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Two years ago, I had a comfortable Finance job in New York and I got accepted into IIM Bangalore and ISB. You would assume my life was set, but what did I do? I took the biggest risk of my life—I left my Wall Street job, and turned down ISB and IIM to write a book.
You may think I’m crazy, but it worked out quite well. I signed a contract with one of the leading book publishers in the world, Bloomsbury and the book has got a tremendously positive response.
Till a few decades ago, people longed for job security and often spent their entire life in the same job. Our generation is different. Money and job-security is not enough. I’m pretty sure everyone in the 21st century has at some point contemplated quitting their job. But here are 7 reasons why people continue sticking to their dull jobs.
- “My work friends are awesome”
I’ve met so many people who stick to terrible jobs for years just because their colleagues are fun. They hate the work they do, but they don’t mind doing it because of the friendly environment in the workspace.
Having friends at work is absolutely no reason to stick to a mediocre job. You can continue to be friends with your colleagues even if you are no longer working with them. Making new friends as an entrepreneur or at a new job is challenging at first but it doesn’t take too long to get sorted.
2. “I don’t want to betray my boss”
Your boss has always supported you. He recently gave you a promotion and you are in charge of a major project crucial to the company. You feel if you leave the company, it will look really bad on you and your boss will feel betrayed.
Regardless of how valued your company and boss may make you feel, remember that you are replaceable. Everyone is replaceable.
Maybe the timing of you leaving your job could have been better, but there will never be the perfect time. Initially, your boss maybe upset that you left the company, but in a few months, it won’t matter. Anyway, if he really cares about you, he will want what is best for your career.
3. “I’m trying to save right now for the future”
As important as it is to learn how to save money, it is more important to learn how to make money. People have a tendency to get obsessed with savings in their mid 20s and early 30s.
In the short to medium term, sticking to the same company, may give you the highest savings (promotions, bonuses, stock options). But if your salary itself is low, as much as you try, your savings will be low.
People in their 20s (and early 30s) should rather think long-term and use their time on skill-building activities that can make them get into a potentially more lucrative industry for the rest of their lives. The time and money used can be viewed as investment rather than an expense.
As we get older and have lesser scope to increase our income, we can increase our focus on saving.
4. “I need my salary to pay my bills”
“The three most harmful addictions in life are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”- Nassim Nicholas
Some people are so used to getting a salary every month, that they cannot imagine a few months without it. If you want build a start-up or find a job in totally different industry, you may have to go for a few months without a job. Be willing to undergo short-term inconvenience for long-term fulfillment.
5. “All the years I spent working in this industry will go to waste.”
People who have already spent a number of years in a particular field, feel that switching to a different industry will lead to a waste of all the time they have already spent in their current field. As a result, they end up staying in the same industry and wasting even more years.
In economics, this is called the sunk cost fallacy. “The more we invest into something (time, money, and emotions), the harder it becomes to leave it even if going ahead with it has no point to it.”
It doesn’t matter where you were, what matters is what you took from it, and where you’re going.
Try to identify the particular skills you learnt in your current field that are transferable. How can you learn skills that will be relevant to your new industry?
6.“I don’t have any experience in anything else”
There exists a chicken and egg problem today in relation to jobs and experience. You need a job to get experience, and you need experience to get a job.
Don’t let lack of experience deter you from pursuing your interest. No one is born with experience. While experience may often be irrelevant and specific to an industry, your personal brand is relevant across all sectors.
Until recently, only celebrities focused on personal branding but now a lot more people have become mindful of it. A term close to personal branding that has been used over the years is reputation. Personal branding is about how you actively manage and sell your reputation. When your personal brand is of an individual who is eager to learn and gives his or her best, opportunities are sure to open up.
7.“I don’t want to regret quitting my job. What if things don’t work out?”
Regardless of what you choose in life, there will always be regrets. If you choose to do something and it doesn’t go well, it’s a mistake. But if you didn’t do it at all, it would be a regret. We regret what we don’t do more than we regret our mistakes. Our goal should be to minimize regrets, not minimize mistakes.
Whenever I’m at a casino, I bet an amount equivalent to the “entertainment value” gambling provides me. So even if I lose the bet, the amount I lose would be worth the thrill I got from betting that amount.
Take a look at your risk-taking capacity and assess whether it would be worth the risk even if your risk does not give you a monetary return. How much is it worth losing in case your risk does not pay off?