While the global economy is still struggling, a lot of workers are interested in jumping ship in order to start their own businesses.
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They want freedom and flexibility, and feel like they can do things better than their company. They want to make an impact on their own terms.
Years ago, it was routine to stay at a single company for life, but today it's rare to find someone who follows that path. Now, more than ever before, entrepreneurship is viewed as a viable career path for many who either can't find work or are fed up with their current job. In a new study in partnership with American Express, we found that 44% of managers agree that it's most reasonable to leave a company if another opportunity comes along.
That other opportunity could be your business!
Managers are more accepting of change than in years past, and because everyone deep inside has their own passions, they are more understanding of yours. Here are some tips on how to quit your job and start your own company.
Don't quit your job too soon. A lot of employees quit their job too early, run out of money and have to either move back with their parents or get another job.
"The easiest mistake to make when starting a business is quitting your job too soon and realizing after 4-5 months that your new startup is not ready for launch or not able to pay your bills," says Aron Schoenfeld, the founder of Dream Artists Studios.
Starting a company takes time, effort and luck. So make a calculated decision about when to quit your job because once you quit, you only have a certain window to be able to make your company successful enough to pay your bills.
I spent a few years at my corporate job, while starting a business outside of work. When the business was making enough money, I made the calculated decision to quit my day job and run my business full-time. While you have a regular job, you can invest that income into your business.
2. End on a good note. You don't want to burn bridges with your manager and co-workers because you never know when you might need them again, they can serve as your references and networking connections. When you give your two weeks, you should make sure your manager knows why you're leaving and that you will help them through the transition.
"I made a detailed handbook about my position including step-by-step tutorials on my technical tasks, copies of my custom documents, and examples of my weekly schedule. I did this to make the transition to a new art assistant smoother," says Jess Moore, the Co-Founder of Stylebook.
It costs your manager time and money to replace you so if you can help them backfill your position, they will be very appreciative and you'll leave on a good note.
3. Apply your corporate skills to your company. Take everything that you learned at your day job and apply it to your company.
"My financial analysis skills and fluency with spreadsheets have proven helpful in the fundraising work I do," says Jerryanne Heath, the CEO of Conceptlink. Both the hard skills, like in Jerryanne's case, and the soft skills, like forming relationships and interpersonal communication, can be used to support your new venture.
In addition, you might be able to get your company as a client if your offering fulfills a business need. Either way, you really need to keep in touch with your previous employer, leverage their collective intelligence and apply your skills and experiences to your new company as much as possible.
Starting a company is extremely challenging yet very rewarding. As long as you take a calculated risk, support your previous employer and leverage the skills you've learned, you will be in a better position to be successful. Remember that if you fail, you may be able to get another job with your former employer too, based on your previous performance and relationships.
Dan Schawbel is a Gen Y career and workplace expert, the Founder of Millennial Branding and the author of the new book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin's Press).