Transcript: How To Quit Your 9 to 5 Job, Questions to Think About and How to Do It, with Keisha Blair

Welcome to the holistic wealth podcast. I’m your host Keisha Blair, wife, mother of three, author of Holistic Wealth and founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth. This show will showcase various experts in the key pillars of holistic wealth. Each week, we deliver the best information on how to become holistically wealthy and live your best life.

Today I have a very special episode for you. It’s a solo episode. So, I’m excited and we’re talking about how to quit your nine to five job, the major questions to ask and how to do it. We’re in the midst of the great resignation wave. Experts are calling it “the great big reset”. A lot of people are thinking about quitting their jobs or are in the midst of quitting their jobs right now. I have received so many questions from people who are even thinking of switching careers altogether. So, in a different industry and field where they would be starting from ground zero. So, the pandemic has caused us all to look more deeply at our lives to examine the direction we want our post-pandemic lives to take. And I mean, once we face these types of collective experiences where we kind of look at the meaning and purpose of our lives, I think this is why we have these major waves going on. And as people try to construct a life that’s really meaningful, “a life well-lived”, as I would say in chapter one of my book Holistic Wealth.

So, in terms of thinking about quitting your nine to five job, there are three big questions that I want you to think about as you think about quitting. And we’re going to go through each of these three big questions and we’re going to hash them out in detail. We’re going to think about the different considerations, and then we’re going to plan a transition path going forward in terms of how to do it.

So let’s just get into the three big questions. And so the first question is:

  1. Am I working for the right organization?

This is a big question. It’s very important to ask yourself and of course, as I’m talking, feel free to write down notes, feel free to come back to anything that may be very important for you.

So, in terms of the question “am I working for the right organization”, you want to be working for an organization whose values are aligned with yours in doing that, think about things that are important to you in terms of your values. And you want to see how much importance and how much significance in terms of that organization that you’re working with and the significance they place on your values. So, for instance, are they just paying lip service to the issues that directly impact your personal and professional life, like diversity and inclusion, for some of us diversity and inclusion is a big one. And you want to get a sense of just how deep, the depth and breadth of their coverage on these important issues to you.

So if that’s one example, let’s see diversity and inclusion, you know, are you comfortable with the efforts? Do you think they’ve gone far enough? Do you think they can go more? How long have they been doing the same things over and over again? And are they keeping the results that are necessary to make long and lasting change and make a difference. The other question that you might want to ask yourself is, is it a toxic work environment? So, do I feel like I’m working in an environment that’s toxic? You know, another question could be, is the promotions process fair and equitable in your organization. Do you feel like there’s ample opportunity for promotions and the right people are getting promoted and this impacts your life? It impacts your professional life because if the right people aren’t being promoted, then you will be managed or you’ll have leaders that aren’t equipped for the job, and that will impact your career and your life outcome. I mean, even your own happiness and joy on a day-to-day basis. So, looking at whether the promotion process is fair and equitable, that’s another one.

Here’s another one. Is it geared to the right kind of candidate? And again, we’re going back to the promotion process and whether it’s fair, or equitable. Is the promotion process geared towards one kind of candidate? In other words, does the same profile of person keep getting the promotion? And if that happens time and time again, over and over again, year after year, it’s time to start questioning certain things about your organization.

Here’s another question. Are your efforts at work adequately rewarded and recognized? Year after your day to day, are your efforts adequately rewarded and recognized? If you don’t feel that your efforts are rewarded and recognized, that’s a problem right there. Another question to ask yourself is have you been getting repeated signals that your work is valued or important? We need those signals. Are you getting those signals that your work is valued or important? Another set of issues beyond those that are very important, possibly even more important than all of those. I just listed. Let’s talk about Pay issues. Are you happy with your current pay, the amount of your pay, your benefits?

Are you happy with that? Can it even cover your bills? Do you have any discretionary income after? You know, for some of us, it’s not even just the Pay but have they been promoting me in the way I think I should be? Is it commensurate with my education and my skills, or is there a skills gap in terms of my personal professional career and life?

Is there a skills gap? Am I very, very qualified for the task I’m doing? Should I be doing something else at this stage with this much experience under my belt? And so many people are in that position because of a myriad of reasons. It could be some of the reasons that we just listed off, it could be a diversity and inclusion reason. It could be a toxic work environment. It could be an unfair promotion process or it’s geared to one kind of candidate. Or maybe your lack of visibility is causing that. And again, it’s coming around to those questions that we have to all ask ourselves at some point, right? When we think about leaving that job or quitting this nine to five to do something else.

Crafting Your Own Personal Mission Statement

So a lot of the questions that I just ask, and this is in the first big major question, right? Which is, am I working for the right organization? A lot of those questions have to do with your values apart from the pay issues have to do with your values, right, and what you value. So, in terms of your values, think about crafting a personal mission and a personal mission statement.

So in my book Holistic Wealth, there’s an entire chapter on crafting your personal mission. That’s in line with your values and how to do that. And it’s also very well laid out in the Holistic Wealth Personal Workbook as well. So I would advise you to go through those chapters, get the book, go through those chapters in the book and personal workbook.

There’s actually a list of values to help you. And you can go through each one and tick the ones that correspond with yours and there are case studies in the personal workbook that will help you to craft your own personal mission statement. So that’s something that I would start to do right away, as you’re thinking about how to make that transition in your career, because it’s great to set yourself in a way that you’re doing this.

And looking at the long-term goals and looking at, you know, the future in a holistic way. So the Holistic Wealth Expanded and Updated version is now available for pre-order. And I would also pre-order that book, that book has an amazing setup to gear you towards setting up your Holistic Wealth Portfolio, which is also very, very important.

So let’s go to the second, big question that you should ask yourself before you quit your nine to five job, or as you think about quitting your nine to five job. The second big question is:

2.Am I in the right position?

So the first question was, am I working for the right organization and the second is, am I in the right position? And that’s a question that we ask ourselves all the time. And it’s one that, you know, you need to ask yourself when you think about quitting your job or transitioning out of your job. So, if you wake up every morning feeling de-motivated absolutely lost, stressed out, when you think about going to work, you know, there is an issue there.

If you wake up feeling energized and ready to go, ready to conquer your day with your work, then that’s a good sign. It’s a good sign. You’re still motivated. Your job still keeps you happy and energized, and that’s a good thing. But if you ever have those Monday mornings where it’s just the worst feeling ever, when you wake up, then that’s not a good sign.

And there are some other questions that we want to ask ourselves, right. When we’re looking at, am I in the right position? So, another question. Yeah. Do I have learning opportunities to grow and evolve in this position? Am I even still learning? Do I have a manager or a leader who I’m learning from? Because I think for many of us, especially when you reach a certain point or milestone in your career, when you’ve built up a lot of experience, you can actually reach that stage where you need to grow and learn from somebody else and other leader with another set of skills. Right. So, am I still learning?

Do I want to continue in this field or industry, you know, during COVID we’ve seen a lot of people in the hospitality industry and the tourism or travel industries question, whether they want to continue in the field and whether or try another field, you could be in the position right now where you’re questioning what you should be doing. You’re questioning even the very field you’re in, and wondering if you should make a change. I think COVID has come with that because there’s so many structural changes to the economy and this is happening all over the world. And quite frankly, some industries and fields are just not as lucrative as they once were.

How To Cope With Burnout – Taking Time Off

And, you know, as we think about leading holistically wealthy lives, then we’re also thinking about our health and our wellness and our mental health, right. And so, we want to get in line with a job and a career where we’re thinking about all of those things. So that’s a good thing. And it’s a good place to be in to be thinking about those things. Right. So, it’s also good to have a sense of your long-term goals. Again, going back to the holistic wealth book and read through that chapter on a book in terms of long-term goals and things to think about. And if you’re at the point of burnout, let’s say you’re at the point of burnout. You know, it’s not necessarily that you’re not in the right position. You’re just feeling run down, exhausted, overwhelmed. You might be at the point where you just need a break. You might just be in at the point where you need a break. And so, there are ways to take a break and make it work for you. I’ve done it with my one-year sabbatical. There are ways to do it, to prioritize your self-care and also make it beneficial for your career and your long-term goals.

Again, I spoke about my experience having to take a one-year sabbatical in the book Holistic Wealth, and there’s an entire chapter on taking a sabbatical in the book, and there’s also an entire chapter on that in the Holistic Wealth Personal Workbook. The personal workbook that helps you to actually plan a break if you need to take that break.

So if you’re thinking, you know what, maybe I’m in the right position. But I think the issue is I just need a break. You know, we were doing online learning with kids for those of us who are moms, we were doing our professional jobs. So many of us know, right. The point of burnout. And it’s a good place to be in to be thinking about.

Maybe that is just, you know, maybe that’s just what I need. And if you do need to do that, there are tools and resources to help you. And of course, the Institute on holistic wealth also has a sabbatical planning course, which I developed based on my experience that can help you do this in the right way.

Both personally and professionally and come back to work, feeling energized, making it work for you financially and otherwise. And all of that’s outlined in the sabbatical planning course. So, I just wanted to put that in right here, just in case when we’re going through this big question, in terms of, am I in the right position?

You know, their audience members were seeing, you know what, I think I’m in the right position, but I think I just need a break. What do I do? So, if you just need a break, that’s something that you might want to consider. So, let’s move on to the other third, big question. So, this is the third and last big question that you want to ask yourself when you’re thinking about quitting your nine to five job. So, the third question is:

3.Am I positioned to our setup for the future career that I want?

So am I positioned within my organization for the future career that I want, you know, people might be thinking, I’m in the right position, but the way that organization is structured or set up, I just don’t see a pathway. I don’t see a ladder. I don’t see a connection point for me. Maybe it’s because at your level, they’re not promoting at your level. They’re only looking at, you know, senior executive positions. Maybe there’s a bigger gap in how they hire and promote. Maybe there are gaps there. And so for many people looking to quit their nine to five it’s am I positioned for the future career that I want?

And if you’re not positioned, are you seeing where there’s some gap in the funnel and a promotion or hiring funnel, then you might be stuck with your back against the wall. This happens every day, time and time again, where you rise to a level and then something happens. And then, you know, we realize that there’s a big gap between your level and another level, and you might need to go elsewhere to get that experience because of how the gaps are, how your organization is structured. So, again, if you’re in a place where you are constantly being overlooked for a promotion year after year, and there are no rewards for your efforts, then it’s time to look elsewhere and I’ll give you some examples because sometimes we think, you know what, so-and-so is overlooked or I’ve been overlooked before. Maybe it wasn’t for that reason or maybe it wasn’t for this reason. So let me just go through one or two examples. Cause I think it’s pretty obvious when it happens too, right? Like for instance, if you think about a time when you were like the backbone of the team, right. But someone else comes in from outside and gets the job.

So, you’re the backbone of the team. You’re doing everything you’re delivering on projects. You’re implementing stuff, stuff is happening. The wheels are turning yet someone else who does not have the experience that you have, doesn’t even know the organization or the team, or even the team members comes in and gets that job. That’s one example, right. And another example is, you know, for instance, let’s say you’re in an organization, have you ever heard employees in an organization say, oh, they don’t hire from within, they only hire outside candidates? So, whenever our promotion comes up, don’t even think about it. Like don’t even bother to think.

That they’re going to promote from within and promote you because they only hire from outside. It was a popular thing I used to hear in some organizations and I’m sure it’s still being done. Now, if you hear that phrase, I think that’s a big red flag and I think you can be comfortable in that position, running for your life or if you’re in an organization where they change senior leaders every four months or so. Right? So, every four months, or six months, let’s say it’s six months or even a year, right, they have a constant rotation. And you notice that with each senior leader coming in, that they bring their own staff from the previous job. So, they’re not looking to hire a promote, anyone from the existing team they’re bringing in their own staff and they’re not even looking or assessing the current team and the skill set there. They’re just interested in bringing in their friends, that’s another red flag, that’s another red flag. And so, when this happens, you know, I have a term and I call it “the inherited employee club”. That’s the club where the senior leaders come in and they inherit these employees and, for some reason, never seem to care about the careers of these employees that are in the inherited employee club. That’s a club that I would try to leave. I would get out. So those are some of the big, big questions that I would want you to ask if you’re thinking about quitting your nine to five job, those are three big buckets. We just went through a whole slew of issues and considerations with each one. And I’m sure if you’re deep in thought, you know, I think this has given some food for thought. And so, let’s talk about transitioning and next steps in terms of how you do it.

How Transition Out of Your 9-5 Job

There are a series of steps and they’re so many considerations to think of in terms of your field, your industry, what the job prospects look like, what are your personal finances looking like right now? What are your goals and your dreams? And all of that is so very personal, which is why I want each person listening to really, you know, start taking notes, get copies of the books that I mentioned and start working through it.

Craft Your Networking Plan

One of the next steps is crafting your networking plan. And in crafting your networking plan, it’s great to have concrete goals. So, if you want to look within another organization, you know, you want to look outside of your field or industry, start thinking about the people you can start talking to start thinking about the who, what, when, where, and really jot down your networking plan with actual concrete goals. Like for instance, one from one month to month three, who do I want to connect with to do this? How many people in the field or industry do I need to connect with to make a decision? Right? And so in the book, there’s an entire chapter on that in Holistic Wealth and there are resources in the Holistic Wealth Personal Workbook to help you with that. And I want you to think about your life goals. So, in the first big question that I asked, we spoke about a personal mission and I’m coming back to that right now, because as you think about your life goals, think about that wrapped up in your personal mission statement, which is bigger than any job, any one title, any paycheck, it’s the legacy that you want to leave behind.

I want you to think about that through to retirement. So even in your retirement, what do you want back to look like and start planning ahead from now? So even above this particular job, this particular industry, what do I want to do? Long-term through to retirement and in terms of your personal finances, that’s another big area that you want to take a look at, you know, for some people they might be booked to take breaks right now, they might be able to take a month or two just to focus on the job search. They might be able to resign their positions and have that break because they have the personal financial cushion to do that. No, you might not have that. So just looking at your personal finances to say, okay, what do I need to do? Can I give myself a month or two? Can I not? What is my budget looking like?

And in the Holistic Wealth Workbook, there’s also a budget spreadsheet and it’s a worksheet that can help you to budget, to think about whether you have gaps. And so many people will have gaps during COVID-19. It’s becoming the norm. We’ve discussed it on this Holistic Wealth Podcast, what to do if you’ve have gaps and how to figure that out on your resume, how to put it on your resume so that it doesn’t put you at a disadvantage.

So even if there’s a gap a month or two, or even a year, I took a year off for a sabbatical, getting comfortable with those gaps. Employees are getting comfortable. It’s what we do in that time. That really counts. Right. And so if we plan our finances or if you plan your finances, like you anticipate gaps and even expenses associated with like something like changing a career or going back to school, getting a new certification. These are all financial issues that you can start jotting down. Now you can start jotting down in that holistic wealth, personal workbook in that spreadsheet right now, the cost of any new certification or the cost of taking a year or a sabbatical year or even three months, or even a. You can start doing that right now.

Figure Out Your Personal Financial Identity

And so, something else that I love to talk about right now, as we’re talking about the personal financial aspect of it, of quitting your nine to five, which is a major part. So this is the part where people get really nervous and anxious and you can’t sleep when people are tossing and turning, because they’re thinking, if I leave my job, what am I going into?

And if it takes me two months to find another job, what do I do? And so, the personal financial aspect of it is a huge. I developed the personal financial identity quiz. It’s part of the personal financial identity framework and the quiz is available on the Institute on holistic wealth website. So that’s Institute on holistic It takes two minutes. And in two minutes, or in under two minutes, you can find out your personal financial identity. And in taking the quiz, you will learn about yourself in untold ways. I’ve had so many people on this podcast, tell me how their results have been spot on and how much it’s just opened up a whole new world for them.

So this is important because it will help you plan ahead. So for instance, if you’re thinking of, taking on any risk as you think of quitting your nine to five job, some people are thinking of starting businesses. Some people are thinking of transitioning into freelancing. Some people are thinking of transitioning into other areas where, you know, your personal financial identity becomes very, very important, especially in terms of managing risk. It can be emotionally stressful when you’re transitioning out of your nine to five into a different industry, into entrepreneurship, or even finding another job. And so thinking about your personal financial identity, knowing who you are, putting that into your budget, letting that frame your philosophy or spending on your saving identity and your philosophy will be very, very good.

For instance, there are people who’ve taken the quiz who’ve identified as Anxious Spenders. If you’re thinking of quitting your nine to five job, and you’re an Anxious Spender, and you’re thinking of transitioning into entrepreneurship, you might feel very anxious and nervous, right? And it’s enough to send your anxiety through the roof. So it’s good to know your personal financial identity have the tools to communicate even to yourself and giving yourself grace and patience and time to figure out what you need to do and take the time that you need. Take the time that you need. There’s no need, you know, to take on more stress than we need right now.

And just a few other pointers before we wrap up this podcast episode, always think about how you can leave your organization and your team prepared after your transition. So thinking about breaking the news to your manager, first, thinking about how you will transition your files well, so that your team members feel secure knowing that what they will need to do all of those things will set you up for success in terms of your transition from old colleagues, your old bosses for everyone to have that good impression, which is very important, right? In this life you never know what can happen as they say, you know that saying, don’t burn your bridges. That’s one very quick, quick piece of advice. And the next one that I want to say is in terms of giving your notice, if you’re giving notice to leave, it’s great to also give that extra time.

As well, just for your planning for your team, anything like that. And of course, I’m also available. I do one-on-one coaching. If this is something you’re interested in, you want to work through any of these big pieces. I’m available. Contact me through [email protected]. And again, the books, Holistic Wealth, the first edition, which is the Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help you find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness.

That’s the first edition of the book. Then there’s the Holistic Wealth Personal Workbook that helps you. It’s your constant companion. I’ve had people tell me they don’t leave home without it. And it can help you really think through and strategize this process. It will help you strategize everything we’ve just spoken about.

And of course, pre-order the Holistic Wealth Expanded and Updated second edition. This book will help you move the needle in terms of building your Holistic Wealth Portfolio, which is so, so important. And I’m so happy that that book is now available for pre-order. It will be out in the world and it really will help us go from this first book to the second book, to the next step in our journey, which is making sure that we all have Holistic Wealth Portfolios.

So once again, thank you for joining us on the holistic wealth podcast. I hope this episode was informational. I hope you were inspired and motivated to get this done in a great way. The resources that I mentioned are very, very important, and of course, Feel free to go back to previous podcast episodes that are related to this that are so, so, so important and have so much great information as well.

So just to give you a quick idea of just before I leave a couple that you listened to the Holistic Wealth podcast episode with Mia Taylor is also good in terms of dealing with your career gaps. The Holistic Wealth podcast episode that I did, it’s a solo episode on, and it was for Black Women’s Equal Payday, but it also gave a lot of life transition advice, so that’s good for anyone, for anybody looking to transition under so many more episodes. I’ll also document some episodes in the transcripts and the write up for this. If you need to come back to this, the resources are there and feel free to reach out I’m at [email protected]. If you have questions, if you have concerns, if you want some want to coach you through this process, I’m here. Take care until next time.

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