I am a big fan of people following their passion, as I believe it energizes the individual and helps our overall world when people are engaged and enthusiastic with what they do.
If you are realizing that your current job is not a good fit and you’d like to try something new, I recommend you pursue some self-inventorying resources such as “What Color is My Parachute?” if you haven’t already prioritized A) what types of skills are your favorite to use and B) the kind of workplace where you want to use the skills.
If you’re aware about a specific career path, identify what your ideal setup looks like. For example, is your work project-based, or is it for 10 months of the year, or a few hours every day including weekends? Are you on call to an established company who can handle leads for you? Or do you want to do consulting to a community of locally-owned businesses?
If you’re not yet aware of a specific career path, identify people in your existing world: research the arts, finance, the restaurant business, the entertainment business, non-profit management, teaching, or something else — identify people who love what they do, so you can learn from their example.
Once you know your overall direction, your task is to build up your reputation by doing small projects here and there while you keep your “main” job, and eventually building your reputation and contacts to generate additional leads – enough to let you leave your existing workplace.
Here are a number of resources I’ve used in the past, in no particular order.
Here are excellent resources for those thinking of going into business, management, or entrepreneurship.
A note to those considering going “out on their own” — I recommend you decide what’s most important to you, what you want and what you’re willing to trade. Identify your risk profile. Starting your “own thing” is definitely a risk — you risk your health, sanity, family, and relationships if you start an entrepreneurial endeavor where you leave your “real job.” That said, there are many rewards.
Identify your overall timeline and consider your work as part of your life planning process. Also consider the different needs in your life, such as children’s or parent’s needs, your health and energy level, the long-term outlook at your current position, and your sense of purpose, happiness, and peace.
Consider that the average lifespan allows someone to have something like 3 or 4 full careers, so as workers, we are continually able to reassess, reinventory, and figure out your life plan for the next 5-15 years.
Everything around you today — job, relationships, house, possessions, etc. — is a reflection of your thinking in the past. So if you’re wanting to be in a different situation in the future, it starts with you thinking different thoughts today, and taking incremental steps towards whatever your next evolution is.
I believe your happiness is a good marker for your success. Most people have certain activities, maybe 5-6 activities, that bring them deep joy and satisfaction, and an excellent “fit” between your happiness and the “right path” is where the activities that you enjoy match what the world needs.
The world opens up with opportunities when you decide what you want.