’m not a fan of the idea of wishing your way into the life you dream of. I’ve counted how many people I know who that has worked for and I’ve come up with a list of zero. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer about the concept of a positive attitude because being in a good frame of mind is essential for making awesome life changes but wishing won’t get you anywhere. Doing will. You only get one magnificent, terrible, extraordinary, splendid life and I forbid anyone to waste it. If you’re feeling like you want to change your life, here are some tangible actions you can take to move yourself forward.
1. Change jobs
You don’t even have to hate your job to want to leave it, you might just be ready for bigger and better things. It can seem incredibly daunting leaving a job but it’s absolutely do-able. Here are a few places you can start if you’re looking for a job switch.
Tell everyone what kind of job you want, including your boss. The more people who know, the more likely they will be to recommend you when a job you’re perfect for comes up.
Job search constantly and consistently. You never know when your dream company is hiring so make sure you stay active on job boards and subscription lists that are relevant to your field, even if you’re in a job you love.
Search in the right places. Don’t just look on Seek – it’s an over saturated market. Check out Pedestrian, The Loop, SourceBottle and Facebook. Be a part of job seeker groups and follow the pages of companies you’re interested in. If Frankie magazine is looking for a features editor, they’re going to put the shout out on their Facebook wall, not on Seek.
Cold call. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. When I was nineteen years old, a bead shop opened up in my home town and I nearly wet myself with excitement. I marched right down there the very next day and asked for a job. They gave me one and I worked there for the next four years. I adored that job and I would never have got it if I hadn’t asked. Just go for it, the worst thing that can happen is that they’ll say no. Big whoop.
2. Move cities
I must preface this suggestion by saying you need to have a reason to move. For example, there’s a course you want to do or you want to be close to the beach or to your family. Moving because you’re bored is never a good plan. On that note here are a few ways you can shift locations in the most pain free way possible.
See if your work has any transfer programs. Lots of government, retail and ecommerce companies have branches in different locations around the world. Make it known that you’re keen for a lifestyle change and keep reminding upper management that relocation is a priority for you.
Imagine your ideal day and write down everything that would happen on that day. Does it involve brunch at a trendy cafe? A swim in the ocean? A hike in a rainforest? Watching a movie under a blanket as it rains outside? Where is the best place for you to live to make your perfect day happen? The best bit about doing this little activity is that you’ll find there are lots of places that fit your criteria so you can choose somewhere within your budget and in the general area you’d like to live.
If you’re flexible with your employment, look for jobs that provide accommodation and let that be your guide. You could try fruit picking, nannying or guiding tours. It’s a great way to experience lots of different living situations and help you find out what the best living scenario is for you.
Don’t over think it. Just because you moved somewhere doesn’t mean you can’t move back again. If your current job offers leave without pay, take a year off and experiment. If you love it, stay. If you don’t love it, leave.
3. Study full time
There seems to be a general aversion to studying full time as an adult and I cannot for the life of me understand why. People balk at the idea of studying for three or four years but the time will pass anyway so you might as well use it doing something useful. Speaking of useful, it’s always a good idea to study something that’s actually useful. I have a teaching degree that I wasn’t that stoked about doing at the time but it gave me highly paid, regular part-time work that kept me afloat while I grew my writing portfolio and business. Even though I’m no longer a teacher, I use my teaching degree every single day. My teaching degree is easily the best thing I’ve ever done and given my time over, I’d do it again in an instant.
4. Study part time
If studying full time isn’t an option for you, try studying part-time. It takes a bit longer to get your degree but as I’ve said before, the time will pass anyway so you might as well make use of it.
5. Say yes to new opportunities
You might not even need to change anything about your job or your home, you might simply need something extra in your life. I cannot recommend hobbies highly enough. I’m very content with theatre and crocheting but here’s a list of stuff I’d love to do when I get more time/retire.
Historical society reenactments (for real, they look like so much fun)
Join a book club
Singing in a band
If you truly don’t feel satisfied with your life, you have to do something about it. And if you’ve been thinking about studying, just go for it. I don’t know of anyone who has regretted learning more things. If you’re thinking about smashing a teaching degree or getting your masters, go for it. I will make you many virtual cups of tea for when you write your essays.
What would you do if you had no obstacles? What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to do?
Are we mates on Facebook yet?