There are so many good reasons to quit a job and take a creative leap. Here’s an inconvenient truth that most people don’t realize until it’s too late: the life of your dreams isn’t going to just find you. You have to actively pursue it each day.
It seems intimidating when you’re standing squarely in the middle of what you’ve always thought of as “security.” You have a job, it’s paying the bills, you have a day-to-day guarantee that you aren’t going to end up unable to take care of yourself. Be that as it is, consider something: when you have a full-time job, if you lose it, you may get two weeks of severance at best. Then, you’re on your own. If you’re working for yourself full-time as a creative, you most likely have multiple streams of income. If you lose one, your world won’t end. In fact, you could potentially be more stable than you would otherwise.
The world is shifting, and the concept of “security,” one that we learned from our parents who learned it from coming out of the Great Depression era, is not something that really applies anymore. There are so many opportunities – even just having entered the digital age – to monetize your work and do it remotely, somewhere you like to be, and can actually afford.
Because while you’re sitting at your desk job, mulling over the logistics of what’s riskier, what makes “more sense,” don’t forget the most important point of all: Can you afford to spend the rest of your life doing exactly what you did today? That’s what’s really at risk here.
The concept of job security is and pretty much always has been an illusion. Money comes and goes no matter how much you have or where you get it from. There is no one way you can choose to live the life that will ensure you an existence of comfort, though it may seem like that. Because what do you exchange for the idea of being secure? Your potential? The hours of your days spent building someone else’s dream, rather than your own?
At a certain point, you have to remember that you weren’t born to just go to work each day, eat, sleep and eventually die. And you know this because right now, you’re uncomfortable. If you didn’t know, deep down, that there was something else you were supposed to be doing, you wouldn’t feel this constant gnawing to get up and start living a life that feels more authentic and real and true.
You don’t have to quit your job tomorrow. There’s a responsible way to ease out of your current position and into your new life as an independent artist. Don’t be rash, and don’t set yourself up to struggle. Start with a side gig, and build from there. Ask questions and learn from those who have done it before you. Know that it is not only possible but can be your life sooner than you even think. It’s not failure that holds people back, it’s the fear of failure that makes them unwilling to try.