5 Reasons Why You Can’t Take a Year Off

5-reasons-you-cant-take-a-year-off“If these assholes raise my quotas one more time, I’m outta here!”

Have you ever felt that way at your job? If you have to attend one more worthless meeting or engage in another round of office politics to save your job, you are going to snap.

 Perhaps you were on the verge of quitting in the heat of the moment and then thought better of it. You suddenly remembered you have bills to pay, people depending on you, and no exit strategy to deploy. 

Below are five reasons you may want to quit your stupid job but can’t. If you tackle these five areas, you will be able to walk away from that dead-end job any time you feel like it. 

#1 – You Don’t Know What Your Bills Are

How can you leave your paycheck behind if you don’t know what you owe next month? Many people are unaware of what it will cost them to live next month simply because they have never taken the time to make a list of their expenses. It likely you when you add a new bill you are only thinking about what it gets you, and not how it fits into the overall picture of your finances. Adding bills without thinking can create problems long-term.

Runaway bills occur when you don’t have a system for deciding when to take on new overhead. Before committing, you should determine how it will affect your overall debt load, how you will make your monthly payment if things go wrong, and how your lifestyle might change if you are now committed to an extra payment.

#2 – You Don’t Know How Much Your Lifestyle Costs

Even if you have listed out your monthly expenses, where does all your other money go? Travel, entertainment, and eating out are examples of spending that can vary widely from month-to-month. You simply spend whatever is sitting in your checking account after paying your bills and don’t know how much your lifestyle costs.

Another common issue is lifestyle creep. You slowly make more money, and you slowly spend more money. If you aren’t keeping a close eye on your standard of living, it will only go one direction. 

Also, why not live for today? Life is short, and you only get one shot at it, so why not spend what you have on a good time? This logic makes sense until tomorrow comes. At that point, you wish you had a better system for balancing the here and now with whatever may come tomorrow. 

#3 – You Aren’t Saving Regularly

The easiest way to leave your job is if you don’t need one at all. If that seems far-fetched, then how about not needing one for a few months? If you can’t go more than a week or two without a paycheck, your options for leaving will be severely limited.

Being trapped in your job can be avoided by initiating a regular savings plan. If you have money you are setting aside every month, eventually you will have enough to buy yourself time. Enough time to look for a new job or career.

Also, you need to have a dedicated account where you save this money. Simply leaving an extra $200 in your checking account each month won’t do the trick, because it will get spent eventually. Your monthly savings should go to a specific account earmarked for rescuing you from your crappy job. 

It’s possible you do have money set aside for a rainy day (or to escape your lame job), but you don’t know how long it will last. Saving money is excellent, but until you understand how much money it takes to live your life, your savings is just a number on a piece of paper. 

Your savings balance and your spending work together and will tell you how many months of freedom you have set aside if any. 

# 4 – You Don’t Know What You Would Do

You know what your bills are, how much your lifestyle costs, and have enough money set aside to pay for a year off of work. Now what? Too much freedom can be crippling if you don’t’ have a vision for your life. Maybe you aren’t a big dreamer, or your dreams seem unattainable. Either way, it’s time to get to work on a realistic plan for future you.

The easiest way to get started is to dabble in other careers, hobbies, or activities while you are still at your current job. You don’t need to leap into the unknown. With a little careful planning, you can make what you haven’t experienced the known and decide if you want to spend more time there. 

For example, why leave your job to become a full-time podcaster if you’ve never even been on a podcast? You can have new experiences before you tell your boss to take a flying leap. The same goes for painting, computer programming, and being a food critic. 

If you fear that with too much time off, you will simply re-watch all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad, make a list of things you want to try. Start doing them now. I know you are busy, but it could be worse: you could have nothing to do at all. 

#5 – You Think It’s Weird

Is taking a year off from your job weird? Maybe, but what would you call showing up every day to a job you despise for the next five years? Better to be weird than a moron.

It’s natural to consider what your employer would think. You don’t know if they would be cool about it, try to sabotage you on the way out, or entice you to stay. All of that is out of your control, however. You need to focus on your future, not theirs.

What would your friends say? They might think it is weird to make a change, to do something drastic, or to break free from your misery. Your friends are probably miserable too. You can worry about what they think or be a leader and show them the light.

How about your family? Would they support you, mock you, or make you feel guilty for living your life to the fullest? Probably, but that is what family does. They pump you up and keep you grounded. They may think taking a year off is weird, but it’s much stranger not to support a family member who is unhappy with how they spend their days.

For every reason out there you can’t take a year off, there are a hundred reasons why you can. Only one of them matters, however: do you want to? If you feel time is passing you by and you have missed out on the life you want, it’s time to do something about it.

Gaining freedom and control over your life and money isn’t easy, but it is worth it. The only reason you can’t take a year off is that you haven’t prioritized it. If your life isn’t what you thought it would be, it’s time to move a year off and the radical change that follows to the top of your list. 

Read A Year Off, out now!