In 2001, I took a leap.
I up and quit my sexy job in TV to pursue a more meaningful career in the helping professions.
It was a needed change, but getting there wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Overnight I went from HBO to the H-E-L-L of unemployment.
I was living in New York City at the time, and in a feat of bad timing I quit right before 9/11. Suddenly there were thousands of people out of work, flooding the temp agencies where I was trying to stay afloat until I could start a new career.
Former World Trade Center employees took priority, and I wasn’t one of them. It was a rough time for everyone.
That leap I took? It almost broke my legs.
If you’re thinking of taking a leap — whether it’s changing careers, going back to school, or starting your own business — you might want to listen to this thought-provoking interview with Jeff Goins.
Jeff and host Jordan Harbinger discuss a number of really interesting ideas about finding and pursuing your calling.
The Slow-Motion Leap
One golden nugget from the interview is that taking a leap doesn’t have to look like what I did. It can be more like building a bridge.
Jeff calls it “taking a slow-motion leap.” You don’t just quit what you’re doing and hope for the best. You start doing something in the direction you want to go, before quitting your old gig.
You take some time to build a foundation under yourself so that when you step off that cliff, there’s a bridge leading to your next career.
For example, if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Right now, today. Jeff Goins did so for two years while holding down another job before taking his “leap” into writing full-time.
There are many ways to get started. In 2001 I was interested in counseling and teaching, but had no credentials in either. Still, I managed to find teaching jobs in places that didn’t require teaching credentials, and I got counseling training and experience by volunteering with a community organization.
You might not be able to experiment like that if your bag is, say, performing surgery or defusing bombs, but most people can find SOME way to explore an interest that may become a calling.
Whether you build a bridge or take a sudden leap like I did, your path will unfold before you only when you do something. There’s no substitute for movement.
Here’s a link to that interview again. Enjoy: