Aug 23, 2017
Working for a studio, company or school in a job you mostly love is mostly good, right? I mean, if you enjoy the arena you’re in, you’re pretty good at what you do, and you get paid almost enough to pay the bills, isn’t that enough? Well, maybe.
Can we all just admit that — sometimes — we find ourselves in a place of employment that is pretty darn good…even deceivingly so, that we get blinded for a while by the idea that pretty good is good enough? Jobs like this can seem (emphasis on seem) wise to hold onto for several reasons: we want to look responsible — heck, we want to be responsible (well, most days), and most of us are out there trying to make wise, reasonable decisions with our money, time and passions, right?
If you’re with me, read on. If you’re sort of with me, just give this a whirl and see where you land:
Pretend you’re considering an employment change. You’re toying with the idea of working for yourself as a private music teacher, yoga instructor, counsellor, or in that *one* field that makes your heart skip a beat just thinking about it.
While we’re pretending, let’s just pretend your current job is a ship. (Yes, in this paragraph and this paragraph only, a BOAT is the symbol for your present place of employment and YOU are currently on that boat as the lovely, dedicated — potentially worn down, burned out — employee that you are.) So, you’re saying you want to take a leap from the ship of safe-employment and land in the sea of self-employment? Well, you can, but remember: anytime you “jump ship”, you’re going to rock the boat.
It’s an age-old reality: You risk losing stability when you leave a current job. And who actually likes instability? I mean, when there’s no ship to keep us feeling safe and secure, it’s a little risky out there. No ship — right? ;)
All ship-speak aside, sometimes even the risk of instability or loss that comes from leaving safe-employment for self-employed is enough to keep you stuck in a job that’s no longer actually best for you, for way…too…long. Logically-speaking and all pretending aside, it’s risky to leave.
But I’ve been thinking: What if you risk losing more by staying put? What if, in your current job, you’re actually losing:
Sleep and restfulness? Due to stress, dissatisfaction or a pesky feeling of overall “unsettledness” in your current job.
Sight of your dreams? While you’re busy supporting someone else’s dream or business by being an awesome employee, if you notice you’re feeling a tiny bit too complacent in your current job or caring a little less about the details, that’s a hint that something might need to change. Or if you’re losing your previous sense of passion, enthusiasm or drive, it might be less about bucking up or grinning and bearing it, and more about the pull of your future, dream job. Don’t push your dreams away for too long or you might lose sight of them altogether.
What if what’s best for you is actually a bold, brazen employment switcheroo? If you’ve already been considering a leap, here’s a look at how you could flip those “losses” on their heads and put a positive spin on #1–3 above.
What if a change of scenery in your work (you know…that place where you spend anywhere from four to six days a week?!) could help you gain:
Dana Little is a singer-songwriter, imaginative entrepreneur and teacher in Seattle, WA. Her colorful, cozy home studio, The Piano Parlor, points to her serious knack for bringing out the fun and whimsy when working with her music students.
When she’s not teaching, she’s playing piano, singing and writing for indie-folk duo, The Preservation Society.