Common Barriers to Travel - What About My Job?

In the last post in this series, we discussed how our houses can be a common barrier to travel.  Now let’s talk about another part of our daily life that may hold us back -- our jobs.

Gili Air - Lombok, Indonesia

Gili Air - Lombok, Indonesia

Something I hear a lot is “I can’t leave my job because I’ll never find one as good as the one I’ve got.”  I can empathize because I once felt the same way.  But it’s simply not true.  How could it be?  We can’t predict the future.  Here’s my “I’ll never leave this job” story.  When I finished my forestry degree and began working as a professional forester for a large corporation I thought I was set for life.  You ever hear of that lottery, “Set For Life”?  In some ways I felt like I had won a lottery.  I actually believed that I would work there forever.  I had a decent salary, medical and dental benefits, two weeks annual vacation, a retirement savings plan, a company truck -- and I was in living in the Shuswap region of BC!  I felt pretty lucky.  It was a situation that, in most people’s eyes, couldn’t be any better.  

However, I soon realized that I wasn’t like “most people” and after five years I had changed my mind about working there forever.  Jaime and I decided to give our notice and head off on an overseas adventure.  When people heard that I resigned from that job they thought I was crazy.  Yes, I admit that doing that was totally out of my comfort zone, mostly due to my conditioning up until that point.  The whole “go to school, get good grades, get a job, work until retirement…” mantra was being called into question!  I didn’t lose sleep over it, but I did wonder if I would regret it later.

I believe this notion of never finding a better job comes from two places: a cozy place in front of a roaring fire in our comfort zone, and a scarcity mindset.  It’s not true, it’s a story that we make up in our minds.  Doing something different, such as challenging a long-held belief, can be uncomfortable.  But that is where our greatest growth occurs.  Taking a bold action like leaving a “perfect” job only makes us stronger.  When we returned from six months overseas, I changed careers and started an electrician apprenticeship that excited me -- I was learning something new every day, I was using my hands, and I was making MORE money.  I believe part of the reason I was able to step into a new gig with zero experience was because I had the courage to leave my old gig.

Let’s talk about the scarcity mindset for a minute.  Believing that jobs are scarce, money is scarce, good fortune is scarce, gets us nowhere.  These beliefs come from our upbringing, our environment and the people with whom we spend time with.  Looking back, I can now see that my previous work environment, the forestry sector, was deeply rooted in scarcity.  There was never “enough,” and there was always a fear of something being taken away.

Leaving a job can be tough if we believe that there will be something less to come back to.  But that’s a belief that we can change.  What if we told ourselves, “leaving this job and going to travel will enrich my life to the point where I will have more to offer to my family, my employer and the world?”

Sometimes an income safety net can help us step away from a job.  When we left to travel the first time, we relied on a savings account to fund our trip.  Do I regret spending that money on travel? (we had considered using it for our first house) - Hell, no!  Would I be better off now if I’d kept that money and invested it?  - I don’t believe so, considering the value it provided.  In the grand scheme of things, a few months of not receiving a pay cheque isn’t going to make or break you, provided you have your financial house in order.  Since our first travel adventure, we’ve set ourselves up with a few streams of residual and passive incomes that flow in weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually, no matter where we are.  Creating multiple income streams is something that everybody can do, and we believe should do, because of how readily accessible they are, and how life changing they can be.  Contact us if you’d like to learn how you can do it, too.

So, bottom line.  We are not our jobs.  Don’t let your beliefs tell you that you’ll never do better.  It’s all make believe, old school thinking that we have the power to change.