We’ve all been there, hanging on a thin thread, wondering is it worth it. Is it worth it to continue to give another individual 40-60 hours of your life every week? To deal with their drama, their problems and their workplace gossip? Is it worth it to keep waking up early, to avoid traffic, to still get jammed on I-20?
Many clients have been asking me, when should they quit their job and start working for themselves full time, I tell them:
“Before you type up that resignation later, think about these 4 things…”
1) How will you replace the income?
The first thing you need to figure out is how you will supplement your income and how much income you NEED. Figure out what your baseline is to sustain yourself, use your budget (if you haven’t made one, check out my last blog). Make sure you accurately change and calculate expenses that will reduce or disappear (i.e. gas and parking, after school childcare costs, etc). Now be realistic with yourself, can you support that amount tomorrow if you walk away from your job today?
Make sure you have enough money saved to sustain all costs for at least 2 months before you cut off your guaranteed income. Now this isn’t enough to be safe, but this plan is for those who really can’t wait much longer. If you have time, space and opportunity, save for six months of expenses. I refer to this concept as Cashout Before You Crashout. Don’t throw yourself into bankruptcy when you could have saved in advance and avoided the financial drama
2) Is it likely for the same issues to arise in the new opportunity?
Don’t jump out the skillet into the fire. If you are hating your job because of the commute, don’t pick another one that’s still 20 miles away just on a different freeway. If you hate being micromanaged, don’t pick another company with less than 10 employees and think it won’t happen again. Regardless of what your situation is, be sure the new opportunity won’t present the same issues.
If you are going into work for yourself, make sure you have your head on straight. Are you responsible? Are you prepared to work 6-12 hours, seven days a week? Hopefully not permanently. But, if you cannot handle a temporary grind without someone “making” you do it, you might not be ready. If you are having childcare issues, will this still be an issue with your line of work or schedule? Make sure you think through all of the changes that will occur when you leave your job.
3) Are you being emotional?
Be honest with yourself. How much of your reason for walking out the door is deep set in emotion? I’m mad! I hate them! My boss is annoying! You may need to re-evaluate and learn how to separate your emotions while at work. Understand that you are not there for happiness, nor peace of mind. You are there to work, you are there to perform your job, collect your check and go home. Happiness, joy, love, friendship, those are for outside of work. Mixing that up will only cause trouble and emotional torment. Don’t have expectations of friendliness among peers or supervisors. Instead, expect respect and professionalism. If those expectations can’t be met, it make be time to move along in your career elsewhere.
4) How quick and easy will the transition be?
Alright so you’re thinking things through, you have some money saved you’re jumping out the boat, but wait. How close is the raft? Can you see it? Or have you just started thinking about it? Don’t be so eager to quit your job that your don’t have your next opportunity appropriately aligned. Study, research and plan according for exactly want to do next. You only have one life to live and you don’t want to regret career changes. A bad plan can cost time and money, that would have been better spent on being patient. Once you have made your decision to leave, shut your mouth and plan it out. Don’t discuss your plan to go with coworkers, you never know how quickly people will turn on you in the workplace for raise and position opportunities. Be strategic, continue to do your job well, do NOT be a slacker. Changing your work ethic will not benefit you in the long run, stay true to who you are. When the raft is in place, put in your two week notice, and jump!
Make sure to share with your other cubicle bound friends seeking a change!