What we want is often predefined for us. As individuals we need to break free. Click to tweet
You are probably unhappy with your job, but need the paycheck. Who doesn’t? You can always quit your job and take another one. Possibly in a different industry or type all together. However what happens if you hate that job too? The fear of this alone is what keeps people locked on the same path. There is a certain level of risk involved to make the jump into something entirely new. If it doesn’t work out where does that leave you?
Experience, experience, experience. At any level this will help you determine whether you are interested in pursuing the career path any further. Once you find it, a fire will light inside of you and you’ll wake up excited wanting to try and do new things. Falling in love with what you do is no different than with a person.
Here are a few ways to get experience:
Internships – If you’re still in college do as many of these as you can. I slaved for three months at State Farm cold calling your family and friends. I learned about manipulating scripts, emotions and hard sales over the phone. When I wasn’t calling people, I started researching about WordPress and internet marketing. I hated it but am better for doing it. My advice is find an internship through Craigslist and work for a small business. You won’t have a “coffee based agenda” and you will learn about the problems that small business owners and startups everywhere face. Interns for startups get worked x1000 harder than something pretty and corporate.
Shadowing – Success people rarely make it on their own and if you show enough interest and professionalism you can often land an opportunity to shadow for a day or two. Follow a business leader throughout their day, attend meetings and gain insight on decisions that they have to make. Usually shadowing is something that you’ll do after you can show your involvement in the industry in some form or another.
Hack it: Use http://www.gimado.com/ to easily scrape websites for the email address that you’re after. It’s usually easier to tweet someone though 🙂
Networking – It’s who you know and what you know. You need to be out networking, hitting events and shaking hands. A little bit of genuine ass kissing too. Start networking in a smaller setting and work your way up. A good place to start is searching Meetup for whatever you may be interested in. A lot less ego’s there compared to professional events.
Learn – Start reading every single thing you can about what you’re looking to get into. Making a change begins with your interest in the industry. Add 10-15 authority blogs to your RSS reader, subscribe to a few podcasts and buy some books off of Amazon.
Hobby-ing – You don’t to become a professional yet. Pick up whatever it is you’re trying to and start doing it. Public relations, sales, skateboarding, marketing can all be done at the amateur level. Offer to help a small business push out a few press releases and set up their facebook page. Whenever you start a hobby even if it’s specific to one thing like skateboarding you’ll be gaining experience in other things as well. Hobbies help you become a more well rounded and driven person, you should have a lot of them. Finding things that you love to do is essential for fulfillment in your life.
Find Your Risk Minimization Strategy
Ask yourself, which of my options carry the biggest perceived benefit and the least amount of risk?
Applying risk minimization for career, business and personal choices is always a good idea. It doesn’t mean to play it safe all of the time, rather to put yourself in a stronger position so that when you need to go all-in you’re ready. You should develop your own way to assess risk based of off the different qualitative and quantitative factors important to you.
When I try to minimize risk in a new business, I’ll typically start a blog and facebook page to see if the idea is able to gain any traction before I invest any real money. I also look for models that do not require you to hold inventory. Inventory ties up a lot of cash, something that I don’t currently have ;).
Risk minimization doesn’t have to just apply to business. Earlier this year I bought a Nikon DSLR off of Craiglist for a fraction of the price that it would have cost in store. I got a high quality camera and if it turned out that I hate photography, I wasn’t risking that much. You can actually do all of those things listed above without putting yourself in a position where you would need to quit your job. You can accomplish anything you want with the time you have (see time hacking). If you don’t get it done, it’s just an excuse ;).
Should my friend risk it?
A good friend of mine and his girlfriend are in love. They are doing long distance now and he recently declined a job in her area because the company didn’t offer him enough money. You can always make more money. It’s much harder to find someone who makes you whole.
It’s a long journey to find what we actually want from life and I would be lying if I said that I have figured it all out but I am trying to get there. I wake up excited to push further into my business, music blog, day job or the gym. Sometimes it’s Halo 4 but that never ends well. The journey is about living and chasing the dream at the same damn time.
None Of This Matters Unless…
Unless you have the will to make the changes necessary to achieve what you want. Whether you have to stop watching mindless television shows or sacrifice a few extra hours of sleep each night it’s up to you to break free. The buck stops at you.
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