If You're Nervous About Quitting Your Boring Job, You're Sane

26 December 2009

I recently stumbled upon an article called, "If You're Nervous About Quitting Your Boring Job, Don't Do It"

As you can tell by the title of my post, I disagree. Let's put aside the fact that I would not come to the conclusion that Lisa (the case study for the above post) should not have quit her job based purely on the fact that she failed the first time out. That's completely normal, and I'd be excited to see what Lisa learned and how she applies it to her next endeavor. No, even more than that, I disagree with sentiment of the post.

Who knows what the future will bring, but I think I fall into the category of people "who have built up rare and highly desirable skills" and have accomplished a lot since I left my full-time engineering job to pursue my entrepreneurial passions.

My point here isn't to brag, but simply to say that when I decided to pursue my passion and the desireable lifestyle of entrepreneurship, quitting my full-time job was one of the most nerve-racking and toughest decisions I've ever made, full of doubt and second-guessing. If you are having doubts or second thoughts about quitting your job, then congratulations, you are a pragmatic, rational, sane human-being.

That said, I did a lot of option-weighing and analysis of my situation, and I don't think quitting your job is for everyone. I didn't have a family to support, I already bought a car and had a place to live (topic for another post: "what entrepreneurship does to your credit"), and I had a business that was on the verge of profitability at the time I quit. I would not advise anyone to quit without seriously thinking this decision through. In fact, if at all possible, check out these alternatives to quitting your job outright to start your own company.

I'm not trying to pick on the guys over at Study Hacks, but I think that it is very easy to say, "if I wanted to start my own company (which I don’t), I wouldn’t feel nervous," when you have no real intention of quitting your job or starting your own company.

For instance, I can tell you that if I won the lottery, I would give all of the money to charity, because I don't need it and I wouldn't want it to come between me and my friends or family. Also, if I were ever confronted by a gun-wielding Agent Smith, I would calmly flex my space-time muscles, look square in his bright-green, scrolling-character soul, and extract the light from inside of his bursting flesh. And I can make both claims with equal sincerity, because I have no expectations or intentions of either ever happening.

My point is, don't quit your job because I tell you to. And don't not quit your job because he tells you not to. Just remember, the only certain path to failure is to not try.

About the author:

Steve Schwartz // Owner of Alfa Jango, CTO of Genomenon, co-founder of Carcode (acquired by Edmunds.com in 2014), engineer, developer, open-source enthusiast, guitarist, and racecar driverist.

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