Image by spDuchamp

The beauty of something new.

5 reasons why quitting can help create the best opportunities in life.

In a hope to rejuvenate my passion for the written word; I thought i’d look at a subject that has not only massively impacted my only life, but has also massively improved the lives of close colleagues and professional acquaintances that i’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the last few years.

While i’m sure that the main point i’m trying to convey here has been covered in numerous self-help books (not that i’ve actually ever read any), what I want to really explain is how something as simple as walking out a job (or even getting canned) can open up doors that you could never in your wildest dreams believed possible. More to the point, I want to encourage people to challenge their conventional beliefs on this delusional ideology of “stability”, in the hope that people with real talent truly end up committing themselves to their own success, in oppose to losing themselves in the drabs of nine to five life.

This isn’t too say that i’m encouraging everyone to be entrepreneurs, but merely to put themselves in a position where they can further their growth and increase the rewards of professional life. I always tell my own employees that I never expect them to work for me forever. I stick by that. It’s part of my ethos as a business owner. Sadly, it’s not the case in all walks of life.

So without further delay, here are my five reasons to move on from your current job.

  1. Get the opportunity to learn from new thought leaders.

Have you ever got to the point where you suddenly find yourself as being one of the major thought leaders in a company? Whether it be marketing, sales, product-development, finance, administration — you just seem to be the ‘go-to-guy/girl’ any time there’s anything that requires a small volume of cognitive deliberation. The result: your opinions are acted upon without hesitation; whether you truly believe them to be correct or not. This is a somewhat empowering sensation for an employee in a company, you can stick your boot on the table and be like “i’m da boss” and all your minions will make small golden idols of your likeness and worship you until the end of time (or not).

Nevertheless, no matter how many articles you’ve read on Forbes, Entrepreneur or Tech-Crunch, the real learning experience occurs through engaging with new thought leaders, by going out into the world and convincing yourself that actually you’re not the best product-marketer on the face of the planet, but the guy sat across the table from you, could very well be. The result: an expansion of your own ideals and skills. The “Professional Development”: that goal-driven employees so eagerly crave for.

2. Expand your network.

Expanding slightly from the first point, my second reason to move on from your current job is probably the only one on the list that can also positively impact other areas of your social life. What i’m referring to is the constant expansion of your personal network.

A network surrounds us and binds us. Image by Jonathan Powell.

Much like the Force, a strong network is really something (as Yoda points out) that surrounds us and binds us. You don’t really feel the power of a network until you really begin to actively seek ways to expand your own; at which point you find yourself opening more doors to more opportunities than you ever thought humanly possible. You also get to benefit from fantastic side benefits such as improved social-circles, increased credibility and referred introductions to the people that matter.

3. Discover your own super-powers.

While many companies have decent career growth opportunities; it’s a sad fact that in many other cases that if you’re a cog in a machine; that’s likely where you’re gonna stay unless you a). kick up a fuss with your manager or HR department or b). make the bold step to move to pastures new.

I’ve been there myself, you get told that your job is to do a, b and c. In reality you’re like, my real passion lies in tasks x, y and z. So you think to yourself “i’ll do a, b and c, but i’ll also make some suggestions for x, y and z”. Sadly the people that already take care of tasks “x, y and z” are bullish and very uncooperative about your suggestions, after-all “that’s not your job”; irregardless of how good your suggestions are. So instead, you focus on developing your skills related to “x, y and z” for the benefit of another company, as your attention to tasks a, b and c — take a rapid diabolical nose dive.

The point that i’m making is to evaluate your position and examine the potential for you to branch out, bringing me too point 4.

4. Have the ability to try new things.

I have a good friend who recently quit a gig he’d been working with for a decade to strike out on his own. As a husband and three-time father, I can only begin to imagine the anxiety he must have felt taking this daunting road of uncertainty.

Like with any new venture, there were ups and downs, but by taking away the veil of corporate identity, allowing his own personal skills to shine, he has opened up the door to countless new opportunities that he would just never have had the opportunity to explore if he hadn’t made the active decision to step out the door of his last job.

It’s not uncommon for people to speak about the mundanity of life. Newsflash, on average we spend 32% of our waking lives at work. It’s one of the biggest means we have to massively alter our opportunities in life.

5. Improve your personal wealth.

Finally, down to the money. According to Forbes , the average employee is making a 3% raise in the same job every year, while employees leaving for pastures new can make between 10 and 20% and even upward to 50% depending on their circumstances.

The world is desperate for skilled labor and companies around the globe are starving for talent. Companies can tout technology replacing labor, but it is only exacerbating the global shortage of human capital and skilled workers. This means that we as employees are positioned better than ever to leverage our abilities for increased pay. — Cameron Keng, Forbes.

Money isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. There’s also something more enjoyable about negotiating a salary at a new company than haggling with your current boss.

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