Invest in Your Career Savings Account

Jon Acuff, in his latest book Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck, suggests that the trick to having the career you want is a Career Savings Account (CSA).

(Relationships + Skills + Character) x Hustle = Career Savings Account

As per Jon, if you invest in the people you know, what you do well, doing the right thing, and having grit, these will be enough to carry you through the four possible types of career changes.

He then breaks these career changes into a grid of positive/negative and voluntary/involuntary and explains which of the investments can help you most for each type of change:
  1. negative and voluntary: Career Ceiling needs skills investment;
  2. voluntary and positive: Career Jump needs character investment;
  3. positive and involuntary: Career Opportunity needs hustle investment;
  4. involuntary and negative: Career Bump needs relationship investment.
There is a section on each of the four career changes and the investment needed, with lots of good tips on how to maximize both.

Jon explains that either fear or complacency keep us in a bad situation too long and unable to try something new. When we finally overcome one (fear or complacency), we tend to succumb to the other once we realize how hard change is. But as he points out, the alternative is years of being dead inside.

What Jon doesn't discuss and other books have, is that there is a third option: the side hustle. If you are not in a position to leave your job or start that business you've always dreamed of, you can keep working while spending after-hours on your dream. The steady paycheck will provide backup if you can't find another position or get your business off the ground.

I agree that staying at a dead-end job or one that's a bad fit too long is a recipe for disaster, but if you're lucky enough to have the choice, then plan ahead financially for that change. Take your time, try it out on the side, and be sure. Dreams require funding too.

Which of the four career changes scares you the most and why? How's the balance in your CSA doing?

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