Considering ditching your day job to become an entrepreneur? Career coach Eunice Asante of the The Workers Journal explains why you should reconsider.
Often the push toward entrepreneurship stems from a desire to do something more meaningful. It could also be to be paid more for your work and have more autonomy over your time and work. The problem is not that everyone desperately wants to be an entrepreneur with a burning desire to start a business. Instead, most people want to feel inspired by what they do and hate feeling undervalued and underpaid.
But if these feelings are at the root of your reason to quit, leaving your job might not necessarily be the answer. The challenges of entrepreneurship may be different compared to working 9-5, but let me tell you, they are still there.
9-5 vs entrepreneurship
For example, I have never been responsible for so many things simultaneously. Yes, I am my own boss, but I'm also my own assistant, operations manager, marketing executive, sales advisor, and administrator…I think you get my point.
Making entrepreneurship work takes much time and effort and it is not the easier option. It makes more sense to figure out how to make your job work. This is a mindset most people neglect to explore.
If the answer is not leaving the workforce in search of being your own boss, then what is?
Since working as a career coach, I have discovered that many people take a passive approach to their jobs. Employees view work as something that they have little say or control over.
Active v passive
Most people are passive and not active employees and do not take full responsibility for their careers. But what if you changed how you viewed yourself and saw yourself as business-minded while at work, or as entrepreneur working within a current business?
Take an ordinary task like searching for a job. A passive worker does just that, while an active worker searches for a job with a goal. Imagine the goal was career development. An active worker creates search criteria to include development opportunities within each position and only applies for jobs with identifiable growth opportunities.
They only accept jobs with organisations with clear development opportunities and a track record supporting employee progression. They negotiate their contract to include additional training opportunities and after receiving a job offer, they create a detailed two to three-year plan on how they intend to progress through the organisation.
How do they know which jobs allow accelerated progression? This is where they ask good questions and work with a career coach like me, where I can walk them through the process.
Do you have the right mindset?
What would your career look like if this were you? Often the problem is not always the job but our mindset.
If you are already in a job and considering leaving, consider these examples for information purposes only.
Here are six scenarios to help you think:
For example, what if:
1. You stayed in a role as long as you could be promoted or have your salary increased. If neither are possible, search for new jobs with these goals in mind.
2. You change departments every two to three years. This way, you better understand the organisation and its strengths and weaknesses. But most importantly, you are adding to your skills, network and knowledge.
3. You agree to help your business solve a current problem and, if successful, ask your employer to fund your education. That way, you can be certified to help them in that area moving forward.
4. You negotiate your contract from employee to contractor. As a contractor, you negotiate a higher rate or a percentage of the business you bring in.
5. You ask for more responsibilities at work; volunteer for projects, and ask to oversee new areas of work. That way, you acquire new skills, grow your network and negotiate your salary or contract terms.
6. You shadow those in higher positions and assist them with problem areas within the organisation. In return, you develop a mentor-mentee relationship with them.
I could go on, but the point is, until employees take an active role in their careers, they are often missing opportunities. And if you do not know how to maximise opportunities at work, running your own business does not make this easier.
Still want to be your own boss?
For those of you in full-time employment and working part-time on a personal business, I know how challenging this can be.
If being your own boss is a lifelong dream, then consider how in the meantime, you can use your employment to build your network. You could even to grow your credibility in the field by learning new skills, gaining experience, solving business problems and saving money, to fund your business.
Please resist the temptation to see your job as an annoyance. Instead, use your job to your benefit.
Either way, your 9-5 job can present many growth opportunities with the right mindset. It's not a question of 9-5 vs entrepreneurship, but how well are you using your current position to its maximum potential.
I would love your thoughts on this post, and if you are thinking about entrepreneurship. Also, I've recently resurrected my Instagram, so if you love this content, be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I share even more @iameuniceasante
Until next time