, you’ll probably want a website and potentially a physical location for an office or storefront. You’d want to read up on relevant tax considerations, think about branding and marketing efforts and consider any hiring needs. You may also want to explore additional products and services to protect and grow your business.
Weigh the trade-offs
Consider the pros and cons of each option. Switching job roles may mean that you're starting from the bottom with an entry-level position. New businesses take time to grow. Even growing a side hustle could take time to match with your average salary. Are you willing - and able - to make less money for a while? If you're considering multiple options, this can help you narrow down which is the better fit.
Get your ducks in a row
When making this leap, it doesn't have to be a free fall. Having a solid financial strategy can help smooth your transition into a more fulfilling career. There are financial considerations for preparing for a job change that you can plan around. You can also discuss any specific savings goals you have with your financial advisor.