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Anyone left their safe secure job to do something completely different?

(11 Posts)
CleanLinesSharpEdges Thu 31-Jul-14 11:59:45

I need some success stories to gee me up a bit grin.

I’m currently working in a very safe admin job (NHS), earning 25k a year, loads of annual leave, good pension, flexible working conditions, paid for a year if you go off sick. It’s a very niche kind of place that I work, extremely difficult to get a job here and now I’m in I could undoubtedly be here in this job until I retire if I choose to. If I leave I don’t think there’d be the opportunity to come back and if I did come back it would be under different terms and conditions and I’d lose a lot of the benefits of continuous service, including a large chunk from my salary.

Here’s the thing. I’m bored. I dread going into work each day. I come home feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Each day feels like a lifetime and I’m living for the weekends. There is no challenge for me at work any more, nothing new to learn, no scope for promotion or taking on new and exciting projects and even if there was, I’m so sick of admin, I’ve had enough.

I have a plan. We’ve just moved to a new area and I’ve identified a gap in the market. It’s something I think I could be really successful at it but it involves a few months of training. It couldn’t be more different to what I do currently. I have absolutely no experience. I could start off on my own from home or visiting clients homes, but to make a real go of it, to make it into a business rather than just a way of me earning some money, I’d need to commit to renting a property in the town centre, advertising, selecting the right person to employ, paying for them to attend training and trusting they won’t nick my idea and set up themselves.

DH is incredibly supportive. We’ve got the start up costs sorted - he's agreed we can use some of our savings, and we can afford for me not to earn anything for about a year as long as I can cover running costs. DH says I should go for it. By next March/April my dream could actually be a reality.

But bloody hell, the thought of giving up my job is scary, along with the horrible feeling of “what if I fail, everyone will know, family, friends, colleagues and I’ll look really stupid”. And what will I do after that... the thought of having to go back into the job I'm doing now is even worse!

I want loads of stories from people who've done something like this and never looked back… Please smile

GemmaTeller Thu 31-Jul-14 20:39:36

I did.

Office manager and hated it, loads of stress and office politics.

In the background I started spending more serious time on my hobby, then I negotiated a three day week and spent two days working on my hobby setting it up into a proper business (all on the quiet).

I paid off my car and credit card and saved up as much as I could and the tipping point came one particularly stressful week.

DH told me to give my notice in and concentrate on my business. We decided to give it a year and if I couldn't make it pay I would go back to work.

People at work thought I was crazy giving up a well paid job and 'had I thought it through?'

Two years down the line it was the best decision I made, my business is turning a profit and my main motivation?

No way am I going back to work in an office.

If you don't try you don't know.

mumblechum1 Thu 31-Jul-14 21:02:02

I did. Was fed up as a divorce lawyer (doing maybe 25% Wills as well); it's a blood horrible job, and I just jacked it in and now run my own will writing practice. I started the business on the side and ran it for a couple of years whilst still employed just to get it off the ground first.

I love it; I work when I want, I do most of the work over the phone so can sit in my shorts in the garden, do 3 or 4 phone consultations and earn £600 plus on a good day. In winter I can do the same but sit by the wood burner on the phone grin. I've never once wished I'd stayed being a divorce lawyer.

BernadetteAvon Fri 01-Aug-14 12:54:41

A lady in my team gave up her safe job in HR that she had been doing for 25 years as she got to the point where it was dragging her down and she was actually quite depressed so she took the leap of faith. She can't even contemplate going back to her old job now. Making sure you plan for the financial shortfall whilst your new business is building is probably the main thing to watch out for but I'm sure you've already thought of that. I myself took a massive change in direction in taking on what I do now but I honestly cannot imagine doing anything else now. What I do is quite unique really but to me its the best job ever, I am now earning a fantastic wage, and probably most importantly I am my own boss and every day is interesting. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check on my business. not because I have to but because I want to!! Go for it & good luck!!

lynniep Fri 01-Aug-14 13:01:47

No me no - a good friend of mine was getting terribly stressed in the IT industry. High earner. Brilliant at job, but hated every minute of it. She retrained as a paramedic and hasn't looked back.

frogmore6 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:22:34

I did.
I was a Journalist- got fed up of manipulations of all kinds.
Now self employed.

LocketCraft Thu 07-Aug-14 17:39:59

I'm considering it! Coincidentally I work for the NHS too, have done for 10 years but I've just started selling customisable jewellery as a bit of a sideline and I'm loving it! Initially I started just because I fell in love with the concept (a bit like Pandora bracelets where you buy a bracelet then add charms, but you buy a necklace with a locket and add charms to that) but now I'm starting to think about what it would take to enable me to leave my job permanently as there's definitely money to be made doing this and I'm loving learning about marketing via Facebook etc.

I just don't know whether I'd ever have the confidence to leave the security of a regularly paid job, good pension etc. I should have done it years ago before children and a mortgage I think!

Debbie X

redtiger1079 Tue 19-Aug-14 23:19:20

I worked as a criminal barrister for 7 years, and left last year. I really loved it for six, and when the govt started cutting fees and increasing our workloads I became really resentful. I went through a few months of getting really miserable - it felt like work was a chore and I was in a bad mood for ages. My motivation levels dropped and I no longer relished it.

I did not know what I was going to do next, but it reached tipping point - I knew I had to leave, find some breathing space and just do something new.

It's always hard taking risks, especially if you have dependents. However, life is really short and you've GOT to do something meaningful to you.

You might fail, and that would be hard, but I think better to take the chance than to let your psyche rot doing something you resent.

Maxinek1 Thu 21-Aug-14 22:09:12

I'm in your exact position. I am on maternity leave from my NHS job which is mind numbingly soul destroying. I am dreading going back in 3 months so currently setting up my own online business. I have plenty of sleepless long hours and money is super tight but I have every belief it will succeed. Thank you for writing this post and good luck with your venture!!!

InteriorsMum Sat 30-Aug-14 20:07:36

I did it too. I left a job where I was earning above 60k (had a serious clash with my new boss), I temped part time for 6 mths in a "don't need to think much job" and then made the leap to full time self employed. I earn about a third of what I was earning but it covers the bills etc. It is more a lifestyle change for me though, I can work from home or go to my office. I have someone who works for me part time and I know the sky is the limit with my earnings and my business growth - its all about how far I want to take it - for me it's important I stay relatively small so I don't start down the "corporate" road with my own company- that may change when the children leave home smile. I think the "don't want to fail and embarrass myself" thing will keep you driven for a while smile.

My new business is completely unrelated to my previous career and I had absolutely no experience of it before I started, it was a huge learning curve smile.

Depending on what your business is, if you are selling goods then expect to not take a salary for at least the first year. If you are selling a service it's different.

Good luck!

Geoff0409 Mon 15-Sep-14 12:40:56

Peter Jones of Dragon's Den said something along the lines of that if you want to be successful, you need the courage to risk failing. Doing nothing will mean that you avoid failing, but will also mean that you avoid success. That is the attitude that I need and am trying to embrace at the moment.

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