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September 1, 2015

Is it Time to Make a Job Change?

Do you think it could be time for a career change? Maybe time to change companies, fields or go out and do something completely on your own? There is one easy way to know for sure and I call it the “Sunday evening test”.

If you’re irritable, grumpy, more likely to argue with your spouse or just overall down in the dumps consistently on Sunday evening then it might be time to make a change. I think it means you are thinking ahead about your week and dreading it which is a clear sign you’re not happy in your job.

Maybe you’ve never noticed it before but make note of how your Sundays go over the next few weeks. If you do have it you are not alone. According to a recent Monster.com poll 59% of respondents said they feel these blues “really bad”.

Some articles I’ve read (like this one: Huffington Post Article) say this is normal and offer potential ways to work around this Sunday funk. Although I think their suggestions are well intentioned, I think they are just recommending something that addresses the symptoms (your funk) and not the root cause (likely your job).

I think many people, especially those who don’t enjoy their jobs, are seeking to “escape” by entertaining themselves all weekend and when that escape is almost over they hit a low point. This reminds me of a quote I love that says:

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from” – Seth Godin

So now let’s assume you can relate to the Sunday evening blues I mentioned. You have it and you want to make a change and do something of your own. Great!

If you know what you want to do then I’d encourage you to brainstorm your idea (including what it would need to take financially to be feasible given your circumstances), give yourself a set time to plan it and then just start! If you can’t start right away for financial reasons maybe you can start in that field as a hobby, as a volunteer or just on a part time basis. To me the key is to just start. Until you start it’s really just a dream.

Don’t worry about all the answers, you’ll learn as you go.

Don’t worry about failure because spoiler alert…you’re gonna fail. I don’t mean total disaster, I mean you’re going to try things, it’s not going to work and then you’re going to adjust. Just keep trying and adjusting and you’ll get there if you really want to achieve your goal.

By the way, it’s very easy for me to say quit your job and start your own thing but in my experience it was not easy to do. I used to work at a bank as a commercial lender and for the last few years of that job I HATED it. I loved real estate but I never could quit the “heroin of the paycheck”. (as my former boss put it) Luckily for me in the financial crisis years they showed me the door. I was the happiest person to ever be fired and I started full time in real estate the next day. (I had started part time so I knew what I wanted to do, as I suggest above) Ideally I would have quit on my own terms but “bad things” happen for a reason and it was a blessing in disguise.  (Helpful hint: if you do get fired don’t call your wife who is 8 months pregnant at the time and try to make it sound like getting fired was a “good thing”…she won’t be as excited in that moment.)

Now that I get to do my own thing in real estate every day is as good as the next one.  Sure, there are aspects of my work that can be tiring but I love doing my own thing and I feel good about the service I provide.  No more Sunday evening blues.

Ok now let’s assume you’d love to do your own thing but you don’t know what it is exactly you want to do. That’s a tough one.

Many people will say “follow your passion” but I think that’s a little simplistic. (“I always loved hoops, how about the NBA?”)

Better advice that I’ve heard is to look for something at the intersection of your passion, your talent and a viable market. That makes way more sense to me. You want to love it but you also need to have a talent at it and there needs to be a viable economic business plan for it.

Again, if you don’t know what that is for you maybe you find a way to try out some fields that sound interesting to you by volunteering, shadowing someone or trying it as a hobby first. Just starting is the key though, if you aren’t acting you are just stuck in your head daydreaming which leads to nowhere.

Here are a few examples of Stapleton folks that are starting new things.

Ryan and Sally Petterson – Stapleton Roasters. They realized life is precious and short so they decided to start roasting and delivering coffee right here in Stapleton. I bet they didn’t have all the answers when they started and they are already profitable. Stapleton Roasters Website

April Carney – Re-dew Interiors, LLC. April just moved here from Atlanta not too long ago yet she jumped in with both feet and started a successful staging and interior design company. She’s busy as can be and doing great even though she’s relatively new to town. Re-dew Interiors, LLC Facebook page

Mark Shaker – Stanley Marketplace. By now you’ve all heard of Stanley. A huge community-oriented marketplace full of local companies coming to a blighted area of NW Aurora…this guy is going for it and we’re all rooting for him! I bet he is learning as he goes, which is what you have to do to succeed. Stanley Marketplace Facebook Page

I bet all three of those examples sometimes have the same doubts and feelings of inadequacy you may have (“who am I to do this, I don’t have the _________ (you fill in the blank…money, time, experience, connections, brains, etc)” but they are all out there making it happen & having success. Trying things, failing, pivoting and then trying again. It’s a fun journey.

What could you start that may get rid of those Sunday evening blues? I’d love to hear about it.

6 Responses

  1. RJ

    Joe, your blog is such a great read. My partner and I are having a home built in Stapleton and your blog is full of helpful information about the community and the real estate market. This is exactly the article I needed to see today! Thanks.

    1. mm
      Joe Phillips

      So glad you enjoyed the post. I really enjoy writing them. I never planned to be a writer of any kind (still don’t consider myself a “writer”, I just write. Now that I do it I love how it makes me think ideas through. It really helps clarify things. I hope you love your new home. Thanks for reading the Scoop!

  2. mm

    Nice post. I recently went out on my own to do communications consulting/freelance writing (mid-June) and the Sunday blues immediately disappeared! It’s a lot of work and I still have a lot to do to build my business (like create a nice website) but every day has been a good day! And there is nothing better than getting paid for something you created!

    1. Great post! Love the references to Seth Godin and must admit that he has shaped my approach to marketing and brand awareness while on a shoestring budget. Just recently I walked away from a six-figure job to find myself helping others “rise” up and grow their own business, consulting, etc. My first project is helping Übergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag come to NE Denver… and it brings me a lot of joy to see the potential growth for our community. I helped put together their website and I’d be happy to help anyone in the area that needs it!

      Here’s Ubergrippen’s website… http://www.ugclimbing.com

      1. mm
        Joe Phillips

        Awesome, I love your excitement. Sounds like we need to meet and maybe do a blog post about your services? If you are up for it please give me a call at (720) 299-1730.

    2. mm
      Joe Phillips

      I love it and couldn’t agree more. I have the occasional day where I’m dragging but usually I’m not watching the clock. I’m more worried about getting as much done as I can before I need to get home. Total opposite from my old job where the afternoon would seemingly never end.

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