3 Steps to Quitting Your Job and Following Your Passion

October 17, 2022

As “The Great Resignation” unfolds, many professional women are quitting their jobs to pursue their passions. Whether your vision includes traveling the world or starting your own business, taking groundbreaking steps requires planning. 

In this blog, you’ll find how to:

  1. Embrace your unique path
  2. Make a financial plan that matches your vision
  3. Welcome change, and take the leap!

Here are the 3 crucial steps to quitting your job and following your passion.

1. Embrace your unique path

Everyone’s journey is unique, so why not embrace what makes you you? Well, the answer is that change is hard – for all of us. When we choose to leave a stable job and dive into the unknown, the experience can be destabilizing. For many of us, it can feel like we’re leaving a piece of ourselves behind. 

Yet there’s something magical about embracing the discomfort of change. When we let go of who we think we are, we often find that we’re capable of much more than we realize.

To find our passions, the crucial question to ask is: what lights you up?

Answering this question isn’t just about finding a single activity that excites you. It’s a process that’s aimed at finding the underlying spark of your passion. 

Take preeminent cognitive scientist Dr. Maya Shankar, who explains what makes her connection to the violin so special. She reflects, “What I learned is that the actual thing that made me light up about the violin wasn’t necessarily the violin itself… it was an instrument for forging emotional connections with other people.” 

By examining the common threads that weave our passions together, we find the deeper connection between our passions and our values. When Dr. Shankar suffered an injury to her hand that ended her concert violin career, she was able to channel her value of human connection into a successful career as a cognitive scientist. 

While the outlet for our values may shift, our values stand strong. 

2. Make a financial plan that matches your vision

Each of our visions may be unique, but we all need a plan. 

Take 19-year-old Hannah Anh, a product manager who gave up a lucrative salary to pursue a freelance career. Her goal? To gai the freedom to select high-quality work that aligned with her values. After ensuring she had enough savings, Anh quit with the goal to make $200,000 through copywriting, design projects, and other ventures in her first year of work. 

Big moves like Anh’s require big planning. Whatever your vision, here are several ways to create a robust financial plan:  

  • Establish financial goals – Set financial goals that help you accomplish your vision. Want to travel the world? Consider a savings plan. Want to start your own business without sacrificing retirement? Make sure to budget, and consider a SEP IRA.  
  • Make a budget – This helps you meet your goals by estimating your income and your spending. New to budgeting? Here’s how to make a budget.
  • Create a savings plan – Before you quit your job, consider establishing an “emergency fund” and a “passion fund.” The “emergency fund” acts as a safety cushion in case of unforeseen challenges, like illness or recession. The “passion fund” can help support the costs of exploring new pursuits. Here’s how to create an emergency fund and how to maximize your savings
  • Evaluate health insurance – The unfortunate truth is that when you quit your job you lose your benefits. Make sure to evaluate the new costs of taking on responsibilities like health insurance, and factor them into your new budget. Insurance is an important feature of any plan, so check out how to evaluate health insurance options.
  • Eliminate costly debt – Eliminating expensive consumer debt is an important step to freely exploring your passions. The important thing is to find a strategy that you can stick to. Read up on how to eliminate your debt.

Getting a grip on your finances makes a huge difference in reaching your goals. When we understand and manage our finances, money transforms from a source of inhibition to a foundation for exploration. Remember, knowledge is power!

3. Welcome change, and take the leap!

Because everyone’s path is different, it may take months or years to arrive at the final and hardest step of pursuing your passion: taking the leap.

Taking the leap is about making a calculated risk. Of course, we can’t possibly know all possible outcomes of our choices. But we can imagine some best and worst-case scenarios to mentally prepare us.

As you stand on the precipice of a big life change, take a page from entrepreneur Carrie Yang’s playbook by asking yourself, “If this effort to pursue my passion ‘fails,’ would this leap still be a win?” 

Let’s say you’re setting out to start your own business. If the business fails, what is the worst-case scenario? Would the benefits still outweigh the risks? Perhaps you’ve made a strong financial plan, so you have a financial cushion to fall back on. Maybe you’ll find immense value in the skills you learn during the process of building a business. Can we say we’ve “failed” if we’ve gained so much valuable experience along the way? 

Taking the leap is a risk and a huge opportunity. In the end, it’s up to you to decide if and when you’re ready.

Need a gentle nudge? We’re here for you.

Like all calculated risks, it helps to have a sounding board when considering a big transition. At SWM, we’re helping women achieve their passions by providing tailored and transparent financial advice.

Ready to explore your passions? 

Connect with SWM

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