Can’t Leave the Job, Want to Follow My Dreams, Tell Me What to Do?

This is what a mentee asked me.

She is in a dead-end job, not happy with her role and responsibilities. She feels burnt out and overqualified for what she does, and like she is wasting her time.

Due to this she does not have any time and energy to pursue her goals after she is done for the day.

And because she is smart, she wants to create a runway, with a year’s savings, before she leaves that job.

If you are in a similar situation here is the path you can take.

Path to follow your dreams

Save to build a runaway, a financial cushion, quit, live at home and extend your runway and go after whatever it is that you want to go after.

Your savings should get you by or 9-12 months. 

That’s ideal.

6 months will do too. Less than 3 months, and you won’t be able to focus on what you want to do.

But it is tough to be in a situation where you are smart and work is boring, and uninspiring, and you think you are wasting your time.

In that case decide your pain threshold and see how much you can take and stick till then.

After you quit, don’t take a break. 

Remember why you did it. You did it to follow your dreams. So don’t squander your time.

Create an iron clad routine. If you were at work for 10 hours, change that to 5 hours per day to follow your dreams.

If you don’t pay attention, you may end up wasting months and years without making any considerable progress.

Plan to conquer what you are after in 6-7 months

Even when your runaway is long, don’t plan to take more than 6-7 months to kickstart your passion or dreams – which can be higher studies or turning your side hustle into a full time pursuit.

6-7 months because it is tough to go at full speed for too long.

Break these 6-7 months into 2 parts – 90/100 days each.

And break your goal into micro steps so that you are not bogged down by the enormity of the task, and keep procrastination at bay.

List what quick wins will be for what you are after and go after them during your first 100 days.

Change gears if you don’t stick to your plans

If you don’t stick to your plan of working on your dreams then get a job again. Give yourself 3 months. Which is long enough to see how disciplined you are.

And, to keep your chances of getting a job good.

After leaving your dead-end job, start working on a passion project that you can put on your resume.

You won’t have to go back to a job, but just in case.

Another path: Go from one job to another (a better one)

Find a job where you will be able to find room to work on your passion.

This is a better approach for most because leaving a job is almost never a solution to work on your passion and dreams.

Use the ideas here if you are in a similar situation and want to follow your dreams.