What is the biggest motivator for anyone to get a job?  Running out of options.

So if you are planning to make a career change (especially if, like myself, you are changing to something you know nothing about and have little experience with), having other options can just keep you putting it off – even if it’s a dream.

I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to turn down client requests and work, despite my not even wanting to do it anymore.  Knowing I have a paycheck coming is relieving, and having clients reaching out to me – with no marketing on my end – is easy.  Pursuing a dream, on the other hand, is hard work.  And really frightening.

So not only have I spent months prepping current clients that I’ll be leaving in November and turning down clients that approach me now, but I’ve also been training a protege to send all these clients to.  This makes it impossible to turn back, impossible to take the easy gig or keep putting off studying.  And some days, it’s the most exciting thing ever; it leaves me feeling empowered and in control.

Some days, I just want to curl into a tiny ball and cry.  It’s hard, really hard, to stop doing something reliable, even if you don’t really like it any more.  You need to be ready for that fear; the kind of fear that feels like it’s slowly simmering in the pit of your stomach, sometimes boiling over into your lungs and chest.  The fear that makes you physically ill and doubt everything you want to do.  You need to face it, deal with it, and then move on.  (HOW to deal with it is another whole post…and with #NaBloPoMo, I won’t waste that here.)

Here I stress the importance of closing every door behind you.  Take the time to close them neatly and nicely – we’re closing doors, not burning bridges: you never know who those old clients might know – but make sure they are really closed.  Start your new journey with a clean slate, so you’ve got no where to go but forward.

And of course, as new clients approach you, don’t just say “No, I am no longer available” but be sure to tell them why.  I’ve had a number of people offering introductions and suggestions for gaming careers when I tell them.