5 tips from people who made a career jump

When is the right time to make a big life change? Before you take a leap of faith and make a jump, whether it’s to go into a completely different field or make your hobby a full-time gig, read these insights from pros who have done it — and done it well.

On my podcast When to Jump, I’ve talked to many successful people, from entrepreneurs and athletes, to artists and side hustlers. Here are 5 of the top tips from inspiring entrepreneurs.

1. Stay the course

When Arianna Huffington launched The Huffington Post, the response from the industry wasn’t entirely positive. One reviewer coined the site an “unavoidable failure” but Huffington believed in her vision and persevered. One year later, that same reviewer retracted her statement, calling the news site an integral part of the internet.

You will never know what your jump looks like until you go for it, and while one of the hardest parts of jumping is deciding your priorities and sticking to the belief that you’re doing what is right for you, you have to stay committed, “no matter the voices of criticism or doubt,” she says on When to Jump.

2. Save up and talk honestly about money with your loved ones

Who better to share what you need to know about finances than a financial planner who jumped? When Jerrid Sebesta left his TV weatherman job to go into the world of finance, the first thing he did was talk with his partner about how they could afford it.

“Find a way to live way below your means,” he advises on the podcast. Get yourself out of debt, start saving cash, and create a financial safety net. Being smart about your money helps you create a cushion and takes away some of the pressure to have a paycheck immediately. With a financial safety net in place, you can decide what you want your life to look like and how to get there.

3. Know who you are

Throughout Gretchen Rubin’s career as a bestselling author (after her career in law), she determined that there are four distinct personality types. Each one affects how we approach a big life change and face expectations.

Are you an “Upholder,” “Questioner,” “Obliger,” or “Rebel”? Figuring out which you are can help you establish how you face expectations. Before you make your jump, pause and think about how you make decisions and where you drive motivation from — it could help you determine your future career path or what you really want out of a job.

4. Be okay with failure

Seth Godin, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and marketer extraordinaire, knows that success is not a straight line. Failing is part of the process when it comes to reaching your goals.

“The only thing successful people have in common is that they’re successful and perhaps that they’ve failed a lot,” says Godin on his episode.

You’re the only person who can decide how to process your failures (yes, plural). It’s not the universe saying you will never amount to anything — in fact, it’s the opposite. Everyone runs into speed bumps along the way. It’s those who don’t give up that make it to the other side.

5. Listen to your heart

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg faced a lot of rejection when she left her job in the government for Silicon Valley. Eventually, she was given an opportunity at Google — but she was skeptical about it. She was also interviewing at another company where the job description was straightforward — she had a team to manage, goals to hit, and knew who she reported to. The job offer at Google was more vague, and didn’t meet her self-imposed criteria for her next job. But there was one problem: she loved Google.

“Often the opportunity lies in the gray,” she says on the podcast. “Sometimes, taking the job or taking on the project, finding the zone where things are not figured out, where you have to provide the structure—that’s where the real opportunities lie.”

Looking for more tips about changing your career? Check out the When To Jump podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you enjoy podcasts. Hosted by Mike Lewis, who left his comfortable job in finance to become a professional squash player, the podcast features advice from inspiring entrepreneurs and side hustlers who made the leap.