THE BLOG
29/05/2014 13:17 BST | Updated 29/07/2014 06:59 BST

I Quit! (Are You Sure?)

If you want to have a big life - by that I mean you are living your passion - a focus on making your own luck is key. This is especially so if you feel your current job is holding you back.

When it comes to making the move into that occupation you have always wanted to try, the one you might have talked about for years, fortune really does favour the brave. You need a willingness to take a chance and be brave enough to let instinct guide you.

I write from experience. To date I have led an assorted, fortunate professional life working in sports management, as a university lecturer, board director, chairman, and now as chief executive. Transitioning from one role to the next required large steps out of even larger comfort zones, but I did so because I have always been a curious person and never wanted to be left wondering 'what if?'

Do you want to be the one in the nursing home with the best stories, not the biggest frustrations? That is the question that motivates me.

Knowing when to make a career change can be challenging. For some it is a matter of impulse while for others, it is a decision they dwell on for years. Neither is perfect. Notwithstanding that you and others reading this will be at different stages of your professional and financial development, if you are entertaining the idea of job change, here is what I have learnt you need to absolutely ask yourself.

Am I in my current job because...

1. The people are nice

Of course, it is always wonderful to work with great people, but what I have found when people stay in a job for solely that reason is that they do not develop personally as much as they perhaps could have. A focus on personal growth and your ability to learn in a workplace should always come before whether you the like your boss or colleagues.

2. I am institutionalised

Have you been working so long in a particular role or sector that you think you could not possibly work anywhere else? This can be a convenient excuse for not moving on. No matter your role, or sector, there are always ways to obtain external advice as to what your skill is worth in the market, and where else it could be transported to - but you have got to have that genuine curiosity to want to know.

3. It is a means to an end

How do you feel each morning when you go to work? Do you jump out of bed excited, or is it a deeply regrettable activity? Ensure you like going to work, if you do not, then why are you accepting that? A lot of us spend more time at work than we do with our family or friends, so why would you spend the majority of your adult years somewhere you do not want to be?

4. I am okay that my childhood dreams remaining unfulfilled

I have mentored and coached many young professional, and the first question I always insist on them answering is: what did you aspire to be when you were a young adult at school? I ask this because often at that age, you are much closer to your instincts than you allow yourself to be as a working adult. The pressures and distractions of life challenge our capacity to stay true to ourselves. So tell me, if you were 17, would you be happy with what you are doing right now?

5. The money is good

I have seven children, so there were times when money was a priority. However, during these stages of my life I never stopped asking myself what I would prefer to be doing. So, the minute the opportunity arose to act on this, I was ready to go. While I accept there are circumstances where financial security is the overriding consideration for staying in a role, I would agree to disagree with you if you were to tell me that money is a worthwhile career-long motivation. If there is a job you really want, will you have the courage to potentially go backwards at a professional level in both responsibility and money because you really want to try it?

6. I am just plain scared

I believe certain world shocks over recent years, such as terrorism and the global financial crisis, have incrementally gnawed away at our sense of certainty and stability. So a job you might think is okay might only be so because it makes you feel safe. I contend that doing what you love doing, or seeking to do so, is a far safer place with much more personal satisfaction attached to it.

So I suggest you sit down in a quiet place and think about these six points. It is my hope that the answer is 'no' to all of them, and if not, you are online looking for a new job to make your own luck.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn - LinkedIn Influencer