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5 Critical Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job For Good

5 Critical Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job For Good

Congrats! You have worked hard and you’re ready to transition into self-employment. It is an exciting transition in your path on quitting your job for good.  But before you go ahead and quit your job, there are some crucial steps you need to consider before taking the leap. Following these suggestions will not only make it easier when transitioning, but a happier experience for everyone involved.

1. Leave on a High Note

Think about how your boss would feel if you make a situation worse by being disrespectful. Sure, you may not like your job, but it is not fair to your coworkers or your boss if you are disrespectful when quitting. While you may have fantasized about telling your company how you really feel, but it could damage your reputation down the line, even if you are your own boss. Put yourself in your boss’ shoes: would you like an employee to treat you poorly or left a mess of their work that you have to pick up the pieces? Make it a point to be fully involved in your job up until the day you leave. That means completing a to-do list you meant to tackle, cleaning your desk, and keep yourself focused on your work.

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2. Create a Financial Plan for the Next 6 – 12 Months

Being your own boss means that you won’t have a steady income. Before quitting your job, you need to think about what your budget is in order to cover the essentials. It is also a good idea to save up money in case some months or slow, or no income is coming in at all. To start, write down a list of all the expenses you have. Items you should factor in -Cell phone -Rent/Mortgage -Food -Internet/utilities -entertainment -existing debt -health insurance -transportation After writing down what everything costs, take that amount and make sure you stick to it. There are lots of budgeting programs that you can use, or something as simple as a spreadsheet document on your computer will suffice. They key is sticking to the budget you set for yourself to ensure you don’t run into any financial trouble while self-employed. It is a good idea to get used to your new budget by making one and sticking to it a few months (if possible) before leaving your job. That way, you have time to adjust it if necessary before you no longer have your job.

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3. Make a Plan

Your side hustle may provide you with enough income to quit your job, but have you considered what you will do to continue your success? Think about where you plan on seeing your career in the next few years, and write your goals down.  Create goals to market yourself and your business, how to retain existing clients, what your ideal career is like, and any personal goals you want to achieve. Make your action plan as specific as possible and what your success criteria is. For example, if you plan on hiring on a virtual assistant to help with some back end work, make a goal on how much income your business needs to make in order to be able to afford that VA full time.

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4. Plan Out Healthy Habits and Routines

Making sure you are in tip top shape is important because you are now your business. If you are sick and cannot work, you will not pull in any income. Being unhealthy can also take a toll on your productivity and mood.  Sure, you may want to skip lunch and finish writing that proposal for a new client or fix your website, but something that may take you 20 minutes to do may take a few hours if your stomach keeps growling at you. Now that you can dictate your own schedule, make a point to pencil in some time for exercise during the week. Find a workout buddy if you need to get some accountability. Even taking 15 minutes a few times a day to stretch will do wonders for your mood and health. Don’t forget that eating well is part of a healthy routine. Don’t stock up on too much junk food or frozen dinners even if it is more convenient to prepare them. Make a meal plan and freeze meals ahead of time if you know you will be too busy to cook. Enlist the help of family members if you need to in order to make your health a priority. Set reminders on your phone or calender if you need to in order to make sure you stick to a healthy routine.

5. Create a Backup Plan

As much as we’d hate you admit it, sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan.  Your regular clients may suddenly decide they do not need your services. Maybe your business is not pulling in a profit for the past few months and your savings are dwindling. Perhaps there is an emergency in your family and you have to put off your travel plans. Take a look at what your plans are after you quit and list and possible worst-case scenarios. Write down what you might do if these crop up. Make up as many scenarios as you can think of and create a backup plan for each one. Talk to as many people who have forged the same path you have and see what their backup plans are. It could be moving back in with mom and dad, taking on part time work at McDonald’s, or changing up your marketing efforts.  As well, think about a time frame on when you will enact on your backup plan. What will be the deciding factor on knowing when your initial plans are not panning out? Clearly deciding on a success criteria early on will help you make those tough decision down the line.

Have you quit your job? What steps did you take before you left your job for good? Share your insights in the comments below!

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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