A wise friend once told me, “jump when the door is open and not when you’re ready.” And so, I recently took a leap of faith. The door was open and I jumped.
Needless to say, I learned a lot.
Surprise: It’s Hard
Imagine you’re on a road trip. You’ve over-planned and have everything in order, but just a few kilometers in your map blows out the car window. You’re now without a map and don’t have any reception on your phone. You’re lost. Your destination is still in sight, but now you have to reroute. You’re running on empty and need to fill up ASAP, but your engine light just went on and, pop, you now have a flat on the side of the road.
This is what it feels like to be unemployed. It feels like you can’t catch a break. You were excited to go on this road trip, but now you just want to head back home.
You Have to Be Able to Adapt
The opportunities you had lined up fell through and the job interview you thought you nailed didn’t pan out. What’s next?
You have to find your new norm, but the beauty in that is you’re the driver. Adaptability, in my opinion, is one of the greatest skills you can master. Take on a ‘go with the flow’ mentality, but be smart with how you react to unexpected circumstances. As someone who loves structure and stability, I learned fast that you can’t force life; it just happens. You can do your best to plan, but trust in yourself and your ability to bounce back from any situation.
Your Support System is Your Sanity
This includes your current support system of friends and family, but also refers to new people you’ve met or will meet along the way. Lean on your support system for advice, motivation, and a gentle place to fall. Remember: you’re not in this alone and those around you want to help you succeed and be the best version of you that you can be.
This was a hard lesson to swallow. I initially tried too hard to force everything into place. My life was unsettled and I was desperate. As a result, I jumped at every opportunity rather than prioritizing my time and efforts. After speaking with a wonderful friend about my dreams, she said point blank, “don’t compromise.” From that moment on, I realized I quit for a reason and had to be true to myself and shouldn’t sell myself short. I learned not to compromise my long-term goals for short-term happiness.
Take the Leap
This excerpt is the most profound. Quitting my job was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m forever a work in progress, but I’m slowly becoming the person I want to be and not the person who I thought I was supposed to be. If you’re not happy, make the changes you need to live the life you want. It will be hard, no doubt, but oh-so-rewarding in the end.
But hey, don’t take my word for it – take your own leap of faith (whatever that may be) and do what makes your heart happy and lights your soul on fire.
Images: Steven Noble