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3 Things You Should Know Before You Quit Your Job To Chase Your Dreams

This past week has been one of the best weeks of my life. It's been like living in a fairytale world. I've literally seen my "little" dreams come true right before my beautiful eyes. It's been dramatic.

However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think I made a mistake quitting my job.

Before Chasing The Dream

I had a nice, well-paying administrative job with a thriving company. It provided a relaxed team atmosphere in which I worked with respected, cooperative colleagues. My office was not too far from home, I pretty much spent not more than N300 (Three Hundred Naira) daily on transport — yet, I was miserable and dreaded going to work after spending close to two years there.

Finally, one day, I could not take it anymore and decided to take the leap. I was officially going to leave the heart-deadening job and chase my heart-calling dreams—a decision I likened to leaving the respectable-normal woman every man wants as a wife to a crazy-disorganized woman who lacks direction. It might not have looked like the most logical choice (as my mum never stopped ringing it in my head), but it FELT right, and my heart was happy.

But getting to this point (of being happy) was definitely not easy. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. (You might have an idea if you've read this post, this post and that post). 

Quitting my job is one of the decisions I never thought I’d have to make. So if you’re considering taking a similar leap of faith, you need to be ready for what might come your way.

Here are 3 three things you’ll likely encounter on your journey:

1. People will think you’re crazy

It is crazy to quit your job in this time of recession. It is absolutely insane to leave a good paying job for that thing you call a 'dream'. Believe me, it is.

But you know what? When people call me crazy, I take it they mean I'm weird. To be weird is to be different from what's normal - to embrace your uniqueness.

Be ready to be called crazy.

After I left my boss' office and closed the door behind me, I felt like I had a sign on my back that read “Please call me back and tell me why I’m making the biggest mistake of my life.”

At first I was affected by the comments and reacted defensively, explaining the reasons for my decision, until I realized I owed these people no explanation.

While some people offered honest, genuine advice and support, many seemed to voice their opinions out of fear and misunderstanding - which is to be expected because, in their eyes, I was rocking the boat and going against the grain.

Quitting your job to chase your dream is like Peter walking upon the water. You need to have FAITH. 

You might have to force a smile and feign politeness when people give heartless comments. Don't try too hard to defend yourself. Stay focused, no matter what. 

2. You will be drained

Making a big career change is no small task, especially if your new pursuit is in a completely different field. 

I am an accountant within the social sciences (that's what they call those who study accounting at the university, right?), but I made a switch to the arts. I have to put in extra hours than those who have got the background.

You will find yourself right at the bottom of the food chain, but don’t let that discourage you.

You might have to put in extra effort and even sacrifice your social life for a bit (especially if you're switching to a non-social career), but it will be worth it.

We all have those moments where we long for our old schedule and feel like going back, but remind yourself of the agony and darkness that came with it, and you’ll persevere. 

As they say: no pain, no glory.

3. You will face new challenges

Don't get it twisted. Chasing your dream is NOT EASY. It is uncomfortable and scary. It comes with unfamiliar challenges. But rather than cowering from these challenges, try to embrace them. They are new opportunities that will be the foundation of your growth and change.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried and how many times I've failed. It's been one challenge after another.

Be prepared and willing to fail. 

After all, you didn’t come all this way to give up now, did you?

Chase your dream.

Many of those who never chased their dreams end up looking back on missed opportunities with a sense of regret. If you have a dream that won’t go away, I think you owe it to yourself – to God and to the world  – to pursue it.

Your Job Can Be Your Dream.

You don't have to quit your job like me if what you are currently doing is what you enjoy (or in sync with your field of passion).

I may not have got my dream job. But I am possibly chasing the dream that is becoming a job.

Sometimes, you do not have to make precarious leap but walk through a steady bridge that you’ve slowly, deliberately constructed over time.

There are few things I wish I knew before turning my back at my boss, to follow my dream, and I will be sharing them from time to time to help you not to repeat the same mistakes too. 

At this point in my journey, I have realized my dreams are not even big enough. It is time they evolve into something bigger. :)

Here's wishing you a week that feels like a good dream. Cheers.

What do you say to those quitting jobs to chase dreams? And if you’ve made the leap (or attempted it) – what do you wish you knew? Please leave a comment and share  this post to support my dream. Lol.

Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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Heart Rays . . . giving out  the light.
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