Career Planning Saved My Life

September 30, 2009

Career planning may be the only thing between you and total insanity! Take my word for it, planning your career can help you find a new job that you’ll enjoy more than the one you have now. 

Career planning can help you get a better job that pays more, teaches you new skills, requires you to work fewer hours… whatever it is that will make you happier in life.

Career Satisfaction, Zero

I was unhappy in my old job for quite a long time but didn’t spend much time on career planning or career development.  I was SUPER busy at work, then I’d come home to spend time with family, work on Money Smart Life until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and then crash for the night.

My wife pleaded with me to get a new job.  I was always stressed out and unhappy but for some reason I couldn’t seem to get “unstuck” and look for a new job.

What I probably really needed was some career counseling or career advice from someone who had been in a similar position before. I must not have been looking hard enough because I never did find a career coach to work with.

Quitting My Job, Kind Of

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I knew I was going to quit my job. The morning started with the typical daily frustrations but with each miserable meeting my soul protested more and more violently. Full to the brim of misery I entered an unused office with two of my co-workers to join a conference call for one of my “favorite” projects.

I can still see the look of confusion on my team member’s face when the client dropped a major bombshell on us.  The look slowly contorted to one of horror as she realized the implications of the changes and how much work it would require in a short amount of time.  I felt exactly the way her face looked and at that moment decided that I’d had ENOUGH. I could see from past experience exactly how this was going to play out and how my team was going to get screwed over yet again. I realized that I didn’t have to take it anymore and that my life was going to change.

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur, I had been unstuck. My mind was now focused on the next step, whatever that would be.  I didn’t end up quitting my job until several months later but that day finally kicked me into action and into some major career planning.

Career Planning, Blog Style

I still wish that I would have found a career coach to work with because I think it would have made the process easier.  However, I didn’t have one so I spent a lot of time in self-reflection and writing down some of my career planning steps here on the site. Following is a view of my career planning journey from searching for answers, to giving my two weeks notice, to learning from my co-workers.

Career Planning

Quitting Your Job

Co-Worker Feedback

Career Planning Saved My Life

It’s been a year now since I’ve switched jobs and I’m amazingly happy. Career planning didn’t literally save my life but so far it’s saved me a whole year of being miserable. 

A year during which we watched our 2 year old toddler turn into a 3 year old little boy.  A year when my expecting wife had our sweet baby girl.  It’s been a spectacular year that I’ve been able to enjoy, thanks in large part to some focused career planning.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Career Planning Saved My Life

  • Bret

    This is a wonderful story.

    I had a very similar experience and quit a dismal job just over a year ago. It was ruining my life, robbing my passion and stressing my marriage. On the day I quit, I typed up a letter of resignation. Then, I wimped out and thought I was over-reacting. So, I put it away in my briefcase. An hour later, my boss came into my office and read me the riot act. So, I calmly reached into my briefcase and handed him the letter. I have felt like my own man ever since.

    Now, I have the best job I have ever had in my career and my life is so much better. I go to lunch with my wife often and enjoy meetings with my boss. It could have turned out really ugly. Instead, it turned into an incredible blessing for us.

  • Ben

    @John I agree, its best to have a plan before quitting your job

    @David yep, fulfillment is an important piece of the puzzle. thanks for the congrats!

  • David@DINKSFinance

    Maybe career planning didn’t save your life literally, keeping your heart pumping and your lungs breathing and your mind working, but it sure sounds like it saved your life in terms of fulfillment. There are few things worse than a job that makes your miserable. Even if taking a different job pays a bit less, you may gain in other areas of importance, such as quality time with family. Congratulations on the successful career planning!

  • John DeFlumeri Jr

    Quitting is good, if you havea place to go. Younger workers lose their temper faster and become unemployed more often while chasing a dream ‘
    Think things thry carefully first.