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October 8, 2010
Am I Crazy to Think I Could Quit My Job?

So you’ve decided you’d like to quit your job, or heaven forbid, someone else has made the decision for you. If you read last month’s article, you already have created a vision for what satisfaction in a new job might look like by looking inward. Now, it’s time to look outward so you can commit to a clear direction.

No, you’re not crazy to think you could quit your job, but you do have some work to do.  

Here are four specific insanity-preventing steps to take first:

1.) Reach out to friends and family. One resource many people neglect to use is their circle of friends and family. It’s OK not to tell the one family member you know will freak out. (Mom or dad can find out later.)

  • Make a list of everyone you know who possibly could have some contacts for you to do informational interviews. This is good use of your time because once you know what you want to do, you’ll need the same kind of list to find the job.
  • You can go through the list and write next to their name how they can help you. (For example, ask about teaching or save for job search favor.)
  • If you’re not comfortable asking for help, start with your close friends. Contact them and ask if they know anyone you could talk to about the roles you’re researching. Better yet, meet them in person and ask so you know they’re really thinking about it. Then follow up with an e-mail a few days later.

2.) Let everyone else in on your plans. Go to the friends that you’re not as close with, ask them the same thing. If you want you could even do a blanket e-mail to all your Facebook contacts or post it in your status, but careful with the status update if you’re still employed.

Then go to your LinkedIn account and figure out who you could ask there. Those might be your former colleagues or people you’ve met on freelance gigs that you don’t keep up with, but they could know some people. Don’t worry about whether it’s a bother for them. This is how things are done now. It’s not a bother and if it is a bother, they just won’t write back. The bottom line is ask everyone you know if they know of someone you could talk to about the jobs you’re researching.

3.) Go on an information expedition. There’s a great new website called Careerideas.com. It interviews all kinds of people about what they do. This site could also give you some good questions to ask your own people, but you’ll need a list of questions for the meetings that you set up.  

Some good, basic questions might be:

  • What’s the salary range?
  • What’s the market look like right now?
  • What background do you need?
  • Do you think my skills as a (position) could be transferable?
  • What would my career path look like?
  • Is there longevity in this job?
  • What’s the best way to get a job in this industry?

If there's a discrepancy in what they say and what you’ve learned online, ask them about it.

4.) Go bobbing for job titles. Yes, it's very exciting. I promise it won’t hurt. You can find job titles on Careerideas.com, but another good resource is the site you are on now, Talent Zoo. After you’ve taken in all this information, it’s time to do some thinking on your own. Take a look at your values again and see if your research has changed any of the jobs in relation to your values. Are there any that you can completely cross off the list?  Is there one that can be changed slightly to improve its chances for success? Then get quiet within yourself and work on clearing away any fear that might be holding you back and decide on what will truly make you happy.

It’s OK to commit to a plan -- you can still stay flexible. You might discover new things in your search. Don’t have your blinders on with so much focus that you don’t see a major change happening in the industry. Continue to talk with people, ask questions, stay open, and be optimistic because you’re on your way to that elusive thing called job satisfaction. Now that you've done the research, look for next month's article on how to actually get over your fear of looking for this elusive job.

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Anne Hubben believes the only thing worse than looking for a job you want is looking for a job you don't want. Anne is a career coach and recruiter for creative talent.  She has been recruiting creatives in the design and advertising industry for 15 years and coaching them internationally for 4 years.  She can be found at AnneHubben.com where she offers free resources and creative career tips. Say hello on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, or Google+

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