By Sunny Simon

Over a decade ago I left a successful corporate career in search of my next adventure. Exiting the comfort of my cozy perch on the career ladder was risky business. I was at the executive level of my chosen profession. No easy task, my career assent was built over the years with a boatload of sweat equity, a tad of courage and a few leaps of blind faith. So why rock the boat? It was time. One day just dawned with an awakening. My inner voice began reminding me that growth does not occur while residing in the comfort zone.

Unlike many other individuals I had not formed an exit strategy or spent months outlining the next chapter. No, my departure from the corporate world was more like a free-fall jump. Like the time in grade school when I attempted with no training to dive off the high board resulting in a most embarrassing and painful belly flop. Not a strategy I would recommend. The results of my lack of sufficient forethought were a couple of reinventions. Neither was a huge success, nor a miserable failure. Both provided two important life lessons.

Thinking about making a career change? My first piece of advice is do not go it alone. Ask for help from various sources. Much of the latter part of my corporate career was as an advisor to others. I forgot what it was like to be a newbie. In starting anew I should have sought help from a mentor, coach or specialist in the industry. If you are thinking of an entrepreneurial venture, check in with an organization like Score for mentoring and business workshops. Individuals switching professions should interview others in the field.

A second lesson for success: go all in. Looking back on those two initial ventures out of the corporate world, I clearly lacked passion and commitment. Instead of pulling out all the stops I was dabbling, just dipping my toes in the water rather than thrusting my energy into every aspect of what I wanted to accomplish. As Michael Jordan so aptly put it, “If you shortcut the game, the game will shortcut you.” Take heed and invest all your time and resources.

Eventually, I got it right. I found my footing, discovered my niche, and established a successful career that makes my heart sing. I’ve never regretted my free-fall. The timing was right; however, if you are ready to make a change, take the short cut to success. I’ve outlined the two major rules of the game. Now, go play it.

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at