Your career health is just as important as your physical & mental health. We’re now 8 months into 2018. What has happened these last 8 months? Is everything going well with your career? Are you happy doing what you do for a living? If you spend a LOT of time working (40+ hours a week, perhaps?)…then it would be ideal to be passionate about your job, right?
If you’re happy with your current career path, that is great…congratulations! However, if you are absolutely miserable about what you do for a living, it negatively impacts everyone around you including your co-workers, your boss and your family. And when you constantly complain about your job to your friends, co-workers or significant other, guess what??! It’s time to go.
According to a 2017 study conducted by Deloitte, 68 percent of the U.S. workforce is not engaged at work. The study also found that only 13% of the workforce is passionate about their jobs. While many people are looking for a career they can be passionate about, these same people are terrified to leave their jobs.
When you have a stable job with “above average” income, it can be tempting to keep the status quo. Several people I know want to start their own business, but they still haven’t done anything to make it happen. While they don’t feel a sense of fulfillment in their job, they stay for the money. Their current income supports their lifestyle. They don’t want to make any sacrifices. It’s just too difficult for them.
I see their point…but what would happen if that high-income job was gone? What if the company you worked for suddenly “let you go”? Would you be able to replace your income right away? If you are highly skilled and talented, you may be able to find another job that pays well. But what if you couldn’t find a job right away? Hopefully, you have some money saved up for “rainy days” like this. Unfortunately, so many people live beyond their means, and are not able to set aside money for emergencies, etc.
In my experience, I worked in both the life and health insurance industry for over 17 years, and I absolutely loved it. The last company I worked for got bought out and so l took the severance package. This was back in 2011. The good news is I had planned ahead of time and so I had money saved up. While I knew that everything would be all right, I was extremely cautious about how I spent my savings. After all, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to generate the same income I used to make.
While I could have found another gig in the insurance industry, I decided to “stay home” and focus on being a mother to our 15-year-old son who needed intervention and guidance. It was truly a blessing that I was able to spend time with him because he was going through a lot in high school. I also gave my body the well-deserved break that it needed. I had been a workaholic for so many years. I didn’t even realize how exhausted I was. I felt “run down” physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
It was during this “break” that I was able to focus on what I truly wanted to do. I loved the insurance industry as it was good to me for the last 17 years, I had worked in sales, marketing, operations, business development, etc. Yet, for the past 5 years prior to this “break”, I knew that I wanted to do something in the “wellness” arena.
In the Fall of 2011, I started a holistic health & beauty business called Wellness-Spring and focused on the women’s market. Along the way, I met many professionals who practiced integrative health & alternative medicine. I even incorporated holistic therapies in my own lifestyle which enabled me to become healthier and more balanced. I was loving it…8 months later, I got pregnant with our 2nd child. I had always wanted a 2nd child while I was working in the insurance industry…but I could never get pregnant. I must admit that it is difficult to get pregnant when one is a “workaholic”. After I delivered a healthy baby girl in December 2012, I was able to spend quality time with her because my business gave me so much flexibility. Since holistic wellness benefited me, I decided to expand my business 3 months later. That’s when I started The Wellness Institute. Since then, I have never looked back.
Below are 3 practical tips you need to know before you quit your job to follow your dream:
1) Have a Realistic Game Plan
Whether you decide to start a business or find a job that you’re truly passionate about, you must plan accordingly. Be realistic! What if your next job pays less than what you used to make?
Set Money Aside
The financial aspect is always stressful. That’s why you need to save money and know that you’re saving it for a purpose. Don’t touch what you save. Put it in a separate bank account. Label it: FUNDS FOR DREAM CAREER.
Having enough money saved up will be a big help as you prepare yourself for the transition. I suggest that you save for approximately 9-12 months of living expenses. Some people save for 6 months of expenses…it’s all up to you. The point is….by doing this, you can focus all of your energy on your dream gig and not worry about your finances. You can tap into your DREAM FUND account in case your next job or business venture does not generate enough income right away.
Cut Back on Expenses
Don’t buy things you don’t need. Do you really need to buy that new model you’ve had your eye on? Or can it wait? You can still live comfortably without having to shell out additional expenses.
You’ll be surprised how much money you may be spending on certain things. In fact, take a look at your monthly expenses and see which areas you can cut back. Have a set budget for groceries, eating out, buying clothes and other necessities.
Limit expenses for unnecessary activities like travel. I know it’s hard, but it’s only temporary. Remember, once you make more money, you can always do these things again. If you want to succeed, all of these temporary sacrifices will be worth it.
Business Plan
Some people start a business without a business plan. Don’t wing it. If you don’t have much experience with strategy, marketing, business development, operations and/or financial aspects of running a business, then it’s a good idea to get assistance from your local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). They help aspiring entrepreneurs succeed in business ownership. SBDCs are funded in part through a partnership with the Small Business Administration. Click here to find your local SBDC
2) Think About the Consequences If You Don’t Pursue It
Are you going to keep saying “someday, I’m going to start that business”. When will that someday be? Don’t wait till you’re lying on your death bed and regretting why you never got around to doing it.
We’re not saying that things will be “smooth sailing” when you pursue your next venture because it’s going to take some significant work on your part to succeed. Sometimes, you have to allow yourself to fail. Inspite of the obstacles, stay focused. And do remember, it’s better to have tried than never to have tried at all.
3) Maintain a Positive Mindset
For the sake of your own mental health, it is extremely important to stay positive. Sometimes, friends and family may not support your new career or business venture. Did you notice that it’s easy to doubt yourself when you’re not feeling positive vibes from the people around you?
Ideally, friends and family should be supportive, but that doesn’t always happen. While you cannot control how people think OR react to your dreams, there are certainly ways to change how they feel. You just have to show them that what you are pursuing is a win-win for everyone. Once they see the progress you make in your business, they will change their tune.
I encountered this when I started The Wellness Institute. People were wondering why I was leaving the insurance industry to do something totally different. They didn’t understand that I was serious. Well, it’s been 5 1/2 years since then, and guess what? I’m still here….
Sometimes, we have to let go of everything we hear. Don’t be afraid to do something different especially if it’s your passion. I love what I do, and when I talk to people about my company, they tell me that I am super passionate. You know what? I think they are absolutely right! 😊

Edna Dimataga-Fernandez on EmailEdna Dimataga-Fernandez on FacebookEdna Dimataga-Fernandez on GoogleEdna Dimataga-Fernandez on InstagramEdna Dimataga-Fernandez on LinkedinEdna Dimataga-Fernandez on TwitterEdna Dimataga-Fernandez on Youtube
Edna Dimataga-Fernandez
Edna Dimataga-Fernandez founded The Wellness Institute in 2013. The company utilizes a holistic model of wellness consulting focusing on the 6 dimensions of organizational well-being: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual & financial health. The Wellness Institute provides holistic health assessments, corporate well-being workshops & wellness consultations with holistic health practitioners. Wellness-Spring, the company’s holistic health store, sells organic & non-toxic health & beauty products. A portion of the proceeds is donated back to causes that support women, children, health, wellness & education. She has worked & consulted for companies in the insurance & financial services industry, the medical & behavioral health field and the non-profit sector. Edna holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is a Past President (2010-11) of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors - Los Angeles Chapter and is an approved Continuing Education Provider for the California Department of Insurance.