Here Are The 5 Things I Tell My Clients Who Want To Quit Their Day Jobs To Be Yoga Teachers

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uncertain woman with yoga mat

Over time, I've noticed many of my clients want to quit their jobs and become yoga teachers.

What that aspiration suggests to me is a need or desire for a healthier and/or spiritually enriching career and life path. Who can argue with that?

But then I wonder, maybe this intention isn't really about the job at all.

In fact, there are two questions that underly most career-change choices: "Is this really about my job?" and "Should I quit my job?"

You might be wondering what to do if this is you.

RELATED: 3 Ways Your Body Is Telling You It's Time To Quit Your Job

Here are 5 things I tell my clients who are ready to quit their day jobs. 

1. Take stock of where you are within your life cycle.

Radical career shifts can be attractive in theory, but arduous and even disastrous in practice. Two scenarios will help illustrate why your life-cycle position matters.

The first is an older woman near or at retirement age with adequate means to support herself through her remaining years. Clearly, she's in a good position to make an impulsive or heart-driven change.

The second case is a younger mid-career professional woman who still needs to build up her nest egg to take care of her needs and assure her financial autonomy.

While the vision of becoming a yoga teacher may be liberating, it's almost certain to involve fierce competition for the few choice jobs in the field, along with a significant decline in income.

Here, the question "Should I quit my job and become a yoga teacher?" requires some careful consideration and potential disentanglement of competing needs.

2. What don't you like about your day job? 

A good place to start the evaluation of the question "Do I want to quit my day job and change careers?" is to write out a list of what you don't like about your current job.

Be as exhaustive as you can be. Reflect upon your office space, boss, colleagues, clients, daily work routine and environment, commute, etc.

Also, consider how the job impacts the rest of your day, personal relationships, and current and/or life aspirations and plans.

Now, go through the list and identify the thoughts and beliefs that resonate most strongly. For example, do you think your job is boring, thankless, unchallenging, stressful, dead-ended, uncreative, isolating, too hard, etc.?

Negative thoughts can narrow your perspective, causing you to overlook important information and opportunities. To counter this, go through these one at a time and challenge the thoughts that arise.

For example, maybe your thought is, "My job stresses me out." Change the thought around as little as possible to derive another thought that means the opposite.

In this case, "I stress my job out." Can you find believable evidence to support this alternative thought? Do these new thoughts and supporting evidence change your perspective in any way?

3. What drew you to the job in the first place?

Think back to when you applied for your current job. What attracted you to it? Was it specific aspects of the work or the salary? Did your personal or family's career expectations come into play? Did you see it as an important stepping stone?

Do these assessments still hold true for you today or have your interests, needs, and/or objectives changed? Are there aspects of the job that you still like or are interested in exploring? What are they?

Make sure to read your original job description with fresh eyes. Does it include job responsibilities that interested you then but you never got the chance to pursue? Did your job evolve into something completely different?

RELATED: The Do's & Don'ts Of Quitting A Job You Hate Without An Exit Strategy

4. What could you change about your job?

This reflection takes a bit of time to complete. You want to undertake a representative review of what you do at work for about two weeks. If your job tasks vary over time, make sure your review accounts for the variation.

Go through each day one hour at a time. Jot down what you're doing, what you like or dislike about the activity, and why in one or two sentences.

Consider whether you've taken advantage of training and other opportunities to grow in a direction that would please you more.

Could you talk to your supervisor and justify a few shifts in your responsibilities? Could you move laterally or upward and increase your interest and satisfaction?

5. How can you change your job to better your life?

After you review all your responses, with the new information in hand reconsider the question of whether you should quit your day job. 

Are there fewer negatives associated with it now? Do you see ways to better the job? Do you see opportunities to improve your work-life balance and bring in more of what you get from yoga or elsewhere? 

Consider also if there are aspects of the job you just can't tolerate any longer despite this reassessment? Could anything else other than quitting your job and becoming a yoga teacher address these unresolved issues?

Should you quit your job or change it?

A career change can be risky and destabilizing, especially when executed on a whim.

If you take emotional, mental, and financial stock of your situation, you can reduce some of the risks, manage the whimsical appeal, and design a plan that's holistic and gets you more of what you really want and need.

If this sounds like you, work through these reflective exercises before you quit your day job and enroll in yoga teacher training.

RELATED: 8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job To Find Something That Makes You Happy

Patricia Bonnard, PhD, ACC is an integrated coach and energy healer offering a blend of conventional coaching, embodied practice, and energy healing to help clients go one level deeper and make important life decisions creatively and authentically.