Entrepreneurship always looks great from afar. But if the nitty-gritty details are holding you back from taking the leap, here’s what to think about — and what to do — before you quit your job.
No one loves their job all the time.
It’s like a marriage. There are good times and there are not-so-good times, and sometimes you have to ask if what you are going through is simply a lull, or if either of you have anything left to give to each other anymore.
It may be hard to recognize, but sometimes a job is too far beyond repair. It’s not a reflection of us, our abilities or level of success. And it’s not an admission of failure. It’s just a matter of circumstance and your place in life. Some people may be perfectly content doing the same exact job for the next 15 to 30 years. But for others, the thought makes your soul ache.
In some cases, it’s not an issue of what you’re doing, but more about who you are doing it for. More and more people are longing to break free from the corporate jungle, and build their own business. There are many reasons why people long to become an entrepreneur, but one of the biggest is the ability to control their own destiny.
Do you wonder if it might be time for you to cut the corporate cord? Do you secretly fantasize about giving your resignation or even getting laid off? Do you dream of one day starting your own business or being your own boss?
If any of those ring true for you, chances are you know you are ready to move on — but there is some hesitation or fear holding you back. While these issues and concerns feel incredibly real, there is always a way out.
Consider these ideas to help you decide whether it’s time to move on from the corporate world to entrepreneurship — and what to do before you quit your job.
1. Think about your finances
If you were fired from your job today, what changes could you make in your life to ensure you were financially stable? Can you start to make some of those changes now?
Money is a big factor in holding a job. Obviously we have bills to pay and responsibilities to look after. But take a look around and ask what you could eliminate or reduce if you absolutely needed to. Go through your credit card statements and take notice of charges on there that maybe are redundant or services you forgot to cancel.
Some of the cost-cutting ideas I came up with when I left my corporate job: I reduced my cable service, canceled my home phone (who even has a home phone nowadays?), canceled my yoga membership, and shopped around to get a reduced rate on my home and car insurance.
Take a look around and you will be amazed at what a little snipping here and there can do to your monthly expenses. Making those changes now could have effects long into the future.
2. Find a mentor
Finding a mentor can be the turning point in your career, and can help in developing the skills and confidence to move forward.
If you don’t have a mentor, find one. Just like a child needs someone to look up to, it’s so important that we — as adults — keep ourselves in check by having a role model to look up to.
I didn’t personally know my mentor, but I read her blogs every week. It was just the inspiration I needed for over a year to help me move toward my dream job.
Once you have found your mentor, reach out to them and ask what advice they would give. You would be surprised at how forthcoming people will be when they know that they have sparked something in someone else.
3. Envision your next step — and practice taking it
Write out your resignation letter and save it somewhere you will see it regularly.
Make sure to put a date at the top and address it to your boss to give it validity. Visioning is a great tool and has proven exceptionally useful in creating change and momentum.
If you already envision where you’re going, add that to the letter as well. Here’s an example:
Dear Mr. Smith,
It is with both sadness and excitement as I inform you of my resignation, effective September 1.
I have been offered an incredible job as a travel writer with Lonely Planet. As you know, travel and writing have been a passion of mine for years, and this was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse…
Not ready to write that letter just yet? Even just posting pictures or words on your desktop can encourage you to strive for the lifestyle that might feel like a dream right now.
4. Research lingering items that are holding you back
For every concern that’s preventing you from making a career change, there is a viable solution. Take a look at the perceived positives you have in your current situation and are worried about giving up. Then, cross-reference them with possible solutions.
Benefits are one example of a factor that holds people back from leaving their unfulfilling jobs. If this concerns you, start researching some post-employment benefit options, like retirement plans and health insurance offerings.
Holding on to your job’s benefits is just a safety net — and another way for fear to take over the situation. But the truth is, if you were let go tomorrow, you would survive. Things may get rough for a little while as you get organized, but with some perseverance and structure, you’ll get through it to the other side.
The goal of these exercises isn’t just get to the other side, though. The objective is to end up doing something that you love.
The beauty of right now is that you have the time and the power to commit to taking action today to prepare for tomorrow. So what are you going to do with that time?
Will you spend another few years wishing you had taken action, or will be one of the ones thankful that you did?
Jodie Hebbard is a certified life coach and career fulfillment coach. Sign up for her free Eight-Day Challenge to climbing out of comfort and start building the life you desire.