Career Path: Stay or Go?

I’ve been a bad blogger the past few weeks, as I’ve been slammed at work and school, thus making it hard to find the time to update. But I’m going to force myself (or at least try to force myself) to update at least once a week with something substantive… once I’m over this onslaught of work, I’ll be back in full force!

So speaking of work, I’ve come to realize that I need to start making a change. I’ve been with my company for just under 5 years, and its been pretty good up until now. As a whole, its a great company to work for, but ever since coming back in January, its been hard to motivate myself to come to work, and to push forward — I’ve reached that point, where I’m just kind of done.

Some people, like being at this point — where you show up, do your job, get paid well, and go home — for me, I like to be challenged, and I like to push forward, so I feel like I’m stalling out, and that it may be time to look at other options.

One of the avenues I want to explore, is doing contracting work. I’ve got a fair bit of experience in business management, that I think I could contract out to some small to medium sized companies — its largely what I do full time, but contract offers more flexibility, and a much wider variety of career paths.

While I need to wait for school to be done (to have the extra time to invest), I’m going to start building a business network of contacts, and potential clients in the mean time. My plan is to do the following:

  • Start making it known to friends that I’m looking to branch out
  • Attend at least one networking function/month
  • Read a book or two on networking, business development, and selling yourself
  • Start networking online too

So now, I’m debating between sticking it out at my current company, but working in the evenings to start a side business (something that will help me reach one of my goals, of making an additional $5k/year), and hopefully point me in the right direction for the future.

My long term goal, is to work for myself — I don’t think I’ll ever truly be happy, until I can run my own business, select my own clients, and earn each and every pay cheque.

The other alternative, which I’m going to keep on the table, is just keep my eyes open for a new opportunity that offers the challenge I’m looking for. I’m not hell bent on working for myself (just yet), and think I still have a lot of room to grow professionally at another company.

But, with all that said — I’m in a good enough spot right now,  where I have the safe job, that I don’t hate, so it may just be a good holding point, until I can ramp up the contracting side.

Has anyone ever done this, started your own business? How did it go, pros/cons?