Yes, I know you were hoping to relax and not think about work BUT this is the perfect time to consider what you really want from life. Away from the usual routine we can reflect, strategize and begin to implement a new career which suits us so that, come the new year, we are ready to go.
Identify. Write down lists of what you like about your current life, what you don’t like, what your availability is, what your income requirements are, what your dreams are and what your limits are.
Master list. Your lists from Day 1 should enable you to work out your direction of travel. It may be that you aren’t ready to move on or that you need to implement a few things before you can take it any further or you could find that all you need to do is hold your nose and jump – don’t do that last one just yet though!
Money. Although you have already looked at your income requirements, a detailed analysis of how a new life will impact your bottom line is essential. One of the things we do at the Pluralists Club is help members to calculate their potential using a bespoke tool but, as a first step, you need to be realistic about what you can earn and how you are going to manage in the lead-up to maximising your earning potential.
Time. Like money, it can be easy to mis-calculate the impact of a portfolio career on your time. Usually the hope is that one will have more time available – that’s not guaranteed so look at it carefully.
Impact. How is all of this going to affect everyone else in your life? Success doesn’t happen if those around you aren’t on board or are suffering from the consequences of your decisions.
Skills. Can you jump straight into what you hope to do or do you need to retrain or update your training? Are there other skills you need to develop and, if so, how are you going to achieve that?
Research. What are the options? Where are the options? Is what you want to do a linear process, are there other routes or parallel choices? Where are the opportunities and how can you get at them?
Profile. Time to update your CV and ensure it’s tailored towards your new career. Your social media presence, your blog and your website need to reflect your qualifications and interests so that anyone checking you out can see that you’re a candidate.
Contacts. It’s not what you know…. yes, people are the biggest asset you have. Obviously you can’t just hit them up for a job but you can get a good deal of helpful insight and advice. It’s not just about first hand contacts either but their friends and connections too.
Timescale. Nothing is going to happen overnight, nor should it, but careful thought needs to be given to exactly when you are going to extricate yourself from any current commitments and ease yourself into new ones.
Contingency planning. Your timescale – however carefully thought out – will almost certainly turn out to be wrong in some way. Everything takes longer than you hoped, things that seemed a dead cert evaporate, the tidy jigsaw of roles has big holes in it, the financial calculations turn out to be wishful thinking. You need a back-up plan.
Review. This is all quite exciting. You’re ready to get back to the office in early January and hand in your notice whilst the NEDs, consultancies, starts up and other opportunities roll in. Stop. Wait. Have a really critical look at what you are planning. Double the timetable, expand the contingency plans, halve the financial forecast.