When is the right time? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I FAIL?
These are all questions that I am sure many of you have asked yourself from time to time when trying to decide to take advantage of an opportunity or stay on your current path. Over the last several years, I have tossed these questions around and recently, I have found some of the answers. Below are a few things to consider when trying to make that big decision.
Are you ready to pursue your purpose over your paycheck?
If you want to be great, you must pursue your purpose. Sometimes this requires taking a temporary step back in order to “sling shot” forward. You must go after what really fires you up! There comes a time in your career that is very dangerous. That time is when you are making a good salary with good benefits and things are comfortable. This is the time that it is hardest to step away and really go after what you want — because why would you? People would kill to be in your position, right? Well, the salary and the best benefits in the world are not worth waking up every morning and knowing that you could be doing more. Leaving potential on the table is a good way to live an unfulfilled life.
What does your current financial situation look like?
There are a lot of great success stories about entrepreneurs that strike it out on their own with only the clothes on their back and some change in their pocket. There is no doubt that you can forge your own path with very limited resources, but you are stacking the odds against yourself when you jump into something before your finances are aligned with your future plans. One of the best things that I have done personally was having a financial consultant look at my financial situation overall and help me come up with a plan to get me where I want to go. By financial consultant, I am not talking about someone trying to sell you a particular product. Rather, I am referring to someone who can look at your savings, cash flow, disability insurance, life insurance, etc., and figure out where the weak points are and how to fortify those areas. A good financial consultant will be able to look at things with a different lens than you would. This allows a lot of those blind spots in your plan to be addressed before you get in trouble.
Do you have a plan?
You need to have some form of a plan prior to making a big change. This point is easy to get hung up on, however. You need a plan that you can start working toward, but just know that it is extremely likely that you will encounter a curve ball that your plan does not cover. Do not overthink it and do not wait to have the “perfect” plan before you take action, or you will likely never make the next move.
How is your mental game?
If you want to do big things, prepare to be uncomfortable. Your brain will be screaming at you to go back to the comfort zone as soon as you try to make a big change. If you are not prepared for this mentally, the big moves may get stopped before you really get started. Start doing hard things. What is hard for one person may not be for the next, so just find the things that scare you or are difficult for you and start doing them a little at a time. Doing hard things in one area of your life will build skills that can be translated to all areas.
Assemble the squad
You are going to need support. You are going to need positive people surrounding you. Making any big changes in life can be scary and difficult even when conditions are good, so it is important to surround yourself with the right people. If a friend or family member puts you down or doesn’t support what your goals are, they have to go. It is harsh, but true. Negative people are like crabs in a bucket. If a crab tries to climb out of a bucket, the other crabs will pull them right back in. When trying to go after big goals, you cannot afford to have anyone on your team who doesn’t offer their full support and encouragement.
The conditions will NEVER be perfect
There will never be a perfect time. Never. There will always be some obstacle in the way or something that makes the timing less than ideal. That is just part of life. When you get the idea of “perfect conditions” out of your head and just accept that things will never be perfect, you will be able to take action on your goals. So, how do you know when it is the right time to make the next big move? Well, that time is … NOW!
About the Author Jese H. Vance, P.E.
Jese H. Vance, P.E. graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Jese works as a geotechnical engineer that specializes in geohazards. He has worked in the civil engineering consulting industry since 2012 and recently launched his own geotechnical engineering firm. Jese lives in West Virginia with his wife and son. He enjoys crawling around on any landslide he can find and spending time on the water fly fishing. He can be found on LinkedIn.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post by guest author Jese H. Vance, P.E. If you’re interested in your firm possibly joining the Civil Engineering Collective, please contact us here or call us at 800-920-4007.
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Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success