Should I start my own business or accept a job offer I just received, even if I hate the industry?

I left “cubicle nation” a couple of weeks ago because I couldn’t take it anymore. I hated the job, the mentality and the bitchy colleagues. I had always seen it as a transition as that job had nothing to do with my purpose in life, it just paid good money which I needed to pay for some courses. I was planning to stay for another year but it became psychologically impossible.

I have this dream of starting my own business, I have a couple of exams soon for a certification that will give me credibility and I will be finally able to change industry. My website is up, I am building a mailing list and designing some online products, positive feedback so far.

Yesterday I received a job offer. Previous industry, good money, and better working hours, therefore now I have doubts. I know it takes time to build a business from scratch, therefore accepting could be a good solution to have a steady income while I sort things out and create some products, but I wonder if I would end up in the same situation as before (depressed, no motivation to work on my project after work etc.). The other option would be testing products and ideas for the next 3 months and see what happens.

Any advice? What would you do?


  • Unless you have a year of savings to work on your business it would be irresponsible for you not to take the job. Sorry if you hate the job, you need to suck it up. If you believe in your business so much you’ll find a way to work on it. Try to find that work/life balance and you can do it. The fact is that new businesses fail and you don’t need to go into debt over it plus starting a business can be expensive. Think of the job a necessary evil to start your business. You can do it, may have.

    • Oh my God, man, are you some kind of masochist? No offence, but seriously …

      OP: “certification that will give me credibility and I will be finally able to change industry.” Are you sure you need that? No one usually cares, usually you’re able to just get started (I’ve done it, saved myself tons of time).

  • Should you take the job or start a business? Definitely take the job. There’s not even a question.

    What would I do? Start a business.

  • As someone who took the job let me tell you this: Don’t. It’s good to have an income every month, but truth be told, you will neglect your startup. If you are good at your old job, and it seems like you are, you can always go back later if your business doesn’t work out. But to me, you can’t do everything, it’s one thing or the other, otherwise you will end up doing both things wrong, as I am right now.

  • I support entrepreneurship/startup – but with a good plan – We are hosts of “ReLaunch” podcasts and feature many people who successfully made the transition. In short, At this time, unless you have 3-6 months of expenses saved, you might want to take the job. If it has good working hours, maybe on the side you can start developing 1. Relationships – build network of supporters, mentors; 2. Resources – could be financial, could be books/live events…just some starting thoughts here.

  • I actually have the same thing. I have a job and I’ve been working on this startup for some months now. My team and I do understand that we will be making a lot of sacrifice, but the market is ready for us. Whenever we are ready, the market is available. That said, we see our startup becoming very pacey. We are already working on a building project for temporary use. We are looking for funds for our upkeep for up to a year, so we don’t struggle too much with basic needs. With all this exciting ideas and opportunities exposing itself, this offer from one of the world’s biggest firm just arrived for one of us. Now there’s dilemma as we are thinking hard on it. We do know what the future of this company will be. It’s very exciting and will grow quickly considering things go as planned. Should this be accepted or rejected. I deeply feel that even if the job is accepted, the satisfaction on building something you’ve so worked on and believe in is one thing that the job won’t be able to provide. While we wait, some other company might be taking over the market. It is a very costly choice, but we didn’t expect this to be our first challenge. We do know we will be facing challenges, but this is just too big for a start.

    But this is my input to your question. What are you building? Is the vision pulling you or are you trying to run with it? It is a clear vision? Is it something you see developing into a massive firm over time? Do you intend to sell it over time, or keep developing it? Do you have anyone who you’ve sold this vision to and who is ready to run with you? These are the questions you’ll want to ask yourself. One thing you must understand is that it won’t be all smooth and you may even feel like giving up. But then, if you so believe in it, pursue it. It may take some time, but it’ll surely come out well. What is the assurance that it will come out well? There is no assurance to that, depending on what you’re developing and how you run with it. There will be many determining factors excluding the fact that you’ll constantly be making sacrifices along the way. This is not a yes or no answer, but I can advice you on one thing. Pray and Plan. Plan a lot and look at possibilities where things aren’t working out as they should, then plan for those things as well. Everything may not go as planned all the time, but do plan intensely. Save a lot, and look at the possible expenses. Look at ways you can still make income or receive funding in case things get a little more difficult.

    You may be an intense workaholic, but let’s be realistic, will you have the time to contribute so much to your project while working? One big thing also is this: the job you’re taking, is it an experience that will directly impact the growth of your startup? I mean, the knowledge you’ll take out of it, is it something you think you can use towards your startup? If yes, then it may not be such a bad idea. But from my understanding, to a large extent, you have the basic knowledge you need. All you need is to get someone else who can buy into your idea. Someone close enough to work and sacrifice for it. Sacrifice is the most valuable currency of any startup. No matter what you do, your sacrifice will determine a lot of things. So, think deep. I hope you do have the time to think things over while the job offer still pends. I also have a great feeling another offer is coming for me. These are testing my faith in what I have in mind as a startup. But I do know one thing, if I leave those jobs to pursue my startup, that means I’m putting everything into it. Every single thing I’ve got. But first, even your vision have to be that strong. That being said, it depends on your vision and how much it pulls you. If it pulls you strong enough, then follow it. If it doesn’t, and is more or less like a side project to you, then take the offer and give out some of your time to this startup while still working. Maybe little by little you can still build it, and if you’re buoyant enough and still think it’s worth it, then you can pursue it again.

    Hope this helps.

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