Quitting a secure full time job to start my own business in a time of economic uncertainty did not feel like the best decision. In addition to that, it is the year that I’m getting married and signing a mortgage. Needless to say, I got poor reviews from friends and family who thought that it was just crazy. On the other hand, many self-employed acquaintances applauded me and asked, “What took you so long?”
What took me so long
I started to work for my former employer six years ago. Because this was my first “real” job, I remember being very excited about doing the work well and wanting to move up the corporate ladder. It did pay off. After only six months, I had convinced management to open a new graphic designer position for me. Within three years, I was promoted to supervisor and then to product manager. I learned a good deal about the business, relating with people and diffusing difficult situations.
I was wrong
When I first started, I was pumped and eager. I was absorbing everything that was thrown at me. I thrived. I worked hard and impressed my colleagues while earning their respect. At the same time, I started to discover things about the office environment that were not so great. Although applied in very subtle ways, manipulation, competition and even backstabbing became more and more visible to me. On occasions, I was asked to complete mandates that I did not agree with. I was increasingly responding negatively to being told what to do despite what I thought. I had stopped learning new things and going to work started to feel like a really unpleasant routine. Even after all this, I remembered liking my job once and kept telling myself that. I think I was in denial.
It is at once very scary and very liberating to admit to yourself that you need a change. It was time for me to take control of my life. I know that I am hard working. If I can use all that energy for my own business, I will succeed. I had my fiancée’s support and the encouragement from many key people. If I waited after the wedding, I will find another excuse then. It was clear to me: the right time is NOW.
Here I am two months later, swamped with work and loving every minute of my free and busy life. As soon as the word got out that I am now available to offer design services to small business and start up firms on a full time basis, my small pool of satisfied clients referred me to their contacts and my clients doubled in less than a month. I am glad that I did not wait for the “right” moment to make my move. As it turns out, I said yes to the wedding dress, no to the job and hello to freedom!