When To Fire Yourself And Turn To Entrepreneurship!

When To Fire Yourself…

My job involves conducting a lot of interviews as part of the gap analysis. Of course, before I start my questions, I give the interviewees a brief about what I do, why I’m here and also, why they’re here. In order for them to feel comfortable, I assure them that our conversation is very confidential.

They start telling me the real issues that make them not satisfied with their job (i.e. they don’t get promoted, the work environment isn’t healthy, or they’re not recognized for what they do). When they start explaining, I always ask myself: What if I was their manager? What if they’re this comfortable when they talk with their managers? Will they be more productive at work, or at least be satisfied? Yet the strongest question in my mind is why are they still here? Why don’t they look for another job elsewhere or even change careers?

After having these interviews, I found employees are afraid to get out of their misconception of a ‘comfort zone’. I’m calling it misconception as, you see, a comfort zone allows you to be in a situation where you don’t feel stress, when you’re sure you can handle anything you would encounter; a situation where you’re safe. So you would ask; after all their suffering, is it really their comfort zone? When you’re afraid to change and develop your career, or at least strive to be better in your current job, then it’s not actually being afraid to get out of your comfort zone, it’s simply being afraid of change. In order to get over this fear, you may think about the following:

Stop complaining

Don’t just keep complaining that you’re not happy with your job; think and analyze the reason why. In many cases, you would be shocked that you don’t conduct all your job responsibilities which could be the reason why your manager is a bit rough with you or maybe you don’t follow your project plan the way you should.

Routine kills creativity

Part of your comfort zone is you really know the process and details of your everyday work. But have you tried to look at it from a different perspective? For instance, did you check how others do it or what your manager’s opinion about it is?

Am I motivated and all excited?

Everyone says motivation results could be achieved through your managers support, reward schemes, and appreciation. But I’m telling you, these results will appear on your face in the morning. You know what I’m talking about, right?

Try to observe how you look when you wake up to get ready for work. Is it “yes, another beautiful day to accomplish more!” or “here we go again, why… why did I wake up?!”

Taking a look like this will summarize the presence or the lack of motivation; all the reward schemes, management support, work environment, empowerment, recognition, and every single aspect related to it.

Am I moving forward in my career?

Every one of us is hoping to be the best in his field and move forward so we can achieve our final goals. So it is up to you to decide. How many years have you spent at the same place with no progress? Have you learned new practices that helped you in your career development? What else do you need to acquire to enrich your experience?

All these questions are very important. Yes, we work to achieve a better life by getting a higher salary and benefits, but don’t forget your ultimate goal is to be a successful person, someone valuable in your chosen career, and this what makes the difference. Although salary is one of the most important things to consider, it’s not more important than your career growth. Also bear in mind that developing your career means increasing your salary as well.

To let you know that you’re not alone in this situation, one study showed 63% of employees in UAE are dissatisfied with their potential career growth, while 56% are dissatisfied with their salary packages (Gulf Business, January 2014, Bayt.com, Tougov).

Work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a challenge in the majority of business fields as it is affected by many factors such as shortage of resources, workload and many other reasons. Feeling guilty that you can’t share your time with your family or spend your own personal time has a very negative impact on keeping up with your job. The same study mentioned that 53% are unable to maintain a good work-life balance.

Shall I fire myself now?

The above mentioned aspects do not cover everything of course, but they gather and summarize the crucial factors that every employee should think about before he/she decides to leave their current job.

As a result, you might rethink your current situation and think about how to improve it, or you might find a better opportunity that will enable you to go and acquire more knowledge and experience; in both cases, you have to make sure that you are a ‘capable and qualified person in your field’.

One last important reminder is to always maintain a good relationship with your pervious workplace, as without it, you wouldn’t have become what you are now. Do not ever forget that it gave you a lot of opportunities to practice, learn and grow.

Now it’s your turn to share with us your thoughts…


Mahmoud Garad is a Business Development Manager and Business Excellence Consultant at International Performance Excellence. He has a broad experience gained by dealing with several clients across the UAE and Middle East. He is also a EFQM certified assessor conducting organizational assessment using the EFQM model, helping create a customer centric organizations and enrich the workforce environment by focusing on the importance of ‘People’ within organizations

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Hello Mahmoud,

I believe you should leave your job when you start lose that passion to wake up everyday and make a difference at your work place. When you stop having the motivation despite loving what you do, but you just feel that you need more and you can give more somewhere else. A bad manager or unhealthy work environment all can be telorated, true it may impact you but it won’t be the reason to leave. We know deep inside when it is the time to leave but we are humans and we get afraid of the future especially when we have issues in our current job. I think it is all about knowing the risks and take a step forward in your life.

Very true Isra’a .. Also you’ve mentioned a valid point which is sometimes you lose the motivation to work, but it doesn’t mean that you started to dislike your career. So the best solution as you mentioned is to take a step forward.

Great article. For me, I believe that some dissatisfied employees are simply lazy to try out other things or scared of rejection that’s why they settle in the current situation they’re at. It’s a lesser risk than losing a job altogether. Little they do know that there’s a bigger chance for them to be more successful, if they transfer to a career or workplace they love, consequently earning more. It won’t be easy, but could be very rewarding. Rather than being stuck in a place where you lose a small part of yourself every working day.

Thank you for your participation Freda. I agree with you; being stuck in a workplace, would kill the ambition and motive to change which has a very negative impact on the employee’s career development.

Mahmoud Garad, thanks for sharing such useful information
I do agree about the above mentioned points..However, I believe that few of inactive employees lack the above attributes but still they don’t quiet neither stop nagging due to the merely fact that they don’t want to start from scratch regardless of the place they target hence they feel more active in their comfort zone..

Therefore, one should always know the right time to quiet or switch. ..

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