Humans are interesting creatures. We like to stick to what we know and dislike feeling uncomfortable, whether it be in our careers or our social lives. Venturing into the great unknown is scary and, frankly, not something many of us are prepared for.
However, it’s the unknown that leads to some of the most rewarding experiences. It’s how we’re able to enjoy the latest Apple iPhone products and use on-demand service apps to call a car or a meal to our doorsteps. When we do decide to explore uncharted waters, we learn a lot about who we are as individuals and professionals.
If you do decide to quit your job and pursue that idea you’ve been throwing around for the past six months, it’s important to be financially and mentally prepared. Here are the five things to expect from your peers, family, and yourself when you dive right into an unknown career path:
1. Your Friends And Family Will Question Your Decisions
So you went to college and got that fancy degree in economics, but now you’re thinking of leaving your secure consulting job to pursue a startup in technology. You’re likely to encounter some pushback from your family and friends. There are a lot of things to prepare for when you seek out a different industry and the people closest to you are bound to advise against pursuing the unknown. It’s an expected reaction to receive, especially from your parents, who are only looking out for your best interests.
Instead of ignoring the haters, take the time to listen to their concerns. Even if you have your transition all planned out, it doesn’t hurt to hear why your family and friends are expressing concern over your decision. You may begin to doubt your decision, but deep down, only you know what’s right for you.
2. You’ll Feel A Sense Of Euphoria
There’s a sense of freedom that comes from having control over your own life. Amidst the doubt and worry, you’ll experience a joy that comes from doing what you want to do. If you’re leaving a toxic work environment, pursuing an unknown career path can feel liberating and like a breath of fresh air. Starting a job in a completely new industry is exciting — as it should be!
“It takes time to discover what you’re truly passionate about, or what you might consider to be the ‘right’ job for you,” says Adam Fridman of Mabbly. “Now’s the time to take risks and try new things. The last thing you want is to regret staying with a job you absolutely dislike.”
Just be careful to not let that euphoria blind your judgement. A new career path is like starting an adventure — don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s the perfect fit if it really isn’t.
3. You May Want To Go Back To Your Old Job
One reason why people are afraid to leave their old job is because their current career provides a steady, secure routine. Unless you’re causing problems at the office, you’re guaranteed a security that doesn’t come with startups and exploring new career options. Right after the euphoria of setting out on a new career path wears off, you might begin to doubt your gung-ho spirit and regret leaving your old job. It’s a valid feeling — we tend to stick with what we know and uncertainty can cause anxiety.
If you feel doubt begin to creep up on you, just remember the reasons for why you left your old job in the first place. Job security is always great to have, but if your old job was making you miserable and you were dreading the weekdays, you’re probably better off sticking to something new.
4. You’ll See That Success Comes From 110% Commitment
Whether you’re starting your own business venture or exploring career options in a new field, your overall success is largely dependant on how committed you are and the level of passion that you bring.
Gali Rosen of Appnext assures that, “Passion is one of the driving factors defining people, from wannabe rock stars to super successful app developers. When I entered the tech world and abandoned the corporate ladder, I felt free to pursue a new career path and commit to my dreams.”
You’ll need to prove to your new employer that you have what it takes to succeed in a field you previously had zero experience in, and that means staying the extra hour in the office and sending one more email on a Friday evening. When you’re starting off in a brand new field where you have little past work experience, you need to go the extra mile to prove your worth to your employer. If success is what you’re chasing in your new career, you need to commit to it 110%.
5. You’ll Realize That Life Doesn’t Follow A Strict Plan
We can plan out the rest of our lives, but there’s zero guarantee that life will follow the plans you’ve laid out for yourself. When you venture into an unknown career path, expect the unexpected. You’re going to encounter bumps and obstacles along the way that you can’t prepare for, so you’ll need to roll with the punches and learn to adapt. It’ll be a test of how resilient you are when faced with foreign challenges. What matters is how you respond to the problems that do arise. Don’t let the minor roadblocks keep you from achieving the job you really want.