What is the Right Time to Leave Your 'Comfortable' Job?


I’d been haggling with myself for a long time before I decided to leave my conventional comfortable job and do something a tad bit crazy. Leaving an extremely well established company to join a company that your grandparents wouldn’t even call a company is plain and simple, tough. I’m writing this post mainly because there are hordes of others who’d like to make a move but are dangling there in between and all they need is a push.

Yes, parents and family in India still have a huge say in what their children would become in the future or what one does in life. The situation is changing but traditions do what they do the best, they trickle down the generations. It is not at all simple. There are many aspects that need to be given a thought:

  • Responsibility: You cannot just shun everything and do ‘what you want to do’. Let’s be realistic, there are situations wherein you have to cave in. So, weighing up the responsibilities is very important. Because even if you make a tradeoff and go against the popular belief, a lack of support at a later stage might lead to grievances.
  • Focus: You need to be pretty sure about what you’re going to do at the new ‘risky’ (in most cases startup) job. Once you adopt a new role and start syncing in, if a realization strikes that “Oops, did I do the right thing?” you’ll probably sink out of the new job too. So, before taking the plunge, ask the question 3 times (not 100 times as the plunge is pretty exciting. For more on the excitement part, read our earlier post on Things to learn from Calvin and Hobbes)
  • Reason: The reason should be pretty clear. Are you going in it for job satisfaction or a hike if there is one or working environment or any other reason? Knowing why you’re doing it is very important in deciding when to call it quits.

Once you’ve got the answer to these 3 questions, decide on your fate. If you don’t have many family responsibilities and have the time to devote, go for it because a startup job will suck up your time and mindspace. Be prepared. If you’re not focused enough and don’t have a strong reason, it might very well be that you’re doing it for the ‘brave’ tag associated with quitting your comfortable job. It has become a trend to 'intern at a startup' in many of the premier universities in India. Please don't defile the experience. Whether you’re starting up yourself or joining a startup, the road will be interesting. Even if you’re not completely sure what you’re up to, you might figure it out if you give enough time and if you have the bandwidth (might sound contradictory to the third point but you'll figure it out once you start thinking).

So, you know it’s time to quit when you cannot sit there for hours working for some imperceptible goal, when you know the outcome of your efforts won’t be appreciated by anyone beyond two cubicles or dead straight, you can’t make sense of it any more. Stand up and make the move, for once try and be a bit more than the tiny spec amongst a sea of mediocrity, just do it. And if at all you fail, you’d have gone through something that wouldn’t let you break, come what may.

Godspeed! And if this has inspired you to quit your comfy job, try our startup job portal :)

[Image Credit: blog.careersma.in]