When to quit your main job?

Has anyone had experience quitting their main job for another or their own business?

I just started my job in finance, it’s a good-paying job with a lot of upside potential in salary and growth. I will be there 3 months by the end of the month. I like the job, I like my co workers, and my boss is really good. It’s a good place to work, and it’s a small team.

When I took the offer, I was making like 3k GBP in sales from my side business. It’s a nice source of income that I thought I would have, I did want to grow to see if it can be a full time thing. Now, I’m making well over 5 figures in sales a month for 3 consecutive months now. Our gross margins are around 75%. I’ve opened a new office this week and hired an employee to help. I do like this business, and I am good at it. I’ve always felt more entrepreneurial. I do believe this can grow into a 6 figure a month business by next year.

I’m stuck between what I should do. I like my finance job, and they have treated me well with big plans for me. If it was a large firm, I wouldn’t think too much about it as people come and go. But it’s a small firm with 15 people. It’s a lot to invest in someone to join the team, and I’m a net negative asset in the beginning. I do my best and work hard, but I don’t want to screw them over if I leave.

I would like to at least work through the winter, in case there is another lockdown tbh. I do B2B for my side business, so sales would drop to essentially 0 if no one can work in a lockdown. And I have bills to pay and some student loans. But I don’t want to be deceptive while also looking at for my own interests.

Any advice on how to approach this professionally?


People come and go from businesses of all types and sizes. If you’re not a dick, and they’re not dicks, they’ll understand.

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I was thinking once I am 100% sure about the transition out, probably during the fall/winter. I just let them know that is my intention and I will stay on until they need me/ train the next person. My fixed costs have just gone up with a new office and employee, so I want to make sure I have a bit more stability as it’s still a very new business.

I just want to make sure I leave them in a good place since they have treated me well and gave me a chance.

Just give them your one month notice when you have decided .
Don’t tell them anything until then as it will likely damage your work environment . Staff come and go all the time in small and big firms so it’s just the way it goes. Mostly they care about getting proper notice.


That’s a good plan. But you’re talking a lot about them - worry about yourself, and when you need out, with no consideration to them, because push come to shove, that’s what businesses do. It’s not personal.

That said, if you really are wanting to leave them in a good place and don’t want to screw them over, you tell them asap. It’s tough to hire quality entry level out of step with the recruiting cycle. That might suck for you though. :wink:

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I do agree, I guess now I see the other side of this as a business owner. I just want to leave them in a good place. I think maybe I give them a 1.5 month notice, which is more than enough. It’s a smaller firm, not always easy to find candidates.

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I’m just an English teacher so have no practical advice. However, it’s great to hear you’re doing well.


Thanks :blush:

It’s rather incredible how life works out even during this time if you keep pushing. In the beginning of last year, most of you remember I was rather upset that my internship got pulled with the pandemic. 2 years ago I had no degrees. Now I have a BSc and MSc :joy: I can hardly believe it. Seems unreal to think about.


I went on that road 13 years ago. Drop a good job and career to go full time with my business.

I managed to earn more in first years comparing to my peers with corporative career. I worked longer hours too.

Industry has changed, a lot of automatization, margin was pushed down by big players and I found myself doing hassle 12 hours daily for a typical mid level salary.

Meanwhile my ex colleagues became managers, being paid well into 6 digits with bonuses, benefits (holidays) and record clean credit score.

I had to drop my business and going back to office was extremely difficult for various reasons.

My buddy have kept his job, while making nice money on side as long it last. It has worked out better for him.

Few months is nothing. You gotta taste waters for longer.


These are all good points. I have given a great deal of thought on the longevity of my business. I do believe things can change quickly and I don’t plan to put all my eggs in one basket.

Not saying you did anything wrong. But I do plan to diversify my income stream as I keep going so I’m not 100% reliant on the business and potentially opening up another company in e-commerce. Plus real estate, and I specialize in investment management so I can make my money work for me in the market.

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Then why are you asking here? You already know what you want to do and need to do. You don’t need any further affirmation from us. Be sure of yourself. There’s nothing like taking a bit of a risk and having it work out

Best of luck to you. It’s a good feeling once you’ve achieved something you’ve worked so hard for. Enjoy it.

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Just want to get a 2nd opinion on how to handle the transition. My work knows I have this side business going on, but when they hired me it was just a side hustle. I don’t want to seem like I’ve deceived them or left them in a bad place with hiring me.

I know that I would prefer to work for myself. I just am concerned about transitioning the right way.

good luck with whatever you do. either way you’ll be alright.

I’m feeling more and more of a failure!

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I’m risk averse, so I would continue my side business until my “day job” interfered with it. When you know you want to leave, give notice and make yourself available to help the old company…even after you are off the payroll.


The very conservative solution to your problem would be to stay in your job until you can support your lifestyle from your investment income only (in the best case without ever touching the principal).

Unfortunately the entertainment business is not what it used to be. As in: Video games trump quality in-person shows. And who wants to see a jester wearing a surgical mask? But I have enough monthly investment income to pay for my liquor consumption and my centipede wife’s unquenchable thirst for shoes.


I second this. If you’re able to do both, keep doing them.

It’s time to quit of if your main job is causing you to lose money/clients in your side job, or if your side job is causing your to perform poorly at your main job.

This is most likely the reason you’re torn - you’ve only been there a short time. Don’t worry about it, it’s only business.

I think it’s time. My performance has suffered in both and it’s getting harder to do with my personal life.

It’s exciting but frightening. My family seems to think it’s a bad idea, but then again…they didn’t think this business would be very successful. I think they just think it’s safer and I went through a Masters in finance to get a good finance job.


The finance industry never looks down on those who left to try their own business and then try to get back into finance a few years later if not successful. It’s a separate type of job experience, i.e. real-world.
You’re young. Can always get back into finance even when you’re in your 30s if you have to.
Nothing to lose, but much experience to gain.

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I think I’ve created a good opportunity for myself. I have to take this chance and risk. Like you’ve said. I have finance experience now, even if it’s a short time. I have the educational background, and it’s a business venture I’m going into which isn’t too far off the skill set in finance.


Here’s worst-case scenario. Company does not work out for whatever reason.
You call old company and other financial companies and get foot in the door again.
They’ll never ask why you left, but rather why take a chance on you a second time, and that’s when you give a 30-minute talk about ALL you learned as a businessman and how you now can apply what you learned to educate clients and colleagues about setting up a real-world company, and not some stupid business case study that gives recommendations.
Managers understand that businesses may fail. It’s how you apply what you learned from personal failure and how you would do it better (if you could) that are important experiences in the eyes of recruiters. Your so-called business failure can become a talking point for years to come with future clients, because they’ll see that you understand what they are going through.