Things to do before leaving a job
Before you throw away a promising career to start up on your own, it’s good to pause and take an objective look at the job you might be about to leave.
Five things that might make you stay at work
- I can buy out when the boss retires – so will end up with my own bus ness anyway.
- I’ve a life-threatening condition and the company will be generous although illness can give you a happy go lucky’ approach, it may be best to seek fulfilment in your home life rather than become an entrepreneur
- I qualify for a bumper pension in two years – so why not hold fire and try to negotiate an early release? It’ll be easier to start a business if you’re receiving a pension.
- I actually like work, but my partner is pushing me – is an all too common comment made by reluctant entrepreneurs. Should your partner start the business instead?
- They’re currently funding my MBA which means that a start-up venture has never looked so appealing. Write the plan but wait until you get the piece of paper before resigning. Is there an opportunity to start a joint venture with your employer?
Five things that might make you decide to leave
- The boss is a control freak who’ll never let go – if work is uncomfortable and you think you can do better on your own, it’s often worth giving in a go
- I think the firm’s going down the tube – ask if it’s true. If it is, you might be able to buy the assets from the receiver and get off to a flying start with the business you know.
- I have a personal pension scheme – so however you are you won’t lose out financially when you’re old. 4. is depressing me – life really is too short to spend it doing some
thing you don’t enjoy. Understand what it is about work that you want to
5. I’ve been trading on the side and am getting busier-many businesses start because moonlighting is proving successful. Make sure you’re not breaching your employment contract. It’s all too easy to decide that work is the cause of your unhappiness and that
all will be well if you start out on your own. As with almost everything in life
though, you can reduce the risk and dip your toe in the water by going part
time at work. This gives you time to try out your business idea without cutting
yourself off completely from the security of regular income.
Going part-time helps you test the water
You can grow faster Need to make money sooner
More stressful, it feels ‘all or nothing’ Always able to respond to stomers People will take you seriously
You’ll grow more slowly
You keep a salary as the business builds
Also stressful, juggling too many balls Have to fit customers around work People may not take you seriously
Of course, management gurus such as Charles Handy have long advocated the ‘portfolio career’, where you build a collection of earning activities that suit your skills, lifestyle and income aspirations. For some, therefore, starting a new business part-time, while perhaps going part-time at work, is the best way forward.
An experienced project manager with 20 years’ public sector experience. Simon did an MBA and found it a life-changing experience. It filled in the gaps in my knowledge and I developed a real interest in marketing. I wanted to have a go on my own, but with three kids at school didn’t dare to risk giving up my salary at County Hall.”
His MBA group introduced him to people in other organizations willing to pay for Simon’s expertise. He negotiated a deal that allowed him to work three days a week for the council and spend two days each week developing his own business. Within three months, however, he found he was turning away work and realized that he could not sit on the fence for long. He resigned and took the plunge. It was too easy to cling to what I knew,’ he said, and in reality I was too cautious. Now I’m working full-time in my business I’ve never been happier.’