I just wanted to reply to a few of the comments on my first post... http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/life-after-i...
1. I don't know what else I could do
The picture on this post is an entry I wrote in my journal one hour after walking of the door of the bank.
You don't have to know what you want to do, you don't have to have it all figured out already. People in, in my experience, tend to be unusually risk averse, therefore before quitting (or starting) they want to be able to do some mathematical calculation of happiness in banking = x + y + z, happiness in something else = A + B + C, they want it assured, they want the plan tight and nailed down. I was the same, before the extremity of the situation I was in pushed that mentality out of me. I'm advocating a different way of approaching life, and that's based on the knowledge you can do anything.
You can do anything, no matter how ridiculous it might sound to you now. If you spent even half the hours you spent getting into banking working in anything else you could achieve success in that thing. You've already done it many times in your life, you learnt to walk, talk, you made friends, you got various CV enhancing things under your belt, you can do something else!
A lot of people said they don't know what their passion is. Genuinely, neither did I, music was a coincidence and one that could only have happened with the freedom I had after breaking the chains which weighed me down and clouded my mind and 'self'. When I quit, I didn't know what I would do, but I knew that I could do 'something'! My musical ability isn't a lucky accident, and I've developed ten fold since I left banking as a result of eating, drinking and sleeping music. If you don't know which direction you want to take that's okay, just have faith you'll find out.
2. How do you find your passion?
Pack a backpack and travel. The more you move, the more you move. You will blow your mind meeting the most weird and wonderful people in the most unbelievable situations. You'll meet people living lifestyles you never dreamed possible, based on totally alien values. Then you'll find your place.
3. A job is a job, I got bills to pay
I can't speak for the pressures that come with having a family, and I can't begin to imagine how this changes the equation. I have to stress that I'm in a place with no dependents, and that's kind of the only group I feel qualified to talk to. Though that said, I have to make one key point. This isn't a choice between having money and poverty. Leaving banking doesn't mean you're broke! You don't 'need' the amount of money you think you do, and you aren't as poor as you fear when you step out of the box of your comfort zone. This is fear talking louder than reason, and like I said and keep saying, it takes faith in yourself. You CAN do ANYTHING, you can achieve success in this, and probably will become richer (in more ways than one) as a result of doing something you love and are excited about, though I don't think this ought to be the motivation. Love and passion and happiness comes first, huge money is a nice perk (not one I've experienced yet!).
As a small side note, my brother recently quit a job and started his own business (in a similar industry to the one he worked in) at 34 years old with a family - it's a much bigger risk, but he wanted to be a role model to his child and he's doing well, because he's got more motivation and drive and fire in him than he ever had before.
4. I love banking, your being condescending
To those happy in banking; I didn't want to sound condescending, I just wanted to put some force behind my words. I'm addressing you as the intelligent people you are, I'm not shitting on you, I'm just telling MY story and the lesson I've learned from my time in the industry. Banking helped me find my perspective of the nature of a lot of things; money, prestige, success, material, love, happiness, passion, satisfaction etc. I came to realise that it offered significantly less than what I felt it promised, and took significantly more. I'm sure that there are empassioned happy bankers, and my tip my hat to these people, but experience tells me that this is a very very rare breed. I met far more people who were unhappy but felt trapped. I'm talking to those people, and telling them it's okay to feel this way. Life is short, react, take a leap!
The point I'm trying to hammer home is people are able to do much more than they believe they can, much more than they believe is even possible, and they get there by changing that belief. Perhaps I'm ramming that point too hard. I just really really believe in it. You can do anything! Anything!
When you make a decision with all your passion - this is who I am, this is where I want to be - the world will get out of your way, and you'll discover happiness! That's all I wanted to share. I really don't want to offend anyone who is already happy, I don't want to patronise intelligent people, I just wanted to tell people my experience, my story and my perspective and share some lessons I'd learnt.
All my love, sincerely,