Before I started my business, I was working an entry-level office job where I often had to “create” things to do. I was bored, and I didn’t feel like I was contributing to society or using my talents appropriately. While I was grateful for the work, I knew I needed something more.
According to a Gallup poll, in 2013, 70 percent of people described themselves as “disengaged” from their work. I personally know many people who are unhappy with their jobs, but very few do anything—or feel they can do anything—about it. Why is this?
Leaving your job, no matter how unhappy you are, means going outside your comfort zone, into the unknown. Whether it’s a tiptoe, a step, or a giant leap, going outside your comfort zone can be, well, uncomfortable. Do your research, determine what you need, and see what matches up. Lean on friends and family when you have doubts, and remember why you wanted to make a change in the first place.
As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal. —Robin S. Sharma
Some people won’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. As with any decision, big or small, you will likely have naysayers. In my case, I had an array of responses to my decision to start my own business, from “I’m so excited for you” to “Isn’t that a bit risky? Why don’t you just keep a ‘normal’ office job like everyone else?” While it's smart to take varying opinions into account when making a big decision, in the end, it’s up to you. You are in charge of your own happiness, and your decision doesn’t need to make sense to everyone else as long as it makes sense and is meaningful to you.
Trust your instincts and make judgments [based] on what your heart tells you. The heart will not betray you. —David Gemmell
There is no “perfect time.” Life can really get away from us if we let it. Time seems to fly by in an instant, and we wonder how it’s even possible. If you allow it, you might find yourself losing five, ten, even twenty-plus years in a job that isn't fufilling. Don’t put a date stamp on chasing your dreams. It’s easy to say, “But maybe I’ll get a raise next year” or “When the kids are older, I might try something else,” but why put your happiness on hold? Take the time to regularly evaluate where you are in life. Is it where you thought you’d be? Is it even better? Are you happy? Don’t be intimidated to take a step toward your happiness, even if it’s a small one.
If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved. —Maurice Chevalier
Life is short, and each day is a precious gift. If you feel that hunger, that longing to try something new, think about what you need to do in order to get there and feel empowered to make it happen.
All too often, we feel that we are not living the fullness of our lives because we are not expressing the fullness of our gifts. —Elle Luna
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole is a freelance editor and owner of Ford Editing. She started her publishing career in 2008 as an editorial assistant at an academic press and began freelancing full time in 2012. Although Nicole has experience with many stages of the publication process, she is most passionate about proofreading and copyediting.
Nicole edits for both academic and trade publishers, most notably National Geographic Books, Hachette, Johns Hopkins University Press, and Penn State University Press. Since launching Ford Editing in 2012, she has edited more than one hundred and fifty titles, which include fiction books, trade books, memoirs, and scholarly books on a variety of topics.