Leaps of faith

I’ve come across a few articles in the news lately about people taking a “leap of faith” when it comes to their job.

In some cases, people realize their current occupations just aren’t doin’ it for them anymore. Or sometimes, these folks have had an underlying passion for something unrelated to their current job, but for whatever reason – fear, lack of resources or whatever -they haven’t acted on it.

Ditching corporate America to pursue personal passions – anything from animals to quilting to art – can be risky business. It usually requires deep pockets, lots of patience and plenty of determination.

That being said, it can be done.

For example, Jill Lurato changed the face of pet care in parts of New York and New Jersey. She spent 15 years working for a Fortune 50 company, dealing with stressful commutes, downsizings, mergers and other day-to-days in the corporate world. Finally, she developed a “plan B,” which included pouring her passion for pets into a lucrative business endeavor by launching an at-home petsitting and dog-walking service. She now enjoys a fun and healthy lifestyle, while gaining financial security and professional independence.

Lurato is one of many examples of what can happen when you take a leap of faith with your career.

Follow these tips if you’re feeling like taking the jump:

  • Learn more. Research the field or passion you want to pursue. Sign up for classes that will give you the necessary background, education or training you need to excel in that industry. Investigate levels of pay and where your skill level would land you in that spectrum.
  • Find a mentor. Find someone else who has taken the same leap of faith you’re pondering. Ask them what they did to get there, what obstacles they faced and any advice they have to offer you.
  • Track obstacles. Ask yourself what’s keeping you from pursuing your passion. Are you lacking financial support? Education and training? Make a plan for how you can tackle each of the challenges you face.
  • Seek expert advice. Find a career counselor to help you make a plan to take the leap into a new career. Hire a financial planner to help you budget while you make the financial sacrifices necessary to take the plunge.

Good luck!