Your Paycheck Is Not Your Security Blanket (Or, Words of Encouragement From One Millennial to The Other)

I’m in that point in life where everything is a possibility. And it scares the shit out of me.

It’s exhilarating, yes. I’m about to “embark on a new adventure”. Said new adventure begins by submitting a resignation letter and leaving the company I’ve been working for since I finished college. That’s 5+ years of American insurance, haughty providers and crazy-ass medical claims that I’ve got behind me. It’s a tough job, but one that has helped me fund all the things I’ve ever needed for the past 5 years. The job helped me to stand on my own two feet and pay the bills, but, alas, I wasn’t growing professionally.

The time is nigh for a new adventure.

The change is welcome and exciting and petrifying. I’ve been wanting to try freelancing for a while now. The thought of freedom and new opportunities excite me, but here’s the one thing I dread: not having a monthly salary.

It’s silly, right? Why be so scared when you’re about to look for something better?

What’s sillier is I actually know the answer: my salary has become my security blanket. My debit card has become my comfort zone. And I’ve been conditioned to think that my entire survival relies on my pay check.

Nassim Taleb sure wasn’t kidding when he said

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary”

I plead guilty to at least two. But here’s what I’m trying to tell myself and to every other yuppie with the same dilemma:

Don’t be such a fricking wuss.

Stop being so scared of what you’re about to lose. Think of all the things you have to gain.

Quitting your job can be scary, especially if it’s the only one you’ve ever known for such a long period of time. Especially if it’s helped support you and your family for just as long. So you’ll say goodbye to your paycheck. But you’ll say hello to new opportunities that can help you earn just as much, if not more. It’s scary, yes, but all changes are. And they’re necessary. You have to grow out of your desk job if you’re not growing professionally, or if better opportunities await you.

You’ve been so conditioned to think that your job title is all you’ll ever be. But that’s wrong.

You can be so much more. Transitions are hard. You’ll just have to be prepared to make the move.

Plus, it’s not like you’re never going to earn money ever again. It would take time and effort and a bit of sweat, blood and tears, but you’ll be fine. It’s a big world out there, and there are many opportunities for you and your skill set.

Major changes like this — it’s a roller coaster ride. Bumpy and terrifying, but you’ll be fine. It’s a ride, that’s all. Soon it will be over. You’ll learn to adjust and adapt.