Actually, I am in the midst of planning a change of job, switching from full time employment to self-employed (starting my own software business). I ask myself, why the sudden change? Is it for the money? To my surprise, money doesn’t seem to be the main reason at all, though I thought it was. Why I want to make the switch?
- I have lost the "feel good" factor in the company. I no longer feel excitement and challenges from the job, and I was bog down by poor company culture, which is not software development friendly. Basically, I feel frustrated with the job and the culture. Too much tedious and monotonous work, with such a low performance culture and un-innovative working environment. I suddenly feel so old and living in Stone Age. Thought the colleagues are kind and nice, but I was hoping for a better shift in terms of management and working culture.
- I feel that I can't get "success" from this company. Yes, I could still get my less than 10% increment every year, my one-month bonus or even a promotion every 2 years. Those perks are not success (doesn't seems like good perks to me as well), but the natural progression in corporate cycle. What do I want? I want to do leadership, to let me lead a team and create superb software out of our effort. I don't want to do just software support (I can't imagine I let myself do it for such a long time), I want to architect a good product, instil good software development culture, encourage good teamwork practices and lead a successful product development. I don't think the management and corporate culture is ready for me. Though somehow I manage to convinced them to allow me to do that until a certain extend, but just feel that a lot of elements are still missing.
- Self-employed? Isn't it you are eyeing for the big bucks? I though I was going for the money, but in fact, I would earn far less in self-employment. If I want the money so much, the wiser choice would be stick with my current job. I have a good fix monthly salary and good savings from EPF, plus steady little increment every years, why leave the comfort zone? Anyway, starting my own business is potential future moeny.
Why do I want to get out of self-employment?
- I want to try my luck. I wanted to know whether I am capable of making it on my own, as I thought I could. Besides, I am feeling lucky (not exactly, but I am ready to take some risk).
- I want to be in control. Usually when I work in company, I need to put a lot of convincing across in order for your idea to be accepted. Call me Iron First or arrogant, but I usually would though I have the good idea, if not the best (though not exactly my ideas, a lot of them is what I learned from books and others). But if someone have a better idea, voice it out reasonably and I shall consider it seriously (I am still resonable and not extremely hard headed). Nevertheless, I want to be in the position to steer the effort, presuming that I know what's best.
- I can do it cheaper and better. I always thought I am so good in software development that I can do it better and more economical compared with other local software house (not many of them anyway). But I know I am not the best in Malaysia (I know of quite a few software developers better than me), but luckily I don't have to be the best programmer to be successful in software business.
- I can. I know I am capable of it, just have to make it through (go through lots of hardship and anxiety). Else, I could end up crying reflecting on my cowardness during my old age.
- I want to be young and successful. Success is one thing, but being young and successful is what I wanted. Probably I would achieve some level of success when I am 40 while climbing corporate ladder, but that's not what I am looking for. I thought by starting my own business would put me on a riskier and faster track.
- I want to get freedom of work. I hate waking up early to work when I was slightly sick or extremely tired (or it is raining out there), not to mentioned fighting through hours of traffic. I want the freedom to work on my most productive hours, and I don't mind midnight. I can definitely save at least 3 hours a day of traffic time. I want to do shopping and dine out on weekdays, where I have ample parking space and less crowd. I want to have time to accompany my mom to her doctor's appointment. Perhaps I need lots of discipline and perserverance for self-employment, given the temptation of freedom.
- I want to be financially independent early. I don't want to worry about money my entire life, and wanted to someday to focus on what I like to do, rather than what I had to do. Perhaps semi-retirement then, have some happy vacations and work on things which matter to me (be it charity or work and activities which I enjoy). I want to have sufficient medical budget when my parents fall sick one day.