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Is quitting your day job right for you?

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A new broom sweeps well, says an old adage. When you are new to a job, you come in earlier, finish your work on time, help out with your team without being asked, and go home beyond your work hours. You turn in impeccable work and hailed as the eager beaver of the organisation.

This MANAGING YOUR MONEY series is sponsored by Western UnionA few years after and you come in late for work, miss deadlines, drag your feet to work, and sometimes do not come to work at all. You must be feeling the ennui, dissatisfaction, stress and burnout, or a combination of two or all of these. Then you start thinking of quitting your job, and the longer you let it marinate in your brain, the greater the urge to leave the job.

People quit their jobs for a number of reasons, including unsatisfactory work conditions, low pay, unstable company, unchallenging work and opportunities offered by another company or industry. Before throwing in the towel, assess first your situation.

  • How are you doing financially?

Your current financial status is one of the major deciding factors when it comes to quitting your day job. Do you have enough savings to last you for six months or to sustain you in case of medical emergencies?  Remember, getting to a next job could last for months so your reserve for money should be quite deep.

  • Who will be affected?

Deciding to quit your day job is so much easier if you’re single with no other people to take care of other than yourself. Otherwise, if you have a spouse, parents and/or children relying on you for financial support, quitting may not be the best option yet. In short, live with it unless you are sure you have another job prospect or know your next move that wouldn’t drastically change your income stream.

  • Why are you quitting?

People quit their day jobs for several different reasons – some valid, others not. If you’re thinking about quitting your day job because of something small and petty like a misunderstanding with a co-worker then you should be sorting that out with the help of your boss instead.

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If the stress has reached an intolerable level or if the workplace has become a toxic environment for you, though, then that should be reason enough for you to quit. Other popular acceptable reasons why people quit include getting a better-paying job, going abroad or starting their own business.

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The website SmallBizConnect listed a few reasons why people opt to get into business. Some do it for personal gain, like earn an income, gain flexibility in work hours and the environment, want to run their own show and lead others and have a grand business idea. For altruistic reasons, others do it to help the community.

At a glance, it seems like having a business is indeed easier than sitting at a desk from nine to five but you have to remember that starting out is always the hardest part. Many start-up businesses flourish in the beginning but fail later on. Consider these tips which might just increase the success rate of your start-up business.

  • dear boss i quitDo not burn bridges

Even if you are leaving your day job to venture out into business, do not burn bridges. Go through the whole resignation process properly and gracefully. Leave with integrity. You never know when you’ll need a day job again so it’s best to be in good terms with your ex-boss and co-workers. They might even be able to help you in one way or another with your business venture.

  • Work within your budget

How do you plan to finance your business? Will the funds come from your savings, a loan or an investment from family or friends? Since you are new to doing business, watch your expenses! Remember, you have to earn for your operations, as well as pay your employees their salaries. Make sure you have enough to pay yourself, after all, you’ll be your business’ hardest working employee. At least from the start. You might want to take a short course of managing your business, or the finance side of it.

  • Make a plan

An amazing business idea is not the only requisite for starting a business. Consider your skills, resources, connections, people and capital. Make the proper combination of these elements and keep your ear to the ground for what’s new in your industry. You can’t get into a war without the proper tactics and weapons. The same with starting a business; you can’t go all intuition or just go with the flow.

  • Build a network of helpful connections

Know the right people. Any business person will advise you to connect with the experts in the field and learn from them. Attend business seminars, conferences and trade shows and be in touch with current trends and the people instigating these innovations. Introduce yourself as a new player and show your eagerness to learn. There’s a Zen saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” When we open ourselves to new knowledge, the mentors will also present themselves, either by actual people to help you or by your own experience.

The people you should hook up with include investors, suppliers, financial supporters, possible clients or people from the industry you are planning to enter. If you have a friend or someone you trust that knows about the business or the industry that you are getting into, ask for help. They might even partner up with you and make things easier for you while also increasing your startup’s success rate.

  • Know your market and let them know you

Whether you’re launching a product or a service, there will be a certain market that you will want to tap into and reach out to. Build rapport with your target market early on by involving them with your test drives, gathering their opinion and taking said opinions seriously. After all, they are your future patrons so what will be better than knowing what they like and delivering it to them?

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Starting your own venture is among the next steps after leaving a day job. Others have made a profit and gained success from this choice. It is not easy being your own boss, as employers and business owners have responsibilities to their employees, to their customers, as well as to the industry to which they belong.

Those who have made the switch to entrepreneurs should know that this option is probably the most difficult. The responsibilities and accountability are amplified. It is not for the weak of heart and spirit. Before you decide to quit your day job, make sure you can stand by your decision whether to take on another job or start your own venture.

Are you thinking of quitting your day job? Did you leave your regular employment to be your own boss? Share your own experience by leaving a comment below.

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