As an actor, you can grow accustomed to unpredictability and constant change, whether it’s surprises on stage, trying to schedule your day around a last minute audition, or switching day jobs to better accommodate the actor lifestyle.
Amidst all this movement, it can feel pretty great when you land a long-running stage production, television show or even a J-O-B that pays the bills consistently and still gives you enough time to pursue acting.
That feeling of stability is really nice, but it can also make things difficult when you begin to sense that it’s time to leave.
When you’re getting ready to make a big decision about whether you stay or go, take yourself through this process to get to the bottom of where your heart is really leading you.
What Do You Gain By Staying?
Let’s say you’re trying to decide whether or not to stay in your long-running J-O-B as a math tutor for middle school students. Take a look at the gains. What will you gain by staying for the next year?
Your gains might look like a steady income that pays the bills, and if you’ve been there long enough, it may be that you get a raise after a certain amount of time.
Make a list of all the pros that go with staying in your current situation. Some of them might not look like monetary gains; they might look more like feeling inspired by watching your students grow and get better grades when they work with you.
What Do You Gain By Leaving?
Maybe you’ll have more time and energy to really focus on finding a J-O-B that’s a better fit for you. It could be as simple as doing something new that challenges you in a new way.
Whatever your answers, be mindful that you don’t judge them. Just let whatever comes up float to the surface and write it down so you can look back later.
Why Is This Difficult?
We make decisions every day of our lives. Most of these we make in a snap, but for some reason, this decision may not be instantaneous or obvious.
Take a moment to figure out why this is a difficult choice for you. The answers that come up may be along the lines of money, security, safety and structure, especially if you’re making a choice that pertains to your monthly income or that would be a big lifestyle change, like moving to a new city.
What Structure Do You Need?
Once you can pinpoint exactly what is blocking you from making a decision, you can begin to explore what kind of support structure you would need in order to move forward.
Do you need another source of income before you are comfortable leaving your tutoring position? Perhaps this would look like saving up for a few months and living on that money for a while. How much would you need in order to feel comfortable?
Come up with a plan: once you know what you need, tell yourself, “I’ll know it’s time to leave my tutoring gig when I have $3500 or more tucked away in savings, or when my gut tells me it’s time to just do it.”
Follow Your Intuition
Truthfully, you can do all the analysis in the world and still not have an answer with which you’re satisfied. The only way to make a big choice that really feels like the right one is to listen to your gut.
Ask yourself all the questions above, but give yourself permission to go in a different direction if you feel pulled toward it. Ultimately, you’re going to know inside yourself when the time is right.
What difficult decisions have you dealt with in the past? How did you plan around them? Did you listen to your gut?
Let me know in the comments below.