Leaving an unfulfilling job can make a wonderful difference in your quality of life, but it’s also a scary prospect. You might find yourself facing disbelief or even hostility from people around you, financial insecurity, or confusion over what to do next. If you’re ready to make the change, here are three actions you can take to find your courage and move forward into something better.

(1) Reflect on your values

Chances are, if your job feels unfulfilling, it’s because it doesn’t help you live in accordance with your own values. Make a list of what really matters to you as a person, then look at how those values align with the reality of your current job. Are you tired of making a good wage but not doing something good in the world? Are the restrictions of working within a structured corporate environment clashing with your love of flexibility and freedom? Recognising the disconnect between your job and what truly matters in your life will help you to focus on what you DO want, and give you motivation and confidence as you move forward.

(2) Take the time to consider practicalities

Too often, people contemplating a change believe that it must be done immediately or not at all. When you’re thinking about leaving a secure (if unfulfilling) job to pursue something different, that can be terrifying! If you have a vague vision of quitting tomorrow and dashing off to start your own business or apply for your dream job, you’ve inadvertently made quitting into a dangerous, financially risk scenario. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. Before you make any major changes, sit down and make a plan. Maybe, for example, you need to stay where you are for another six months, to save up enough to cover the costs of starting your own business. Maybe you can complete a career-change qualification online while you continue to earn money at your current workplace. Whatever your circumstances, having a plan in place creates a safety net for you and your family, and makes the decision to quit much less threatening.

(3) Talk things over

Don’t fall into the trap of mulling a big decision like this over in your head, without seeking any outside input. We all feel more confident when we have a team of supporters, and the only way to enlist support is to discuss your options with people you know and trust. Friends and family can give you suggestions and advice, raise concerns, and even offer practical support such as childminding or a place to stay while you hunt for a new job – but they won’t know you need any of those things unless you ask. You might also consider looking for a professional who offers life or career coaching, particularly if you need an unbiased opinion or a sounding board to help you clear your head before you suggest a significant change to your family. Eiran Trethowan empowers and assists people to successfully create the life of their dreams. She can be contacted on 0466 495 711 or eiran@openforlife.com.au.