15 Apr 2017 15:17 IST

Timing is everything

Everyone needs to quit something to do something else. The important point is to time it right

In the last article , we saw how quitting for the wrong reasons or quitting early doesn’t have any positive impact on your career. Continuing with this topic of knowing when to quit, let me share another anecdote. This has a happy ending because the move was timed well.

The anecdote

This anecdote pertains to a young professional, who wanted to leave his job and start an entrepreneurial venture. Interestingly, his decision was influenced by the pull factors — the desire to pursue one’s dream, to create something, and more importantly, not work for someone else. “I will be my own boss,” was a strong consideration he voiced when he spoke to me, asking for my views and suggestions.

The first perspective I shared was that being one’s boss was a state of mind — it had nothing to do with working under someone or being an entrepreneur. Ironically, entrepreneurs end up having more ‘bosses’, in a manner of speaking. Instead of being accountable to just a few people, entrepreneurs are answerable to their financiers, customers and even their employees.

Not so rosy

The other aspect of being an entrepreneur is that the person ends up paying for their mistakes — literally — as they need to invest funds, at least initially. Last and definitely not the least, this person did not have any experience with regard to the business he was planning to start.

My suggestion was that he first gain more expertise, and if possible, in the sector he was planning to start his venture.

The positive outcome of this anecdote is that the person decided to re-evaluate his decision, and took up a new assignment in a field related to his entrepreneurial dreams. After a few years of working, he quit that job and went on to start his own venture, which is currently doing well.

Thought-out decisions

Now, imagine a scenario in which he succumbed to the pull factors and quit his job earlier. It is quite possible that he might have succeeded because of his determination; and it is equally possible that, when faced with the reality of challenges, he might have given up his entrepreneurial dream.

Times are changing, and unlike the previous century, people rarely work for only one organisation from the start to the finish of their career. Most professionals change jobs, move from working to becoming an entrepreneur, and in some cases, move into a job from being an entrepreneur. That is the reality. The underlying factor is that everyone needs to quit something to do something else.

The important point is to know when to quit and time it right.

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