Finding The Courage To Leave Your Long-Term Job
Studies have shown that a woman will stay in a job longer than a man, even if they have outgrown it. The typical responses when ask why: "I have the flexibility to do what I need to with family obligations.", "I've put so much into this company, and they need me.", and "I wouldn't know who I was without with job.".
You can blame the motherly instinct every woman has burning inside. The feeling that they have to take care of everyone but themselves, even if that means not being happy where they are anymore. And, making a move into the unknown takes courage and fire that can only come when sparked.
My grandma was such a wise woman (they are right -- the youth is wasted on the young) she asked me one day "If your company shut down tomorrow, would you be okay?". She was not looking for an answer. She was challenging my mindset that things come and go in life, the only constant is yourself.
There are ways to build your courage before making the final move of leaving your long-term job.
Step One: Start Saving
Women tend to feel that they won't be able to find a comparable salary to where they are at, and with the wage gap still rampant, it is not fear that should ever be looked down upon. While you start to gear up to make a change, start to save. Stop spending on one-time purchases (coffee, lunches, etc.), and invest in yourself and what the time you need.
Step Two: Get Serious
Just as Grandma said if your company ended tomorrow, would you be okay? Start plotting out your next move. Make connections, talk to close friends about your progress, research where you want to be and make it happen. You can always have happy hour with your old colleagues, but you have to hand your hopes and dreams to yourself.
Step Three: Open Your Mind
You may have some bruises and a few scars, but open your thoughts as much as you do your heart. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone if you fit just 70% of what they are looking for on paper. If you've ever been in a hiring position, you know how daunting it can be to fill that with someone good and you never get 100% of what you put on paper. Be bold, rely on your knowledge, and go out and kill it.
Step Four: Envision Your Next Move
If you envision yourself doing something you will end up doing it. Mentally tightening up will get you prepared and ready to take on the next big thing, but if you don't have something in mind, then you may never get there.
Do you remember your senior year of high school or even college? The uncertainty that you were facing knowing that you had to start something new? It all worked out then and it will work out this time.