If you are trying to get your own business off the ground while still working away at a regular nine-to-five job, you'll no doubt be desperate to quit your day job as soon as possible. While it can be extremely tempting to get focused entirely on your new business, leaving your day job at the right time is essential.
Many people make the grave mistake of leaving too early, prompted by unrealistic optimism or a reckless willingness to take a significant risk. Before you do decide to quit your day job and commit yourself entirely to your own business venture, however, you should consider the following factors.
If you are living on your own, single and without children, then you are already better equipped to leave your regular job and make a full commitment to jumpstarting your own business than someone who has to worry about family and other major responsibilities. At least if you only have to worry about yourself, then you can take somewhat more of a risk. Also, the amount of money you will need to have saved up in case things don't work out as quickly or as well as you would like is not as great.
Your family is not the only responsibility you need to worry about at this point, however. You should also consider your current financial situation. Always think the worst-case scenario such as your business venture taking much longer to yield a decent return than you expected or, worse still, not even working out at all. As a contingency plan, you should ideally have saved up about six months of living costs to take care of financial and personal commitments.
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Your Current Job.
Some jobs are easily replaceable while others are not. If you leave your current job, you want to be fairly sure that you can walk straight into another one with relative ease should you need to. If you are working in a more specific field, then you may have difficulty getting a similar job in your area.
If you currently have a highly paid and skilled job, then you will generally want to think much more careful about leaving it, unless you are confident that your skills will remain in high demand in the industry for the foreseeable future. Also, think about unemployment statistics in your area and about the competition and challenges you are likely to face which may have even arisen since you were last job hunting.
Your New Business.
Many novices make the mistake of leaving their day job too early; before their new business even starts to generate any revenue. While you do not necessarily need to leave your day job the moment your business starts making a livable income, you should be confident that that is precisely where it will be heading in the near future. Ensure that you have as accurate an idea as possible of your business's future performance. Be sure to analyze its performance since launch and, if there is a satisfying upward trend over a period, then you can much more confidently leave your day job and focus entirely on your ventures.
Not only should you be sure to have enough to sustain yourself – but you should also make sure that any major startup costs and other business-related expenses are out of the way for the time being. Leaving your day job only to find that you are running out of money to live on is one matter, but being confronted with new, business-related expenses accentuates the problem a whole lot more.
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Are you thinking about ditching the cube for the world of entrepreneurship? If so, how are you planning for this career transition? Drop us a note below, we'd love to hear from you.