On a recent episode of “Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis,” I heard Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-hour Work Week, spell out five things to consider if you’re wondering whether to quit your job.

  1. Create a dreamline. This is basically a timeline of your goals and dreams. What do you want to have, do, and be over the next 6 months, 12 months, and 3 years. How much does it cost on a monthly basis to live your ideal lifestyle? Come up with a precise number as a target monthly income. Does your job serve that goal?
  2. If you did not already have your job, would you apply for it knowing what you know about it? It’s not the job you hate that’s dangerous, Ferriss notes. That’s like a “massively physically abusive spouse whom you’re likely to leave,” he claims. The truly dangerous job is the one that’s “just good enough,” he says. It is not obviously terrible. But that’s where you wake up 10 to 15 years later and realize your life has passed you by.
  3. If your answer to the second question was “no,” then ask yourself this: Is your job serving your needs or what you want?
    1. What does your life look like one, three, and five years from now?
    2. What opportunities do you miss by continuing in this job?
    3. How much does your health decline over those time periods?
  4.  If you’re working 60 to 80 hours a week, a year from now, is it going to be better or worse? If worse, the question isn’t will you quit, but when are you going to quit. People don’t always realize that the universe doesn’t align the stars for you when you have to make the most important decisions of your life, like quitting a job. “The timing is always terrible,” Ferris says.
  5. Fear setting. Take a piece of paper. Divide it into three columns.
    1. List all the things that could go wrong in excruciating detail if you quit your job or started something new.
    2. List what you could do to mitigate those risks.
    3. Write what you could do to get back to where you are now if those things happened.

Once people actually define with extreme clarity what they fear, they realize none of the things are permanent. Almost all are reversible. This frees people to take big steps, says Ferriss.

Source: Here’s the whole interview.