If there’s one question that every aspiring entrepreneur asks themselves at some point in their professional lives, it is whether they should or shouldn’t quit their day job to pursue their passion full time.
Now, some of you may be at a crossroads currently with regards to your job. Perhaps you’re feeling dissatisfied. Perhaps you’ve been contemplating quitting. Well, you’re not alone. Lately, many of my friends have been telling me how they’d like to quit their jobs, possibly to pursue something different. pursue what they’re passionate about
Why you shouldn’t quit your day job right of the bat
- The terms “entrepreneur” or “startup founder” are all the buzz these days. Ever since “The Social Network” Movie swept the Academy Awards in 2010, the entire startup culture has become romanticized with waves of young employees quitting their jobs to head out west to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. The harsh reality is that 99% of employees should actually not become entrepreneurs. They should be working for a larger organization where they will thrive under that structure.
- Starting a business or being an entrepreneur is not easy and not everyone can do it. TRUST ME, it is a lot easier to work for a large corporation and earn a steady paycheck than try and go out on your own. There is a saying “Entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40.” It’s true. Some of my darkest professional moments that caused me to plunge into the pits of despair happened when I struck out on my own and tried to “make it” for myself. It’s extremely scary. Don’t be fooled by the digital nomad images and articles of the hot couple sitting on the beach sipping Mojito by the pool and checking their PayPal account every third drink only to find thousands of dollars rolling right in. That reality doesn’t exist.
Working in the corporate world is a breeze
- The great thing about being a cog in a large wheel allows you the freedom to be mediocre. It doesn’t take long to figure out the least amount of work that is required to just to get by and not get fired. And for what you lack in skill you can make up for it in the form of office political posturing. You also get to enjoy the upside of being part of a large organization even though your contribution to the firm may not have been significant. If the firm does well, so do you.
- Large multinationals have fine-tuned the art of compensation. Companies are able to pinpoint exactly the least amount of money they need to pay an employee for them to stick around around and revel in mediocrity.
You can have your piece of the cake and eat it too
- It should come as no surprise that since the global financial crisis in 2008, the number of corporate jobs have seen massive consolidation. But the fact of the matter is that you can have your cake and eat it too. So how do we balance job security and entrepreneurial itch?
- Keep your corporate job and get your own side hustle on. This sounds a bit cliche these days but it really does make sense. We’ve already established the fact that it’s easier to be a cog in a large wheel than a solopreneur, and I also believe that if you are good at your job it won’t take up your full capacity. So keep that job, get some real life work experience under your belt and leverage the freedom that comes from the safety net of a large organization to work on your other ventures. It’s never too late to explore other interests and start preparing yourself.