You’ve dreamt of this moment for years – the day your dreams turn into reality. You’re finally going to do it. With a confident look in your eyes, you’re going to quit your job and pursue your dreams. But then reality hits you in the face and you realise your dreams aren’t as idyllic as they seem.
We’re told to follow our dreams, write our own stories. It is true, always pursue something you’re passionate about but, be smart about it. Chasing a dream takes patience, preparation, diligence, and a few reality checks from time to time.
So, if your eyes are on your dream job, we’re here to break down the steps you’ll need to get there.
The 50/30/20 rule
An area of struggle would be to budget your salary. The simplest format is to follow the 50/30/20 rule: 50% of your earnings goes towards your needs (non-negotiables). In other words—groceries, utilities, rent, transport, tax, and insurance. 30% towards wants, and the last 20% goes to savings. Additionally, estimate all your expenses and work out the amount of money you’ll need to get started on your journey.
Tip: Make a note of your expenses a few months from your first pay cheque. Keep an eye on the percentage fluctuations. Be honest on things you can and can’t afford to compromise on, risks you’re willing to take, and understand where your money is best placed.
Just Take the Risk—A Calculated Risk
Turning your dream job into reality is possible but, you need to take the action to open the door to your dream job. Know that you’re taking a risk and if it’s scary there’s possibly a good reason for it. Take time to understand what you’re putting at risk and for what. In an investment, returns are proportionate to the risks you take. It’s the same with a job— the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
Ask yourself the necessary questions. Do you have the relevant skill sets? Will you able to support yourself with the new job? Don’t just blindly take the leap of faith. Spend time perfecting your craft so you’re familiar with the work.
Don’t Quit Working
Money— you’re going to need fuel on the journey to landing your dream job. Don’t quit your current job if you’re low on savings as you’ll need a steady income while you figure out how to start. Money will only allow your dreams to come true. If your current job takes lots of commitment, consider doing a simple, transition job where you can clock in, clock out, and collect the pay cheque. If you choose this option, have more than one income stream for support.
You’ve made your mind on pursuing your dream job, but don’t jump in with both your feet. Holding onto your current job will ease your need to ‘succeed immediately’. If you’ve got good investments with good returns and have enough savings you can quit your job and focus on improving your skills for the new job. Savings and investments are both important, so take time to smartly invest your money.
Network and Gain Experience
Talk to people doing your dream job and ask them what it’s like, the hurdles they face. Networking can get you closer to understanding what your dream job entails. Remember to always keep in touch with these people, they’re probably going to be your first friends in your new job. And always say ‘yes’ to any opportunity that gets you closer to your dream job.
Moreover, gain sufficient hands-on experience before you make the big switch. Find time between your current job, maybe work on the weekend. Relevant experience will improve your chances of landing the dream job. Familiarise yourself with what the job really entails. Probably, it is exactly what you’re looking for or maybe you’re just romanticising the greener grass on the other side.
Plan and Be Flexible
If you’ve got cold feet, writing out a plan for your future will help. Plan out every step required to get you to your dream job from your current state. Do it with great detail. Set daily and weekly goals to research on the job type, the skill sets required, connections. This will keep you on track. Also plan your expenses, create a budget. Now’s not the time to overspend, cut down on unnecessary savings.
Your ideal job may or may not be out there, so be flexible and willing to adapt. Identify your strengths and combine it with your passion— this is the best way to achieve success. Lastly, never give up. There will be times where your dream appears out of reach, but having the will to keep pushing is what will ultimately bring success at your doorstep.
At the end of the day, if you didn’t burn a hole in your pocket, you’re better at “financial literacy” than you think you are.
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