You’ve probably seen these people on Instagram: the ones who don’t seem to have an office job and can be found in beaches, foreign countries, or cafes. While it may look like they’re unemployed and are just having a great time, they’re hustling like you, who’s supposed to be working instead of scrolling through your feed.
These people are the ones who have given up the conventional 9-6 job and have chosen to pursue their passion, whatever it may be. And when you’ve seen how much they’re living their best lives outside of an office cubicle, it makes you wonder if you can do it, too.
The thing is: should you really quit your office job to do what you love?
It’s a question that a lot of millennials face today, because of the prevalence of social media.
The answer: yes, you can. And you don’t need to be rich to do it.
After I graduated, I got into a job that I didn’t really enjoy but an internship opened up at a newspaper. I’ve always wanted to be a writer so I thought this was my way in. I became a contributor and quit my day job. Sadly, I f@#$ed it up. Instead of making the most of it by networking and looking for more writing gigs, I stayed home and did nothing. The only thing I gained was weight.
But my story doesn’t encompass the story of pursuing your passion. There are plenty of others who have succeeded in turning their hobby into their life’s work. Take for example Aileen Adalid, who quit her office job at 21 to open her own business and travel the world. To date, she has been to more than 50 countries and documents everything on her popular blog.
There’s also Abbey Sy, who used to work in advertising but gave that up to become an artist. She has since launched books on journaling, hand lettering, and calligraphy.
Aileen and Abbey are just two of many successful people who gave up a comfortable job to do what they love. As for myself, after a few false starts, I found my dream job writing for WheninManila.com.
Now, if you’re thinking of leaving the office to start your own thing, I have a few tips for you:
The most important tip is that you should have enough money to survive. There are people who say that pursuing your passion is a rich man’s pursuit but you can do it, regardless of your socioeconomic status. Before you even quit your job, make sure you have enough savings to live by. An article by CNBC said that you should have three to six months worth of your living expenses, while others say you should have 12 months worth of your income. This means that you shouldn’t just quit. You should prepare.
Next is to have the right connections. Whatever you’re going to do after, your source of income will be from your connections so it’s a good idea to refine it. It’s a good idea to make sure you have customers even before you dive in.
Lastly, you need to have discipline. Working on what you love may seem like an easy task and it’s tempting to sleep in, watch Netflix, and put your tasks off for a later time. People work differently so you have to discover how you’re productive… and stick to it. If you get too relaxed, you become lazy and end up accomplishing nothing.
Quitting your day job to pursue your passion can be a daunting task because of its uncertainty. If you’re feeling a little cautious, fret not, because the creative industry is currently booming. If you’re a writer, artist, or any form of designer, there are companies looking to hire you full-time. This way, you can still pursue your passion and have the stability of an office gig.
They say that you should do what you love so you won’t have to work a day in your life. It’s a cliche saying but it’s a cliche because it’s true. Any form of work is stressful, whether it’s a desk job or a freelance life. You might as well have fun doing it.
P.S. Real talk: A talk on pursuing your passion will inevitably touch on the topic of privilege. It’s hard to give up the comforts of a stable income, 13th month pay, and HMO if you’re the breadwinner or if you have family obligations. If you insist on doing what you love, you can keep your day job and do your thing on the side. Not only will you satisfy your creative urges, you can also supplement your income and provide more for the people you love!