Career Change: Why a Full-Time Job was too Risky

As part of our quarterly theme of Career Change and Change Management we’re looking at how easy it really is to change your career and change your life, and asking our experts about the skills to manage change in the workplace. Our resident alumni blogger Carl Lincoln has launched a new business venture ‘Wiser Wealthier’ – a money-saving advice platform. Here Carl shares how and why he decided to turn a corner in his career.

Up until the end of 2016, my route into the world of work was very traditional: Go to school, get good grades, get a degree, get a job.

Three years in to my first job out of University I had taken the company I worked for from the marketing dark ages (the website was barely functional) to a well-oiled lead generation machine. There was plenty of work still to be done but the groundwork was firmly laid and the company had turned over hundreds of thousands of pounds that year through leads generated by the website, social media and other inbound techniques.

By all accounts I was doing really well. The results were there and I was told on numerous occasions that I had a bright future at the company. And yet I was held back waiting for someone else to decide whether I was worthy of being paid the going rate or given a job title that suited the work that I did. As the months wore on and the company dragged its heels I realised that by having a full-time job I was limiting myself. I was passionate about the company and put my all in to everything I did but it had reached the stage where I knew my work wasn’t fully valued.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, explains it well: “Many of us are conditioned from our earliest days to think about job security, rather than financial security or financial freedom. And because most of us learn little to nothing about money at home or at school, it’s only natural that we cling ever more tightly to the idea of job security instead of reaching for financial freedom.” Read more.

The way I saw it, I was putting more and more in to my job, generating excellent results and getting the same (or less) back. I’ve always done little things on the side to earn a bit of extra cash so I knew I could create my own wealth, I just needed a bit of a push to get me to actually go for it. As soon as I had made the decision to go it alone, things around me started falling in to place and I realised that I could engineer a way for my fiancée and I to live for at least a year without my salary. When I realised that, my life changed.

 

I still get the same excited, butterflies-in-your-tummy feeling when I think back to sitting on my bed surrounded by scraps of paper with numbers on, turning to my fiancée and saying ‘I’m quitting my job’. It would be three months before I was officially self-employed, but the changes started immediately. I began to see just how easy it is to opt for the apparently safe path in life, the one with a clear ending and a defined set of rules. The fact is, leaving my job wasn’t really all that risky but the first thing most people said to me was ‘wow you’re brave’ or, ‘aren’t you scared?’ When I say most people, I actually mean most people with jobs. Those around me that owned their own businesses told me I had to go for it! One even suggested I shouldn’t allow myself the safety-net of covering my bills for a year.

I wasn’t sure why, but not having that safety-net didn’t sit right with me. I decided to ignore that advice – looking back I’m glad I did. Having our financial obligations covered for a year has meant that my fiancée has also been able to quit a job she wasn’t passionate about and take on one (for less money) that will be both rewarding and a great stepping stone towards her future career as a counsellor. I wasn’t used to going on gut feel then, and I’m still struggling with it now, but I can’t argue that it works.

So what am I actually doing now? Quite simply, learning. Wiser Wealthier is about getting people to take action on their finances. It started with me giving simple tips about how to cut your shopping bills or get started with selling your old stuff via short videos. I do that sort of thing all the time and always have done so it’s something I can speak really passionately about. Looking more broadly though, this year is the ultimate exercise in market research and self-development. I don’t know exactly where it’s going to end up yet but I do know that I’m much more suited to working really hard on creating my own thing, my way, than I was working a secure but very limiting job.

Last week I watched a talk by the founder of Tossed, a global high street salad bar chain. I’ll leave you with this quote that really stuck with me:“If you don’t build your dreams, somebody will hire you to build theirs.”

Alumni Blogger:

Carl Lincoln

Carl Lincoln is Kent Business School through and through. He completed both an undergraduate degree in Business Studies and a Master’s with KBS and comes back regularly to give talks.

Recently, Carl has founded Wiser Wealthier, making actionable short videos aimed at helping people to save money and increase their income right now.

Search wiserwealthier on Snapchat and Instagram, follow @wiserwealthier on Twitter or visit www.wiserwealthier.com to get started!

View Carl on LinkedIn.

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