Even if you have an awesome job in the public or private sector with a great paycheck and benefits, there’s always the distant but oh-so-attractive thought of quitting and starting your own business or startup.
To understand this process, we spoke to Imran Al-Aradi, who has, in the past, through his illustrious career, quit his full-time job at one point to focus on his passion as a comedian and social media personality at large.
Here are five signs that your current work isn’t cutting it:
- You’re unhappy.
You’re bored, uninspired, sometimes stressed, anxious, and just all-around unhappy. You daydream of an exit strategy during your lunch break. #MotivationMondays and inspiring quotes can’t power you through the day like they used to. You know where your happiness lies, and it’s definitely not in your current job—but in your own startup or business venture.
- Your job is a comfort zone where you don’t see yourself growing.
Think of your comfort zone as a box that ties you in and doesn’t allow you to build yourself. Your current position might feel too limiting, or not challenging enough. If you feel like your skills and talents aren’t being tapped into, you need to go somewhere they will be. By quitting, you recognize your value and self-worth. Quitting your job and being your own boss is an active, transformational decision that will allow you to take charge of your life and choices.
- You’re underperforming at work.
As the common saying goes, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” In other words, if you love your job, it doesn’t feel like work. Conversely, if you don’t feel passionate about your job and it’s reflected in your performance (or underperformance), quitting may just be the right option. If your creativity and motivation just aren’t there anymore, or maybe never were, and it feels forced, perhaps this is a sign that you shouldn’t be doing this anymore.
- You feel surrounded by #badjuju at work.
Bad juju refers to negative energy, which can tremendously affect performance. Perhaps the company collides with your morals, ethics, or personality (Uber comes to mind). Sometimes the problem doesn’t lie with the job, but with the company or the boss themselves. You’re done having a manager, and you just want to be your own boss.
- You need to start taking risks.
Quitting your job and starting your own business will always be risky, whether high or low the risk of failure will always be there. Many would say, “The higher the risk, the higher the reward”, which is very true, but the sensible thing to do would be to take “calculated risks”. An employee must evaluate his or her current situation and make decisions based on the possible outcomes. It is as simple as asking the right questions such as, “How much will I need to survive the next 6 months? Do I have a solid business plan? What can I do if I fail?” .. Etc”. It’s basically a safety net for the possible steps an employee can take if the venture fails or to ensure that he or she will be successful in whatever path they choose. Here’s some useful steps to take some risks.
- You’ve got the tools and resources necessary to move on.
You’re no longer just dreaming of launching your startup—you’re being serious and taking steps to learn how to make it a reality, i.e. planning your exit strategy. If you feel like you’ve been doing the necessary reading, networking with people, and listening to the right podcasts and videos on YouTube, it may be time to take the leap.
The next step then becomes #thetalk. As in a relationship, you’re going to craft how to break it to your employer or manager: “It’s not you (the job), it’s me (the employee),” when in reality, it’s otherwise.
Start thinking about what you want to do next. You have two routes: either search for a new job (if you haven’t already), or think of starting your own business.
Visit Startup Bahrain for tools, resources, and inspiration to launch your startup now.