Re-set your career with a working holiday

by Darwin on March 24, 2015

Locked into the drudgery of 9 to 5, spending seemingly endless hours in the confines of a cubicle, doing a job that means nothing to you, is not a recipe for financial freedom or personal fulfillment. As miserable as this can be, it can be hard to see a way out.

A few years ago I found myself in this situation. For so long I wanted another career, I wanted to develop my own business. But I struggled to action my dreams, lacking the time and motivation required after the toll taken by 50+ hour weeks at the office. Eventually I realized that without drastic action, more years would pass, and my dreams and aspirations would wither with them.

I had to make lifestyle change to enable career change. I had to assess what was important. I needed a year of mental space.

The house was rented out, the car was sold, possessions stored away or liquidated. The kids were taken out of school. My partner took leave from her job. We cashed up, massively reduced our cost base and decided on a destination for adventure. Our RV was kitted out at Home Depot with all the essentials, and for the first time in years I felt free.

For the next year we travelled slowly to places where we could find work. And we only worked enough to cover our needs. We worked in hospitality, on farms, did some freelancing online. We were smarter with our money

The important aspect was that I gained time. Time to reduce my mental clutter. Time to prioritise my goals. Time to develop a plan for my self-employed life. Time connect with my family and my own desires.

This sabbatical devoured our savings and cost us many possessions, but it taught us how to live within simpler means, and it also lit the fuse for action. The motivation I had been lacking was now in abundance. As our cash reserves dwindled, I found the verve and the necessity to hustle for my new business. I had to make it happen, so therefore I did.

When the working holiday was over, I had the beginnings of a business. It was not generating the income of the salary I had left. Yet. That took another two years. But I had discovered purpose. I had escaped drudgery. It was an initial financial step backwards that enabled me to achieve more lifestyle and career freedom in the long term.

Sure, it was scary, but I grew in every way. All I had to do was conquer the fear of the initial leap.

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