If you are anything like me, you’ve dreamed about the day you will leave your job to do something more fulfilling, such as clinching a key position elsewhere with amazing pay, or even better becoming your own boss. Even if you are certain you have the skills required to succeed and are more than willing to put in the long hours, something always seems to hold you back.
Don’t worry, you are in good company, I was 36 when I plucked up enough courage to start my own business, after 10 long years of thinking about it. When I made that decision, my life changed beyond recognition, and the only regret I had is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Whether your goal is to land that plum job that pays much more, or to head up your own business, here are 10 reasons (some based on my own situation) why you should leave your job:
1) You feel like you have no purpose
Everyone likes to feel part of something special right? And just to implement your skills and contribute towards a company goal would boost your interest, giving you the purpose you so desire, however those options simply aren’t there.
Life’s too short to go home every day feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything meaningful.
2) There’s no pathway to promotion, or ways to boost your earning
Your basic wage might not be as high as you would like, but that wouldn’t matter too much if there was a pathway to promotion, or even a bonus scheme in place to boost your wages if you hit some sales or performance target. But those incentives don’t exist, and you feel trapped and demoralised – that dream holiday or car will have to wait another year unless you find a way to improve your situation sooner.
3) Gratitude and praise from your boss or manager is virtually non-existent
Ok, maybe the incentive to earn more money isn’t there, but wouldn’t it be nice just to get the occasional acknowledgement of gratitude for the project you handled so well? Surely even a quick thank you wouldn’t go amiss and might even fire up your enthusiasm to negotiate the next task.
4) You’re always going to be thought of as a number no matter how hard you work
You know you have proven yourself on many occasions yet feel dejected because the boss doesn’t even know your name, in fact he barely shows his face in your department. Your colleagues keep telling you how great you are but might also confess that your talent is wasted.
5) You have almost zero enthusiasm to go to work
You’ve got so much to give and used to leap out of bed early to start your day, and now you can’t even muster enough enthusiasm to get up. All your working days seem to morph into one dull weekly experience that never changes, even though you’ve tried to shake things up, but to no avail.
6) You day dream about being your own boss
You constantly dream about being your own boss. Surely if your boss (who you have a low opinion of) pulled it off there’s no reason why you couldn’t too. You have a great strategy for growing sales and you’ve read a few books on how someone, not too dissimilar to yourself, quit their job and became a millionaire.
7) Someone you know is living your dream
You met an old school friend at a party or in some business gathering, and despite the fact that she achieved far less than you in class, she owns a successful company and travels all over the world, living the life you envisioned for yourself (if she did it why can’t you?)
Fair question, why can’t you? It’s never too late to begin to lay down the foundations for a new company way before you leave your job, so use these experiences as a motivator.
8) You don’t like the thought of you still working in your current job in 10 – 20 years’ time.
The mere thought of you still working for the same company several years down the line simply horrifies you, it’s worse than a prison sentence.
When I envisioned the grey-haired version of me still overseeing production schedules in my boss’s factory some 20 years later it was enough to drain the colour from my face. This single experience was a defining moment and led me to making the big decision to set up on my own as a side line company, in case I thought up an idea that might take me on a different path.
9) Your gut tells you that you are worth more
Despite that internal niggling voice in your head often telling you that this is your lot in life, your gut tells you otherwise. If only you had the courage to follow your gut instinct and prove to yourself that your worth much more than what your current job offers. It’s not as though you hate your job as such, it’s just that you have ambition to fulfil your potential elsewhere one day, and the fact that your current employer isn’t making full use of your talent doesn’t help matters
10) There’s no fun
It’s all work and no play as the company policy is to maximise sales, even at the expense of having fun (but having fun will help increase performance, and alleviate the stress, right?) Being miserable at work spills into your social life and isn’t what you signed up for. Entrepreneurs have fun, and even make their products fun and quirky too – you long to experience such light-hearted moments.
When to jump
There’s a time and a place to make that move and leave your job, and if a few of the reasons above resonate with you, maybe your time is now.
Sometimes, the little push you need to leave your job might come from an inspiring story you heard. That happened in my case when a friend told me about his colleague being offered £500,000 for his invention, I was hooked and decided to invent my way out of my job, literally!
Setting up on your own
If I could give you 2 simple tips regarding setting up your business, it would be these:
1) Keep everything you do secret
Believe me, telling a friend or colleague about your exciting idea to venture out on your own, even if they are sworn to secrecy, isn’t a risk worth taking, it can easily come back and bite you – I nearly lost my job through an early attempt to start my business, because my work colleague told my manager about something I tried to develop in my spare time.
2) Keep things simple
I chose to register a company name whilst still working for my boss, and then think up a unique problem in print I could solve using a simple device in my own time. I borrowed £2,000 from my sister and developed a proto-type, before producing a batch to sell. If I failed I’d only lose £2,000, you can’t get simpler than that.
Graham Harris is founder and Managing Director of Tech-ni-Fold Ltd and Creasestream LLP, global leaders in print creasing technology. His invention has saved customers over £8billion to date. His book Against the Grain is available now on Amazon