When I have conversations with my friends they talk about the dreams and goals they want to achieve but 5 years later (or more) they are nowhere near those dreams. They’re still working at the job they always complain about while having those same aspirations. During the seemingly post-pandemic era, we have heard the news about multitudes of workers quitting their jobs. Many articles have coined the terms, The Great Resignation, YOLO Economy, and Lying Flat to describe this phenomenon and it’s reported that a number of people refused to go back to the 9 - 5 corporate cog machine we call work as they demand a better work-life balance to which the outcomes of the pandemic have unexpectedly given them. They have realized that the companies they worked with can toss them out easily leaving them with nothing. So why does having a job no longer provide security? Why are thousands of people suddenly quitting in an era of a pandemic where jobs seem to be scarce due to the slowing economy and rise of bankrupt businesses? Why did I quit my full-time job to focus on podcasts? Does this mean it’s time for you to quit your job too?
Why are people suddenly quitting?
More and more of my friends who had high-income jobs have been opening up to me sharing that they feel lost, unfulfilled and they want to quit their jobs. They chose those career paths because their parents encouraged them. In our country, parents associate being a manager, lawyer, engineer, or doctor with success because they pay high and are thought to secure the future of their children. "The salary I'm getting now isn't what I expected," my engineer friend has told me sharing that they weren't in their best mental state after working at a job they thought would secure their future.
Reasons Why Just Having A Job Doesn’t Secure You:
COVID proves this point. You don’t have control of the company you’re working at shuts down or if you get laid off.
Relying on just 1 income source is risky. If you lose that job, you don't have other sources.
It’s not good for your mental health. If your job is all that you have, you don’t grow and learn new things.
Quitting my 9-5 job at a dream company
We may all have those moments where fear is stopping us to take a leap of faith and follow our passions. There’s no company that will provide for your insurance, pay for your taxes, and do your government contributions for you. You don’t get bonuses and other benefits that a company might provide. It’s up to you whether you can find your clients or not.
When I was starting out as a freelancer, I was afraid of these exact things. Having bills to pay but no secured salary handed to me every month made me doubt if this was going to work. So even though I had some clients as a freelancer, I still applied for a full-time job.
Working in a gaming company was like a dream job for many professionals who like online games. Naturally, I was ecstatic when I got hired as a Product Manager of a leading gaming company in the Philippines. The training and benefits were great but after 1 week, I resigned.
It wasn’t because of the company or the people in it. It was because I was weighing the decision to pursue this full-time job which is a dream role for many or to risk everything into the unknown, and pursue building a business from scratch through freelancing.
I was thinking about the pros and cons of both and laying down the comparisons helped me to decide.
Full-time job Vs. Freelancing
Insurances and Benefits
Travel to work daily
You don't have to bring work at home
Have to follow your boss for everything
You control your workload
Can earn more
Opportunity to build a business
You are your own boss
Lessons I learned after choosing podcast management
It wasn’t just about the money anymore. I learned to invest and grow my team. I learned to work with only clients that are a fit and I know I can provide the outcomes they want. I learned how to get the insurance and process the necessary government documents myself!
It is so liberating. I do encourage everyone to take time and truly think about how they can pursue their passions in a way that can sustain them.
What to do when you want to quit your job
Ask yourself first if you’re passionate about your job or not? Does it motivate you and get you excited to wake up and work every day? Success is not the same for everyone. There are people who like farming more than the stock market, people who like being a chef than an entrepreneur, and people who like longboards ✋ more than a Bugatti. For me, it’s still better to pursue something I’m really interested in.
If you still want to quit your job, assess your financial state. Do you have the budget to just quit your job right off the bat? If not, save up a budget that will support you while you're out of a job and trying to pursue something you’re passionate about.
Do your passion project on the side. There’s a saying “Work 9 - 5, hustle 5 - 9”. If you’re not ready to just quit right away, try doing your thing part-time. Train yourself, plan, research, or build whatever you wanted after hours. Most people will say they’re too tired from work to do this but have 5 hours a day to mindlessly scroll on Facebook and the energy to complain about their lives. 🥴
How to find other sources of income
Entrepreneurship gurus will gloss over how starting your own business and how freelancing is great for them. Like all people should do them. But the reality what works for them may not work for everyone. So you really have to dig deep into yourself if the leap of faith you take is something that you really want to do and can sustain for years. As for me the options for earning I considered that works for me are as follows:
Start a business
Easier said than done! But there’s a formula that startups use: Find a problem that exists and create a product that solves it. Don’t strive to compete, strive to be different. You need to know what sets you apart from your competition. Be on the blue ocean side. According to the book Blue Ocean Strategy, "The Blue Ocean Strategy is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players."
So what is your unfair advantage? What is your product’s unique value proposition? As a business owner, these are some of the questions you need to answer. Peter Theil founder of Paypal and author of the book Zero To One said, “Competitive markets, destroy profits.”
Earning passive income
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to earn passive income. Once I find software or products that I really like and want to constantly share with people, I check if they have an affiliate program I can partner with. Then, I use the links they generate for me to promote to people. Those links can track how many people have used their products through me and it allows me to earn a commission while using the product I like.
Invest in assets, not liabilities
Most people are stuck in the habit of buying something after they receive their salaries. They’re under the mentality of “I deserve this”. It’s nice to celebrate wins but allocating x amount of money to save up for an asset is better. Assets give you cash flow. Liabilities drain your cash flow. (Referenced from Robert Kiyosaki)
Investing in properties is expensive but if you can build a good credit score, you have the ability to get approved for bigger loans. In real estate, you can use other people’s money through hard money lending, syndication, etc. An expert I know and where I learn about real estate and building passive wealth is Taylor Loht. He has a show called The Passive Wealth Strategy.
Other ways I know are through government bonds, stocks, crypto, etc. Personally, I stick with my budget and personality as a conservative risk type of investor.
Investing in myself
I used to think that investing in online courses was too expensive, but after making 10x my previous income using the skills that I learned from those courses, I realized that I actually just invested in myself and it paid off greatly.
I felt like it’s better to spend on a good business coach than to pay or loan for tuition to be in school. They can teach you the ropes and you don’t need to wait 4 years to start your business.
Well, that’s great if you know you have a passion for business. But what if you don’t know what to do yet? An amazing concept that I learned to understand my “reason for being”, “purpose”, or “why” is through ikigai.
When I was training Karatedo, our sensei taught us this. At that time it didn’t really make sense how I can apply it to my life, but I thought it was profound. Fast forward to today, I found my ikigai and that’s through being a podcast manager.
How about you? Have you found your purpose? Comment below! 👇