10 Signs that you Should Step off the Corporate Ladder

Have you considered quitting your full-time job to follow your true passion? Whether it’s photography, event planning, or starting your own restaurant, there are tell-tale signs that you’re ready to start your own business. While being your own boss is appealing, it does require significant financial adjustments, self-discipline, and the willingness to learn new aspects of leadership and management. Ready to get started? Here are 10 signs that you’re ready to step off the corporate ladder and start your own business.

Higher Education Is A Requirement for Promotion.

In a world where higher education can have an exorbitant price tag, Millennials are beginning to analyze whether graduate programs are worth the ROI. When I completed college almost 10 years ago our economy was in a recession.  That meant most of my classmates chose MBA programs instead of a career because promising job opportunities just weren’t available. Now, with a stronger economy, graduates have a choice and universities are feeling the impact. According to the Wall Street Journal, the coveted “MBA” suffix is losing its appeal.  And for good reason. If you’ve hit a glass ceiling just because you don’t have MBA behind your name, it’s probably time to start typing that two-week notice. The company is signaling that they value an acronym more than an employee.


You’re Spending More on Childcare Than you’re Bringing in Each Month.

Childcare costs are ridiculous. According to Child Care Aware of America, the national average cost for childcare is nearly $8,700 a year. Single parents pay nearly 36% of their income on childcare expenses for one child, while married couples pay on average 10%. Depending on your salary, location, and marital status, working from home and being your own boss may be more affordable than keeping your child in daycare. If you’re interested in becoming a Momtrepreneur, check out our post How to Grow A Baby and a Business on Daily Mom Military.


You’ve Cried at Work…Multiple Times.

Now, there is always that one project you keep close to your heart and when something goes wrong, the waterworks may break the levy. But when one passion project turns into a weekly breakdown, you may want to evaluate how much of a toll your corporate career is taking on your well-being.  

Healthcare Costs, Life Insurance, and Retirement Savings Don’t Concern you.

Before you submit that two-week notice, there is a significant benefit you may miss once you step off the corporate ladder. Those biweekly deductions you rarely pay attention to on your pay stub? Those are big bills. Health insurance, life insurance, and retirement 401k plans fall on your shoulders once you decide to become an entrepreneur. Health insurance may not be so scary if you have a spouse who can cover you, especially since costs continue to rise, but say goodbye to PTO, maternity/paternity leave, and 401K matching. If you’re willing to make these sacrifices, you’re ready to step off the corporate ladder.


Your Daily Routine Revolves Around Meetings and Emails.

In a past life, I had to block lunches in my calendar so I would take time throughout the day to eat. When you work 12-15 hour days and still cannot find 30 minutes to run out and grab lunch, you know you’ve hit a low in personal health.  Your daily routine should include time for meals, self-care, meditation, family, and friends.


Work Life Balance is Nonexistent.

While my husband and I dated, I would frequently drive six hours each way in one weekend so we could spend a day together. If we spent two days together, I set my alarm for 2:00 AM Monday morning and drove through the night back to Washington, DC to make 9:00 AM meetings. After three months of this I realized I was prioritizing my work over my life. When your career does not provide you with the flexibility to work remotely or move your personal goals (like marriage) forward, it may be time to step away.


You Cannot See your Impact.

Take a look back at your time with your employer. Have you been an agent for change? Can you directly see how you have impacted customers, the community, or the company? If you said no, chances are you’re stuck in the proverbial hamster wheel. Employees that work for a company that they believe in are more likely to succeed in their careers and become a brand ambassador. According to Forbes, mission-driven workers are 54% more likely to stay for five years at a company and 30% more likely to grow into high performers than those who arrive at work motivated only by their paycheck.  When you lose belief in the leadership, you lose passion to perform your best.


Your Personality Has Changed.

When I experienced corporate burnout, I didn’t even realize it until I was sitting with an old co-worker over lunch at Potbellys. She called me out. She told me I was depressed, unenthusiastic, and pretty much an all-around downer. Without this tough love, I’m not sure I would have ever broken my monotonous routine, applied to other jobs, and found a career that is emotionally sustainable. Your career is your choice. Your happiness is your choice. If you find that the corporate work atmosphere is changing you for the worst, there is no shame in finding an alternate career. After all, you spend the majority of your time in the office, you better be happy with yourself while you are there.


You’re Comfortable Being CEO, CFO, COO, CMO and More…

Before you take the leap away from corporate life, be sure you are comfortable taking on all the roles assumed as an entrepreneur. When you start your own business, you are the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, and you are in charge of marketing, sales, hiring and firing. All aspects of a well -oiled business now fall on your shoulders. You’ll also find that no one cares about your company as much as you do. Still think you’re up for the challenge? Check out these eight tips to get your business started from Entrepreneur.com.


You Need Room for Flexibility & Growth.

As a military spouse, my career cannot  depend upon one location and flexible working hours mean that time outside the office is spent with my family. Whether you’re an active duty military family or a single mom who needs more wiggle room to juggle kids activities and school, your standard 9-5 job doesn’t cut the muster when you need more. Entrepreneurship allows you to be your own boss, but it also means staying accountable for your profits, managing all aspects of the business from marketing to sales. If you want to get a feel for working from home, try running your side-hustle out of your house every weekend for a month. If you feel confident you could manage that every day you are ready to take a step towards entrepreneurship.

Do you need help starting your own business? Developing a business plan, setting marketing goals, and developing a go-to-market strategy are all key foundational elements that can set you up for success. We’re here to help you succeed and share our mistakes so you can avoid making them when you get started. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. Your success is ours. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.