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Would you risk it all for greater happiness?

Leaving a job can be one of the greatest stresses in life but equally it can be one of the most rewarding, especially when you find a new job that you love, which brings greater happiness.

However, the realistic sacrifice for nearly half (46 per cent) of Australians is that they wouldn’t last longer than a month, according to the latest national survey by RaboDirect. Would you risk it all for the chance of becoming happier? Or would you stay in a job you hate in order to have savings?

Taking a risk by moving to a new job or career can have a hugely positive snowball effect. New work can bring new challenges, which can in turn can garner a higher wage and potentially create greater overall happiness in your work and personal life.

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have, and they underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up,” say James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, authors of the business book Flight of the Buffalo. It’s a statement that holds much truth. Too often we find ourselves unable to look beyond our current circumstances and see the power and potential of change, and how it may be a force for good in our lives.

Change can be terrifying and overwhelming, but it also requires bravery and can spur us to take action in ways we normally wouldn’t if we had the safety net of a job behind us. The biggest risks often bring the greatest returns. Is money or security a big enough incentive to stay in a role that makes you unhappy? Would your general outlook on life be more positive if you worked in a role where you felt appreciated and content?

We are constantly barraged by news on how gloomy Australia’s economic outlook is, the media reminding us that unemployment rose from 4.9 per cent in April to 5.1 per cent in May. Yes, these are all considerations, but perhaps the solution to bettering your work is in the approach. Maybe the mortgage, school fees and your steadily climbing credit balance means you are not in a position to leave your job at least not right away.

But aside from fear of change, there is nothing stopping you from planning ahead. Is it your current role or company you are unhappy with? Are there other opportunities available within your existing workplace? Why not start applying for other roles while still in your current position? Do you want to change industries altogether? Is part-time education an option? Some of us may not be able to quit on the spot, but there are ways that we can better our lives through planning and action.

Interestingly, the survey found that being happier in life was linked to long-term financial happiness. Respondents that were regular savers were found to have higher levels of happiness and health, as well as greater comfort and control over their financial destiny.  Maybe it’s time to step back and reassess the role work plays in your life.

Are you ready to take a risk to reap greater rewards? Would you risk a month’s worth of savings for greater happiness?