When’s The Right Time To Quit Your Job?
2015 will be the year you quit your job
And you’re quitting for good. You won’t just get another job, you’re going to start a business so you’ll never have to work for another idiot again (apart from those days when you’re the idiot, but we’ll forget about those eh?)
If you’re gonna quit and start a company when should you be ready with that resignation letter?
The 5 stages in the transition to being your own boss each have their signature type of quitter…
Stage 1 – Dissatisfaction
The “F*ck this I’m out of here” quitter
You’re unhappy. Life seems terrible. You’re not so much dissatisfied as full of hatred for your crappy job. Quitting seems like the only option. You’d do anything to get out of there – even the person cleaning the toilets seems to have a better job than you.
Almost everyone has days like this, but only a select few follow through with the urge to drop it all, burn the bridges and start again. Yes you’ll have a fresh start, a clear diary and no going back, but what the hell are you going to do?
Think for a minute. Would you really be as unhappy if you had an escape plan laid out ready to execute? Could you survive for a couple more months if you could save the cash you needed to start your venture?
Stage 2 – Dreams and goals
The “This time next year, we’ll be millionaires” quitter
Dreams are the antidote to dissatisfaction. Your fantasies and detailed mental pictures about what life will be like on the other side show you that there is another way. If dissatisfaction drives you away from your shitty job, dreams give you something to aim towards.
Big, urgent dreams might force you to quit at this stage. Perhaps you’ve found your calling, and just know it has to be now. But for most of us, quitting at this stage would leave us staring at a blank sheet of paper worrying about how long our savings might last. We need to know how our dream’s going to come true.
Stage 3 – Plans
The “This might just work” quitter
Plans make goals and dreams happen.
It’s no secret that I love a plan, and I think there’s a right and wrong way to make them. Having one fills in the blank sheet of paper, but it might just tell you exactly when your savings will run out.
Depending on the size of your goal and the audacity of your plan to reach it, there might be no other option than to quit at the plan stage. But could you run the plan alongside your job for a while?
Stage 4 – Action
The “This is working, just watch me” quitter
Almost any business can get started in some form alongside a job. If you can start it, why wouldn’t you work it for a while along side your job?
Eventually, there will come a time when quitting or stopping become the only choices you have. If your business demands time during the working day, then that will come sooner rather than later, but whatever the business, the right time to cut the cord usually falls somewhere in the action stage.
You’ll know if it’s going to work or not, and if a leap of faith is required, you’ll have momentum from taking action to propel you towards success.
But maybe, you don’t actually even need to quit until you’re already successful?
Stage 5 – Success
The “I don’t need you any more” quitter
In the best case, you can be successful before you quit your job – if your side business makes enough for you to live on, virtually all the risk of quitting is removed.
In fact, the main risk you run by waiting until you’re successful is that you wait too long, until you’re “too successful”, and work at two jobs for longer than you need. Setting a low threshold for your initial success helps – perhaps having your basic living costs covered, with a trajectory that will see you hit your major “success” goal in a sensible amount of time.
So what does this all mean?
If you’re sitting at your desk on the first proper working day of 2015 (or any other day) and hating it – what are you going to do about it?
Which type of quitter will you be?