1. You get treated badly by your boss. Your boss is an *******. You hate having a boss. And yet, you’re still working to fulfill your bosses dreams. Hmmm…
I had a female boss once, whose negative energy seeped into my own. She tried to take away a bonus which I earned (and then some), but the CFO told her she couldn’t do that. A boss who got angry after someone bought a roll of paper towels for $5, after she just bought a $300,000 yacht and had a downpayment on the unreleased Tesla. She immediately called a meeting with me after she saw my LinkedIn update – a freelance writing job with Paste Magazine, in which I would do when I got home from my miserable 9-5. This woman called it unprofessional and said she was very unhappy that I was doing it (you know, instead of being proud of me and congratulating me as a fellow female hustler). She claimed she “made me who I am.” No, she just made me never want to be someone like her! By calling me family, she knew it would persuade me to work by butt off for her. She wouldn’t allow me to drink the seltzer water at her house, after commuting an hour and a half to work for her (one way).
I allowed her to make me second guess my worth, day in and a day out, so I stayed for far too long. After getting over the guilt for feeling like I needed to be loyal to her and her family, I finally resigned after 3 years of torment. She told everyone she fired me. She’s since then, gone through 6 assistants.
But yet, I had to listen her, and do what she told? (I think the kids nowadays would say “GTFOH”). Get away from bosses like this…AS FAST AS YOU CAN.
2. You have dreams. You have aspirations of doing something totally different than what you’re currently doing now.
So my simple question to you is, well, why are you still there? Why are you suppressing your dreams? I bet you’re recalling all the times when people have convinced you that “you’re being unrealistic.” I beg and plead with you not to listen to them. Why is doing something that you love and enjoy unrealistic? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “I wish I had your guts” and “you’ve got balls” or “what a HUGE risk” or “I give you props, because I could never do it,” and “I don’t know how you’re doing it.”
I’m betting on myself y’all. No one else. Just me and God. And I know I have it in me. You’ll ignore your dreams, your goals and aspirations and you’ll never ever make it if you listen to people and allow them to project their fears onto you. You’ll never take the risk. It starts today, with you.
3. You are passionate about something very specific and you’re really good at it.
So, you love fashion but are working at a media company. You love sports but are working in finance. Do you love to cook but you are working as an executive assistant? If you are going to be a graphic designer and love fashion, you should, at the very least, be a graphic designer for a fashion company (and not electronics). Are you in the finance world and love sports? Then you should be a financial advisor (or the likes) for a sports company or athlete. Are you an executive assistant for some start up tech company but you get caught daydreaming about what you’re going to cook? Well then you should be an executive assistant for a chef or big restaurant/food company.
You see where I’m going with this…? Take baby steps if you’re terrified. Get yourself going in the right direction so it’s easier for you to take that leap of faith when you’re ready. You should be be working in the industry that you dream about in order to get those first couple of clients to start out with. Move your chess pieces properly if the end goal is freelance/entrepreneurship. You’ve got to start working smarter, not harder.
4. You despise the sound of your alarm going, you hate everyday (including Monday’s) and you down right just hate going into work.
Do you dream of Monday mornings when they don’t consist of wanting to chuck your alarm clock out of the window, pulling yourself from the bed and stumbling your sorry behind into the office? Then, you should reevaluate why you are still choosing to do this job. Because it is a choice that you are making everyday to keep yourself from being truly happy (see #5).
Is it for the money? For the steady paycheck? Is it for the 401k plan? Is it because you feel like you have to? Do you feel like you’re too old and it’s too late? Is it because society or your family puts pressure on you to have earned a “proper living” and to have a “proper job”? Or because of the security? Is it because you have a family that you need to support? Are you just holding on for the day you can finally retire?
One thing I will say though is that whether you decide to quit your job or stick it out for the time being, it is essential that you have financial reserves in place should you need them to fall back on. No one wants to struggle during their retirement and therefore it is never too soon to start thinking about your retirement savings. It might even be in your best interest to switch up your current retirement savings plan to suit your future aspirations better. To learn more about the key differences between IRA and 401k, check out this useful guide from SoFi: https://www.sofi.com/learn/content/ira-vs-401k-which-is-best-for-you/.
If you would rather be waking up every Monday morning on the right side of the bed, start planning to make that change. Not everyone hates Mondays and you don’t have to either. Come up with a basic budget, start saving, grab a couple of personal clients. Having your own business is much more rewarding than working for someone else. Once you become a little more established you might want to look at getting some software to help make managing documents, a bit simpler. If this interests you, websites like FilecenterDMS.com might be worth checking it out! There is so much software available to help make your job easier so just do your research and see if there is any software that could benefit you.
Feel glued to your benefit package? Your benefits package can be replaced (and more) and you can give yourself a raise or bonus whenever you want when you’re a freelancer. No one is forcing you to be here, doing a job you do not like.
I was a personal assistant and wardrobe stylist for my lunatic of a boss (see #1), hated personal assisting, but was good at it, but I loved being her stylist. In addition to my 9-5 I also freelanced, so I was constantly building outside of work to do what I loved all while still hating my job. Then I realized I didn’t want to be a PA any longer, I didn’t want to take care of anyone else’s life but my own so I wanted to immerse myself into the fashion industry full time (moving those chess pieces!). So what did I do? I got a job in the fashion industry (and still freelanced). Everyday, I would drag myself to my job, sit behind a desk where I wasn’t using any of my creative juices (read: torture), but as soon as 5pm hit, I would rush home to work on my freelance work. Since finding a invoice template pdf online, it did make managing clients and finances of my freelance work a lot easier. So I enjoyed it a lot more knowing that it was one less thing to stress about.
I finally got to a point where I had built up my portfolio enough and had a couple clients where I was ready to take the risk and quit. There are lots of things I wish I knew before quitting but since January 2016, I’ve been a freelancer and my head is still above water. I’m doing this on my own. No boyfriend or husband to split half of life with (rent and bills). So, I suggest that if you do have a partner and this is your dream, have a serious conversation with them about going after it. If you don’t and you’re living on your own, it will honestly be a lot harder, but it’s still possible. I’m living proof. Anything is possible. Your dreams are a reachable reality.
5. You’re unhappy.
You deserve to be happy. But what you don’t fully comprehend until reading this is, you are in control of your OWN happiness. Happiness is a choice and I desperately wish more people knew this. I pray that you don’t have a lifetime of suffering before realizing this! You have to believe in yourself and know that you can achieve anything (I mean ANYTHING) that you want. It is totally possible for you to do EXACTLY what you envision.
It’s up to you to take control of your own life and if you’re in a bad situation, it’s up to you to get out of it. You can’t give another human the responsibility for your happiness, and yet so often we do. Stop doing this!! Take accountability, take responsibility, start taking back your control and take the initiative to govern your own destiny.