I just quit my job.
Wait…let’s elaborate further:
I just quit my job in one of the worst economies. Ever.
But here’s the kicker: My new job is asking for 10-15 hours a day from me, with no guaranteed pay. Plus, my new boss just might be the biggest jerk I’ve ever worked for. I am, of course, referring to myself.
Going It Alone
After a long and drawn out game of internal ping-pong (or was it beer pong), I finally decided to quit my job. My goals in life have always been entrepreneurial in nature, and I decided that if I didn’t go for it I might always regret it.
Here’s a brief list of what I’m facing:
1) No clients to start out with.
2) I have six-figure student loan debt.
3) I’ve only been in my field for one year.
4) I’m “only” 28 years old. (man is my generation sort of limp–wrist-ed).
5) Did I mention I have no clients?
Here’s a list of what I have going for me:
1) A spouse with a currently secure job.
2) No children.
3) A freelance writing business to help me bring in some income.
4) Perhaps partial insanity (coin-flip as to whether that’s a benefit or a detriment to starting your own business).
Do I Believe I’ll Succeed?
I know there’s no guarantees in life. Perhaps the odds are stacked against me. Maybe I’ll wind up losing everything. But something inside tells me it’s still the right decision. That starting my own business is an itch I’d have to scratch one way or the other.
Sometimes people say that you can tell if a decision is right or wrong for you by imagining finality.
For instance, imagine you broke up with a significant other you’re on the fence about. If you feel good with that finality, then it’s probably the best decision for you.
If, however, the thought of losing your significant other (with finality) hurts, then maybe the relationship is worth fighting for.
With this decision, I tried that exercise, but I still couldn’t figure it out.
But now that I’ve gone through with the decision to quit my job, I feel the happiest I’ve been in months. If I end up a failure then I’ll simply know not to trust my gut so much in the future.
Family and Friend Reactions
Reactions from family and friends have ranged from supportive to concerned. Most people (who are still lucky enough to earn money), do so through a steady paycheck.
Having to eat what you hunt is a lot harder than being fed steadily, and (ideally) in proportion to your value.
The problem is, that always made me personally feel uncomfortable. It made me feel like I was relying on somebody else. As a confirmed and admitted control freak, that just wasn’t ideal for me.
Being the family dog might be preferable to the wolf, and you’re sure as hell a lot less likely to starve, but perhaps a lot of this really just comes down to individual personality.
Does Recession Make Self-Employment More or Less Risky?
I’ve had a difficult time wrapping my head around this concept. I’m hoping in the comments that you’ll share your thoughts as to this issue.
We have all heard (ad nauseam), that “no job is secure in the current economy.”
So, does that mean we’re better off creating our own job rather than risk being laid off? Alternatively, of course, does the present weak economy simultaneously makes it more difficult to create or sustain a profitable business?
Self-employed or “working for the man.” Is this all just like asking if you’d rather be shot than poisoned? Either way, there is a possibility you may die.
Sorry….That Was Morbid
Meanwhile, the optimistic part of me keeps making bold but unsubstantiated claims, like: “This is great timing; with the bad economy you—the new and inexpensive upstart–will be much more palatable.” And I wish that was true. I truly wish I was palatable. But the truth is, that would be like arguing you were the highest jumper in Atlantis. Eventually, if everything sinks….
Sorry…That Too Was Morbid
At the end of the day, perhaps the greatest lesson I can give about quitting one’s job is this:
Don’t blog about it.
About the Author: I am a twenty-something freelance writer and personal finance junkie. Please check out my new online personal finance encyclopedia: What Is Personal Finance?