When Can I Write My Resignation Letter?

By: Charron Monaye

While many celebrate entrepreneurship, I want you to be prepared for what’s to come and the trials you will have to overcome. The entrepreneurial world is not for the faint at heart. Entrepreneurs must be motivated, creative, versatile, risk-tolerant, driven, a visionary, and open-minded. In addition, your personal life must be in order, because as we already discovered, your business is a reflection of your life. Therefore, you must have a positive and strong mindset about life and purpose.

So when is the right time to write your resignation letter? Some people will tell you when you have at least six to twelve months’ worth of your salary saved; others will say to put your trust in God and quit today! To help you decide, I would like to offer you six things to consider before resigning. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to struggle or become discouraged.

1)    Know exactly how much money you need to afford your life. 

Do you truly know how much money you spend each month? Tracking your spending behavior can be an eye-opener. What's more, knowing exactly where your money goes each month is the best way to understand if you have the financial means to quit your job and where you should make cuts, if necessary. Start by calculating the exact amount you earn after taxes. Don't forget to deduct any automatic transfers going to your 401(k) or other funds. Next, spell out your monthly expenses. Creating a spreadsheet might help. Include your bills and any ongoing debts that must be covered. Look for ways you can cut back in order to make quitting your job a reality, then figure out what you can save each month. For example, getting rid of cable TV could save you about a hundred dollars a month, if not more.

2)    Expect the unexpected.

Stuff happens. Maybe you'll need a root canal the second you drop your dental insurance. Maybe your roommate will move out, and you'll have to pay the full amount for rent until you find another roommate to split it with you. Without a steady income, it's harder to absorb unexpected costs in addition to your basic living expenses. That's where an emergency fund comes into play.

3)    Do you have any evidence that your idea will fly? 

Too many entrepreneurs start companies without doing enough research or asking enough hard questions to make sure their product or service is something that people actually want or need. One way to try out your business without quitting your day job is to build your company on the side, in your spare time, until you know for sure it can survive in the marketplace.

4)    Create a game plan.

Once your goals are in place, it’s time to put your action plan in motion. How would you support yourself if you went out on your own? Do some research to support your idea. The first sketches of a game plan could become a rough draft of your business plan. Make sure to create target dates for bringing your idea closer to fruition, and eventually, it will include the day you leave your day job!

5)    Create a worst-case scenario plan, as well.

Have a ‘worst-case scenario’ plan. If your business fails and you run out of money, what happens? More than likely, you’ll get another job in the workforce. So, plan for this possibility by keeping in contact with key people who might have work for you should you ever need it.

6)    Leave on a good note.

Quitting your job without giving at least a two-week notice, could be the worst move to make prior to your departure.Yes, you are leaving to start your own venture, but you cannot be sure that it will be a success or that you won’t need something from your old company one day. Leave without burning any bridges and you may be able to cash in a favor one day. Your old employer may even send clients your way if they feel you are a trustworthy businessperson.