Founding a startup is great but knowing how to plan ahead is much more important. Thus, the important question one should always ask oneself is this – “what’s the best time to leave my day job?” We have provided below 5 signs that tells you when it’s time to make that leap.
You gotta look before leaping
Day jobs mean a certain level of financial security especially if you have got a good working relationship with your employer. It’s quite easy to say to yourself “I will eventually make more money if I quit my job now and set out on my own” but what are the odds? You should consider testing the waters with a single foot before you dive right in which basically means getting your homework done; until you do so, you might just want to hang on to your present cubicle.
Lack of fulfillment
What you do for a living, in addition to being able to generate income for you, should provide you with at least a basic form of satisfaction and fulfillment. There is more opportunity for success when you feel passionate about what you do. It makes those annoying general meetings worth your time and effort.
In as much as you are out to make money, you should also take into consideration, your mental health. Scientific studies have shown a direct correlation between mental health and job satisfaction. See here and here. Thus, when your job is beginning to look like work, it’s time to revisit that startup idea you put down on that napkin.
When the pieces are in place
You don’t jump into uncharted waters simply because you see your mates swimming and you think, “if they can do it, why can’t I?” Don’t forget, there are rules for that sort of thing; you have to know how to swim against the current, know to hang unto floating objects when drifting away etc. In other words, before quitting your paid job, you must ensure the pieces you need to get your startup off the ground are in place. You should have a sound business plan, market penetration plan, staff engagement plan etc
You can handle being your own boss
The previous point has clearly illustrated that being your own boss comes with its own set of challenges and you have to exhibit a certain level of discipline to make it out there. Ask yourself if you would have the discipline to stick to your daily work schedule as you would in your day job. The immediate freedom may feel relatively exhilarating but to avoid procrastination and laxity, you need to develop parameters to keep your freedom in check. Once you are certain you can achieve that, you are good to go.
Lastly, never leave on a sour note
To ensure that you have not violated any rules of engagement with your present employer, evaluate your employee agreements and prepare an exit interview. Try to be as honest as possible when asked for your future plans and submit every property of the company in your possession to maintain a cordial relationship and avoid litigation in the future.