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Planning to quit your job to start a business?

It was exciting when the moment came for me because I had already been toying with the idea of quitting for a long time.
Who am I?
Depends on who you ask.
I am an electrical engineer by profession. I graduated from the University of Zambia, School of Engineering  a couple of years ago. I went to work in Konkola Copper Mines Plc. I worked with wonderful people but I knew I wouldn’t stay there for a long time.  It has always been part of my plan to quit after working for a few years. I set the goal at five years but I quit after just three years. It’s been five years. I will tell you more about that next time.
The moment I quit and what it has been like.
But for now:
Flirting with the idea of quitting your job?
First things first
Why does the idea of quitting your job appeal to you?
One lady contacted me saying she wants to quit her job. After much discussion with her, I realised what she really wished for was a more appreciative boss and supportive co-workers.
As for me, I had a nice boss and great co-workers and still wanted to quit.
What about you?
Here are some legitimate reasons to quit a job:
1.You dread going to work and can’t wait to leave the office every day
For one reason or another you don’t look forward to going to work. It can be that the environment at work is toxic or you have the boss from hell or some intolerable co-workers… Hey if people who vowed to be together forever can end up divorcing who are you to insist on tolerating the intolerable?
Or maybe the passion is gone. Perhaps you were excited when you just started out, now the hours just seem to drag and drag and the day seems too long, the work too boring, too difficult.
In short you are miserable at work.
2. Other parts of your life are suffering because of your job
Being miserable at work is one thing but when this spills over to other parts of your life, it’s a serious problem.
Maybe you are having no chance to spend time with family, friends and those who really matter in your life. Or maybe the misery at work is making you turn every social interaction into a venting opportunity and your friends are less than thrilled about it. You could soon become persona non grata.
Perhaps you are constantly stressed out such that your health is getting affected.
When your job is causing suffering in other parts of your life such as your health, friendships and family, it might be time for some serious decisions.
3. Your personal values/mission and those of the company are not aligned
This can be moral, ethical or other. Perhaps there are some activities or plans you don’t approve of or something borderline illegal that bothers you.
It means some serious misalignment exists between what you believe in and what the company is doing.
You cannot excel in such and environment.
4. Your potential and skills are severely under-utilised.
This was me and how I felt. Every performance review came back with the words, she has potential.
I just knew I had to leave because death by potential might become an actual thing.
5. You are severely under-compensated
You are working your hard and that paycheck is not matching up.
You could come to this conclusion by looking at the salary range for someone with your qualifications and job position in the same company, industry or similar companies and industry.
If you know without a doubt that the company is performing well such that they can afford to pay you better.
Sometimes it could be that you been given more responsibilities but your pay has remained the same.
6.Experiencing harassment or any kind of abuse.
This can include verbal, emotional, physical or sexual (get law-enforcement agencies involved where necessary).
This should be a deal breaker at all levels.
7.It’s inevitable
Maybe you know the company will be laying off some workers.
Or this is just part of your plan.
You want more, you deserve more and you just know this is the right move for you.
Does this list make you feel more justified to quit?
Time to write that resignation letter?
Not so fast…
This is an important decision. Don’t make it in the heat of emotions.
Have you tried to address your issue? Have you tried every available avenue of doing so without quitting?
Could it be that you are just generally unhappy with your life, you are not sure why and your job is the innocent victim that you are projecting this unhappiness on?
Fancy some home work?
Write down the pros and cons of having that job. ( Sometimes when we are unhappy in a situation, it’s easy to focus on the negative.)
Write down what you could do about your current situation without changing it.
Do you really want to start a business or you just need a change of career? In the next article, we will look at this in detail.
The author is an engineer, entrepreneur, writer