OK. I did it – I just quit my job as an associate vice president in a super company where I worked for the last eight years. No, I don’t have another job offer in hand. No, I haven’t won the lottery or got a huge inheritance either. And no, I still have my wits around me. Why then am I leaving the security of a well-paid corporate job out of my own choice? The answer (and it took me around a year and a lot of self-examination to arrive at this) is simple – I want to WORK HAPPIER. In the last one year, I have made being “Happy in the Now” the guiding philosophy of my life and work being where the largest chunk of my time goes into, need I say more?
So in answer to the question I have heard quite often in the past week – “why would you do something so crazy?” – Here are the five reasons why I am trading security for risks:
Reason #1: Getting out of the “Comfort Zone” - I realized that I had become too comfortable and in my view, being too comfortable is a sure path to getting stuck and becoming mediocre pretty soon. I knew I could do more, much more than the challenges that my current environment set for me. So, a new environment made more sense. Of course this was not easy as I had to think through and get real on:
Security (myth as it doesn’t exist anymore in corporate world)
No other Option (myth as there is always another option)
or Thinking I am better off than most (again a myth, as there is no such thing as better, you have to be the best for yourself)
Reason #2: Personal Growth or Enrichment – This is about moving from a “been there and done that” feeling to a “can’t wait to get my hands on it” feeling. Hikes, promotions and awards though satisfying lose their sheen after a while when you weigh them against what it takes out of you. I have reached a stage where what makes me the happiest is when I get to try something new and succeed at it or the contentment of getting a job well done. The pursuit of lifelong learning is a reward in itself.
Reason #3: Flexibility or Independence – Ahh – the freedom of being able to choose your own assignments, be totally accountable to yourself and go after only what your own gut/heart tells you – can there be anything more liberating ? Add to that flexibility in schedules, setting your own priorities and deciding your business goals – scary but so exciting. I do realize that this makes me the only person to blame if I fail but hey – what’s life without a bit of adventure? Sure, my failure is only mine but so will be my success :)
Reason #4: Earning or Giving Back Potential – This one is a pure economic consideration – stay in a secure job and I know almost to the exact amount what I will earn next year, the year after that and so on – a guaranteed income no doubt but only so far that it can go. Weighing this against the possibilities (yes, you gotta be a little optimistic here) – well, the sky is the limit :) . My mom’s continuing near death experiences has reinforced the fact that time is precious and there is a lot that I can and need to do to give back to the community. I have plans to leave the world a little better, make the lives of a few a little easier and there is a lot that I should and could be doing already. Grandiose, they may be but I need to convert these into reality sooner rather than later.
Reason #5: The Entrepreneurship Bug – Doing something of my own has always been a recurring dream/theme in the back of my mind almost all my life. I have very definite ideas about starting, running and succeeding in a business and have worked for others in putting these ideas into action my entire career. It was high time I think that I took the gauntlet myself. Micro entrepreneurship allows me to experiment in being agile, innovative and moving between doing and managing while limiting my risks. So yes – this is the pursuit of my dream and my passion.
So putting my businesswoman hat on now, if you are looking for someone to get things done in your business – look no further. I can manage your operations so that you can manage your business. I have covered the areas of my specialties in the various posts that I have written on this blog so far and you get a glimpse of my professional profile here. Call me your super-temp, interim COO or your brain on rent – I am available to execute your strategy through operational excellence.
Tell me what you think about my decision. Has this been playing on your mind too? What would motivate you or what stops you from following your dream?