“When are you going to take the adventure thing full time” is something I get asked A LOT. Being outdoors makes my soul come alive, add a challenge to that too and I am there! It might seem a little odd then for me to say that I actually spend most of my life sat behind a job. Sometimes I feel like there is a lot of pressure to quit the rat race and race off into the sunset and chase your dreams. I might be out on my own here, but I don't want to quit my job. I thought it was about time to share why.
Here’s 7 reasons NOT to give up the day job:
1. Because you love it
So these reasons are actually in no particular order but if they were to be ranked this would be at the top. Stick at your day job because you love it. Two years ago I hit a crossroads. I’d achieved everything I had wanted in my role (I’d even got a window seat in the office) but I wasn’t happy. In fact I was pretty unhappy for a number of reasons and I considered leaving law and doing something in the fitness industry. However after a lot of consideration I realised that perhaps it wasn’t work that I disliked but just that particular job, in that particular team, in that particular firm. I decided that before I gave up the profession I had been working so hard to succeed in since the age of 14, I would switch to a new firm and change my specialism to do work that interested me. Fast forward two years I’m in a firm which I love, with an ethos which I’m proud of and daily I do work which I genuinely enjoy. Okay so I don’t love every day in the office but overall I wouldn’t swap my team or the work for anything. Perhaps before you give up your career you could find a new company, one more aligned to the things you believe in, with people you like!
2. To Give You Structure To Your Day
How many times on a weekend do you wish you’d got up earlier and made more of your day? Imagine how unproductive you could be if you didn’t have a reason to get up in a morning. Not having a job which makes you get up and out and working for 9am means you have to rely on your own motivation and discipline to get things done. It’s actually much harder than it seems. As my ballet mistress used to say “if you want a job doing, ask a busy person”. Although the idea of working for yourself and having your own hours might sound like a good thing in reality structure helps to get tasks done. How about, before ditching the day job you approach your workplace and ask for flexible working hours. In preparing this post I researched quite a lot of stats for flexible working and the surveys showed that it was good for business and employees.
3. The Reality of Real Life
If you quit your job tomorrow, what would you do? Pack a bag and travel the world? Some people’s lives look incredible don’t they. They’re always jetting off somewhere exploring, or even better they live abroad! The reality is that travel is hard work: different time zones, living out of a suitcase, trying to keep in contact with friends and families. Alternatively, you might not want to quit your job and travel the world but you may want to quit your job and work for yourself. Working for yourself is actually a lot less fun in reality. As well as working in your zone of genius you also have to deal with marketing, accounts, PR, deal with your website, manage queries and so much more. Sometimes it’s nice just to do one job. Plus it can also be a little lonely. It's important to think of the bigger picture. Whilst you may have a great business idea, or want to jump onto the opportunities which social media bring, how long is that going to last? If Instagram and YouTube disappeared overnight would you still have a valid business?
Money can’t buy happiness but it can help. The stability of not having to worry about how you’ll pay the mortgage or cover bills for unexpected expenses is a luxury a lot of people take for granted. Let’s not forget also that having a job which pays well can also provide freedom. A good salary can lead you to some of the most incredible places on Earth. I did carefully consider 'money' before adding to the list as I definitely do not think you should do a job for the money. According to The Telegraph last year the chances of winning the lottery in the UK were 1 in 14 million! How crazy is that! So instead of day dreaming about what your life would look like if you won the lottery perhaps try and think about whether you would still do your job if you got paid half as much. Do you enjoy your job enough do it every day without as substantial a pay cheque? In my opinion, finances should be spoken about more openly and if you don't enjoy your job enough to do it for less money maybe you should look for one you do enjoy more. In short, do not let money put a dampener on your dreams.
5. To do what you love as a hobby
What if you took that thing you love; mountaineering, fitness/personal training, blogging, adventure - and did it as your full time job? It might be a lot of fun, you’d have the flexibility to be your own boss, work your own hours, work wherever in the world you wanted. But it also might suck. Take personal training, one reason I don’t want to be a personal trainer is because I don’t fancy the hours. If you follow me on social @lucy_fitness you’ll know I’m a morning person. What you might not know is that I am terrible with evening plans. I wouldn’t like to spend from 6-10pm training people in a cold gym. Instead I save what I love and turn it into the most fun times. Being a mountaineer sounds like a fantastic job in the summer but taking groups out in the winter is completely different.
6. To put your training to good use
Following a sterling effort from the Labour Party in the early 2000s there are now more people than ever with university degrees (I make no comment as to whether that is a good thing or not). When I went skiing earlier this year and suggested to my boyfriend that we give up our day jobs and move to France and ski every day he rightly said we hadn’t trained for so many years not to put our education to good use. Having a job which stretches you mentally and gives you challenges to keep you on your toes mentally is something you may miss a lot when you don’t have it.
7. Because the weekends are long enough!
It’s totally possible to live a life of adventure without giving up the day job. In what is fast becoming my most read post of 2018 I covered just that - how to live a life of adventure without giving up the 9-5. You may or may not know that I’m a huge advocate of living in the weekend and making the most of the hours between 5 and 9. In fact, sharing my adventures is what led to this blog. It is a passion of mine not only to explore the world and challenge myself with physical adventures but to share that journey and inspire others to do the same.
This year I've had tonnes of weekend adventures. My top two were the overnight sleeper from London to Aviemore (leaving London Friday evening, a weekend of adventure in Scotland and back at my desk for just after 9am Monday morning) and cycling London to Paris in a little over 24 hours. I share my weekend adventures on social using #LivingInTheWeekend and you can follow that hashtag on Instagram too. I also have a dedicated part of the blog for weekend adventures and write about them here.
So what does this mean for you?
I would love to know if you're a full time adventurer or dreaming of giving up the day job below. If you are thinking of making the leap from full time employment, pop a comment below to share what it is that's holding you back from making that a reality. Sometimes committing something to words helps you to realise how you really feel.
P.S. A huge thank you to The North Face for this promotional shot which formed part of their She Moves Mountains campaign.