It happened the other day. Halim was having some coffee time with his colleagues when the breaking news flashed in his smart phone. A terrorist just broke into a mosque in New Zealand and murdered many devotees during prayer time. Fortunately, none of Halim’s relative were killed in the incident. But crazy thoughts passed in his mind when he got the news, like, what if he was one of the murdered victims. When should you like Halim, quit your job, seriously?
Halim is 42 years old. He is currently a Business Development Manager with a medium sized conglomerate. His wife and children adore and think highly of him because truth be told, he has acted responsibly as a husband and father to his family. All these years, Halim has never gone a day without a job in hand. The fear of losing his job is the no. 1 fear that shackled him from venturing into entrepreneurship, although he has seen various opportunities passed before him in the past.
The terrorism incident hit Halim like a sledgehammer. It suddenly dawn on him that he has been putting off his dream of running his own hardware shop for a decade. Let me ask you, have you been putting off your dream like Halim did? For how long have you been telling yourself that entrepreneurship is too risky for a guy like you? And how do you know, it’s time to quit your job for a new business?
1. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THE WORLD ENDS TOMORROW?
I got a rude awakening in 2009. That year was a bad year for business. After I became the manager for three years, that was the first time that the company was in the red. The loss went on for a few consecutive months. The CFO called for a meeting with the company’s CEO, and I knew instantly, a storm was brewing. The normal pleasantry was non existence during that meeting, and guns strted blazing from the word “go”.
I recalled the CFO and a marketing guy from the head office bombarding me with questions on my latest figures. The moment of truth came when the CEO asked me a question, “Rob, what would you do, if you are gonna lose your job tomorrow?” That was supposed to be a wake up call for me to take some drastic action on my sales. But those words also triggered into me a hard reality. You are only as good as your last profit and loss. Therefore, start thinking on the same note, what would you do?
2. YOU ARE DEPRESSED
I did not write this blog post just for the wannapreneurs. That is in “Should I Quit My Job To Start A Business“. You know those people who keep telling about their plans to start their business, but never do. I am talking about you, whom may be feeling depress right now.
There is no such thing as the correct time to get out of a job. Every human is different. If you hate most if not all the Sunday evenings, this is a good sign that you are burning out. People get depressed in their job due to various reasons.
It could be your boss or job routine. I have experienced both. If you find yourself forcing a smile in your face when you come to work, you better start looking for a new job. If you still haven’t found a suitable replacement, you have better leave when you still could. I have a friend who tolerated in a job that he did not like and he ended up having schizoprenia. It’s a mental condition where a person started hearing voices that condemn him regularly.
It is good to walk away from a depressing job. It is our God given right. Never stay in a job because of the salary, or worse, because you are too fearful to quit. Please, don’t mistake this kind of toleration with raw grit. Grit is a perseverance to succeed. If the journey brings you into a hole and away from success, you have to run.
3. YOU FEEL STAGNANT
I have seen a lot of people who enjoy staying put in a position. To them, this is stability. But to people like me, this is stagnation. If you are a professional who loves to stretch your goal, you gotta know when is the best time to quit.
Sometimes you really have to make a choice. I was once in a job with a direct boss whom was simply out of this world. It was a joy to work with him but the same can’t be said about the job. It was my first sales job and truth be told, if it wasn’t for my boss, I would not have stayed in that job for 8 years. Yes, the choice was difficult. My boss was grooming me as his successor, the next Area Sales Manager. He retired in 2017, which means if I have waited to succeed him, the wait would have cost me 18 years of lost opportunity cost.
Ask yourself when you are in such predicament. Is having a great boss worth staying put, even if this position doesn’t stretch your professional goal anymore? If I had stayed, I would never have climbed to the GM position, and having my own company later. And bear in mind, your great boss can never stay with you forever. In retrospect, I don’t think you want to see him/her blocking you from your next escalation, right?
4. THE EMPLOYER IS UNETHICAL
Have your employer ever asked you to do things that run against your own principle? Elaine Goh had everything going for her. Her audit firm had decided to promote her and better yet, a newly listed company had offered her a position as their new Group General Manager of Finance.
Elaine’s boss, Derek was the Executive Director of the newly minted IPO. Things started becoming shady. Derek asked her to approve deals and transactions that Elaine barely knew. Due to her submissive nature, Elaine would obey whatever instruction given to her. Inventory transactions that only appeared in print, without the actual merchandise in the warehouse appeared as invoices, with the blessing of Derek.
What would you do if you are Elaine? Needless to say, the company got into deep shit hole and was even delisted after several rounds of high profile litigation. Elaine’s accounting licence was revoked and she ended up as a stay home mum there after. By the way, this is a true story. Always trust your moral compass and know that you are often in the position to do so.
5. FAMILY ALWAYS FIRST
Your salary can never overtake your family’s position in your life. No matter what your circumstances lie, know this, there may never be a second chance.
Michael got an offer to become the CEO of a medium sized factory in Shenzhen, China. The offer exceeded anything that he got before when working in his hometown in Malaysia. After much deliberation, Michael decided to take the offer while his wife stayed back to take care of their teenage son. There were only three of them in the family, and yeah, everything sounded good.
By the time Michael entered the second year in the new company, he heard from his wife that their son started playing truant at school. In spite of his coaxing, things did not improve. In fact, the son’s behavior became worse. Things got pretty out of hand when he heard his son fighting with his wife while they were having their “Facetime” session. Michael gave his 3 months resignation and quickly flew back to join his family after serving his notice.
Michael started a small business in his hometown via his business network and managed to do quite well. A year into his new business, his son was diagnosed with a Stage 1 cancer. Imagine …
Nobody can tell you when is the right time to quit your job. And I could assure you, most people quit because of the few reasons mentioned in this blog. I have never heard of anyone becoming homeless after quitting an uninspiring job. When I think about it, everyone that I knew who left their job honestly, ended up better than before.
Do not let fear hold you back when you know your time is up. By allowing a door to be closed now, you are making way for God to open another door in your life’s chapter.