How to Change Careers without Quitting Your Job (Yet): The 9 Most Inspiring Transitions of 2012

Written by Scott December 26, 2012

change careers before quitting

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”

- Karen Lamb

We Are Here to Do Things That Matter

Whether you just joined us after seeing our TEDx talk or you’ve been a part of our community for years, we are all here for the same reason.

We want to do something that matters – to us and to the world.

Some of us are well on our way, others are just getting started and the rest are just starting to believe it’s even possible, but have yet to take the first step.

But one thing tends to hold us back more than any other.

In years of interacting with tens of thousands of people who make up the 80% who don’t like their job, there is one brick wall that everyone tends to hit…

“But I Can’t Just Quit and Start Over?”

Not everyone has the flexibility to “just quit”. In fact most of us can’t just quit (or at least we feel we can’t).

So why the hell do so many people and sites constantly tell us to do just that – to quit and then figure it out?

Do they not realize that people’s lives and careers do not exist in a vacuum? That not all of us are in our early twenties without an obligation or care in the world?

Many of us have mortgages, families, student loans or a million other reasons that keep you from leaving your toxic job…at least for now.

Many of our community here is between 45 and 63 years old with an average of a couple children and a mortgage – none of which are going anywhere.

But that is NOT an excuse to give up on dreams.

That is not an excuse to condemn yourself to a continued life of quiet desperation for the next few decades.

You must control what you can control – and fortunately we are in control of a lot more than most realize.

Not being able to ‘just quit’ does not mean you cannot begin the process of building a career around your passion at the same time.

Regardless of your situation or current obligations, it’s still possible.

Even if you sound like this reader who reached out and started making a change a few years ago…

“I have worked in the same office for 20 years doing work that does not interest me at all and it is killing me. I need to do something meaningful with the rest of my life, but I have no idea what my passions are.

“I have come to the point where I’d rather be dead than doing what I am doing, so I need to make a huge change … soon. I cannot afford to let any challenges or fears stop me.”

If this sounds anything like you, or what you might become, then I’d say now’s a pretty good time to draw that line in the sand.

the best time to change is now

The best time to create a new career is while you’re at your old one.

If you just quit tomorrow, the odds are that you’ll instantly start to panic about some made-up story of you and your family starving on the streets. This will cause you to immediately start scouring every resource possible to get another job.

You’ll get so worked up that you’ll forget to spend any time figuring out why you hated your last job and what you might actually enjoy doing.

Congratulations. You just traded one miserable career for another.

But it does not have to be this way.

And if we want to create meaningful change and find a path that genuinely makes us come alive, then we must go about it differently.

Pam Slim, famed career coach and author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, cleverly calls this the “Side-Hustle” and she actually walks us through it as one of our experts in Live Off Your Passion.

In my TEDx talk, I discussed our 3-step Passionate Work Framework:

  1. Self Discovery/Experimentation
  2. Doing the Impossible
  3. Surrounding Yourself with Passionate People

This framework was not designed for the one-out-of-a-thousand person who can actually afford to quit tomorrow.

It was designed for the rest of the world – all of us.

For the people who need to find a new branch to grab ahold of before they leap from the current one.

It is on you to do the work on yourself and make the discoveries, ideally while you’re at your current job – on the nights, weekends, commute, lunch breaks, vacation, sick days, whatever…

Because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re never going to find it.

And knowing yourself creates massive confidence.

When you don’t know what it is you want to do – when you don’t have a clue what the work is you “can’t not do,” then you feel like it’s impossible to make a change. And that, over time, is exactly how complacency kills a dream.

But once we realize what makes us come alive – the natural talents, strengths and values we want to apply to make our impact in the world, that fear suddently gets converted into pure confience and excitement.

And that’s when magic starts to happen.

Members of Our Community Make this Transition Every Day

Just over a year ago our Live Off Your Passion career course turned one year old.

We built it with one goal in mind: to give people the step-by-step process and proven framework for finding your passions, choosing the most lucrative option and building a career around doing work that genuinely excites you…all before ever having to quit your job.

Since its launch, it has helped nearly a thousand people make the transition from head-smashing work, to inspired career. I believe that is why it won the #1 Personal Development Product of 2011.

And as I hope you all know by now…

The fastest way to do the things you didn’t think could be done, is to hang around people already doing them. 

So in the spirit of “Brainwashing the Impossible,” today I want to share a few inspiring stories of the massive change our community has experienced in the past year. Nothing makes me more proud than sharing their stories (and there will be plenty more in our Reader Spotlight next week!).

This is how Live Your Legend defines succes.

The 9 Most Inspiring Transitions of 2012:

1. Kristin A., Sydney

Kristen A“I got my first client within two weeks and ramped up from there. Now, not quite two years later, I run a solid marketing communication agency — with a suite of clients that I adore. I expect to turnover $300K this year and celebrate the business’ 2nd birthday in November!”

2. Jon G., Ohio

Jon G.

“In a matter of 6 months, I’ve gone from ‘one day’ thinking to actually taking the leap with my new adventure, The Catalyst Project, which has grown by over 10x since launch and has a number of ongoing paid business coaching clients. Wow!”

3. Amy L.

Amy L

“I now have not one but two fledgling businesses, one helping people communicate in business and one helping people surf, and I absolutely love both of them.”

4. Amit A., New York

“Fast-forward five months and I’m working full-time in positive psychology. From business consulting to psychology? The thought never crossed my mind. But I’m helping people. I’m utilizing my strengths and the act of working spontaneously generates happiness.”

5. Candace L., Calgary

Candace L

“Four months after completing the Live Off Your Passion Course, I’m now ‘living my legend’ as an office manager for a start-up oil and gas company. I’m surrounded by like-minded people, and I feel so energized and full of purpose everyday. An amazingly large thanks to Scott and the Live Off Your Passion material.”

6. Zoë W., San Francisco

Candace L

“Working on my new business and career – my true passion – has given me so much energy and joy, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude every day. And this transition happened in just a few short months!”

7. Jason B., Ottawa

Jason B.

“I’m now thriving as a leadership development coach, helping others change their businesses, their lives, their world. And, I AM FULFILLED!”

8. Ken M.

“This course has changed my life for the better and just one month after I finished it, I found my voice, recognized what I truly wanted, made the transition and began helping others, following my passion-based career as a life coach, and have spent every day since completing it, doing something that I love.”

9. Angela D., Tampa

Angela D

“Within two months of being laid off, I was able to start my own consulting business, Wakefield Brunswick, by taking my past employer on as a client, followed by some other consulting engagements.

I was able to earn an income doing work I love, yet in a way where I had more flexibility.”

But inspiration is nothing without action.

These. People. Inspire. Me.

This is why I do what I do.

But there’s still a small problem…

Many of you watched our TEDx talk in the past week or so (we actually tipped over 83k views yesterday, which is very hard for me to believe!). And the comments I’ve gotten as a result have been wildly humbling.

But as nice as it is to feel inspired by the words you hear or read, they mean nothing if action doesn’t follow.

inspiration is worthless without action

So I see now as a pretty nice time to take a stand.  

2013 starts in a few weeks.

We are all going to set New Years resolutions and goals (and I’ll be releasing the updated 2013 Goal Setting and Action Workbook free to our whole community in early January to help you plan big – wait until you see the new design!).

But sadly, over 75% of the world won’t follow through with them past March (according to FranklinCovey Co.).

Now, I know that’s not any of you ;), but next year I want to challenge you to set one single goal.

I challenge you to make 2013 your year to finally do something about the job you might not be very proud of.

The year to finally take seriously that little hobby, passion or pet project you’ve so badly wanted to call a business.

I challenge you to make this your year to commit to learning about yourself and finally doing the work you can’t not do.

We are here to help any way we can

What matters most to me is that you realize things can be different, and then you begin taking the steps to live that reality. I don’t care how that happens. All I care is that it happens.

There are more than enough free tools on this site to make some pretty wild things possible. And I hope you’ll take full advantage of them.

And if you want a more specific, proven process, I welcome you to check out what we’ve created in Live Off You Passion.

For those of you new here, there is never any pressure to buy any of the courses we create. I only want you to purchase them if you genuinely think they will help you. That’s for you to decide. And my biggest promise to you is always to be 100% transparent and only build and offer the most powerful and results-driven tools we’re capable of creating. Nothing else would be worth anyone’s time.

And next year I plan to take our Live Off Your Passion course to a whole new level.

For those of you in our How to Connect with Anyone course, you have an idea what I’m talking about – fully interactive in all kinds of new ways. It’s going to be so fun.

I see the new year as the perfect time to set the ultimate goal: To Begin Doing Work That Matters.

You can do that by joining our Live Off Your Passion community or you can decide to do it on your own. Either way, we will be here to support you any way we can.

But please, for you and for everyone around you, decide that you are done complaining and that you’ll actually start doing something about it.

First change your beliefs. Then change your career. And do it all before you actually quit your job.

There is no standing still.

There never is.

A bad situation now becomes a miserable existence in a few years time.

Your dreams either move forward or they die.

The nice thing is you get to choose.

We are here because we know things can be different.

All that’s left is the doing.

So who’s with me?

Here’s to 2013 being the year we take a stand,

-Scott

P.S. Even if you aren’t interested in Live Off Your Passion (which is totally fine by me), I’d still love for you to take 30 seconds and check out our brand new course description page. My rockstar designer, Glen, and I have spent dozens and dozens of hours reworking the design, compiling a year’s worth of success stories and doing our best to make it represent the impact we hope to have.

Please click here to check it out and let us know what you think!

P.P.S. And keep an eye out next week for another edition of our Living Legends Reader Spotlight, where we profile 5-10 inspiring projects our community has been working on. These will blow your mind – everything from a woman distilling her own brand of scotch whiskey to help foster human connection, to a man producing a top-ranked music album to share some love with the world.

Damn you guys inspire me!

—–

Images courtesy of my talented friend James Clear 

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“It was 18 months ago when I came across Live Your Legend and it just completely blew my mind. I was living this life thinking I have to kind of just do this. Then it was like a kid on Christmas Day with my wife thinking ‘we don’t have to do this anymore.’ It was literally a life change. It opened so many doors. Thanks for everything you’re doing.”

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