leaving your company like THE LIEUTENANT

B52 Bomber Catch 22 Job Training

Think back to the book Catch 22. Recall Lieutenant Orr? Most people don't, but he provides an interesting example of how to successfully hop between careers. 

Lieutenant Orr was the pilot who got shot down on every single mission. Without fail, he flew too low and ended up being rescued in a little life raft at sea. Rescuers would discover him patiently trying out all of the survival tools and he was assumed to be a madman. He'd sample C-rations, catch fish, sight with the compass, and repair leaks. And then one day, he got shot down and utterly vanished. All this time he had been practicing to escape.

What better approach could there be for preparing for your next job? A gallup poll recently revealed that 70% of Americans are un-motivated by their work. What's stopping them? The feeling that they're unqualified for their dream job. Take a page out of Lt. Orr's book and get qualified.

When it becomes clear that you've maximized your potential at your company, start packing for the next one while the plane is still in flight. Take advantage of all of the free tools: the training, classes, connections, premium subscription to LinkedIn, and whatever else your current job provides you.

Some folks I know took career-based courses at vocational centers like General Assembly and were reimbursed by their company. One associate of mine was a sales rep but took product management courses on the company dollar, allegedly to learn more about his clients. He's since made a happy switch to a new company.

I in my own desire to get into writing met some wonderful people in marketing who allowed me to contribute to my company's blog. Over time I built up a public-facing portfolio that landed me my first few freelancing jobs. There are countless ways to go about it, but think about where you want to go and take advantage of the present resources to get more qualified.  

Once you've exhausted them and are feeling accomplished, it's time to let the plane go down gently. Preferably, for a soft landing in a greener field.