I quit my job to join a startup. Here's how.

I quit my job. I wish I could say I had a eureka moment and suddenly knew exactly what I should do. I didn't. It was a slow burner. Months of feeling an itch for something else. Of pondering opportunity costs. Of exploring where I wanted to take my career. I finally started feeling excited about a few other gigs. Like the night after a first date excited, when you're already imagining the next date and the third and a happy life beyond. So I went on more dates with said eligible companies, narrowed down my options, and made a decision. And when I finally did, it felt as easy as deciding to brush my teeth in the morning. I’ll walk you through how I got there.

  1. Flounder for a while in discontent, unsure of what to do next (I advise minimizing this period and skipping to step 2 as soon as possible).

  2. Write down what you’re looking for in the next phase of your career. What do you value? Financial stability? Learning? Impact? What are you hoping to learn next? Be as specific as possible.

  3. Assign a weight to each of those values on a scale of 0-100% based on how important they are to you (the sum of these weights should equal 100%).

  4. Evaluate your opportunities for each of those values on a scale of 0-5.

  5. Calculate the weighted average across your opportunities.

  6. Make a decision (contingent on there being a mutual fit).

This process is called building a career matrix (inspired by Zainab Ghadiyali). Here’s what mine looked like [template here]:

Note: this process requires a bit of soul searching and is absolutely more of an art than a science. At the end of the day, you have to trust your gut when making a big career move (or any decision for that matter). But when you’re feeling a bit blocked in your gut, sometimes you need to eat fruits and veggies! Hopefully this helps provide clarity for you (and your gut). It did for me.

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