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How to Avoid Getting Trapped at a Job

Stuck looking for start-up capital? Don’t want to give up equity to a Venture Capitalist in exchange for funding?

Your business is in desperate need of seed money, yet you don’t want to sell our soul (or your ownership) to get it.

So what is a new entrepreneur to do? Unfortunately, if we are going to be picky with how we get funding, we must resort to the one thing that has caused us to go out on our own in the first place: getting a job.

Yes, that’s right. If you are strapped for cash and don’t want to give up equity, the only way out is to get a job. The only other option is a loan, and banks won’t lend you money if you don’t have income.

The trick to staying committed to your business is not getting trapped at your job. Below are some ways you can ensure that you don’t get trapped at a job meant only to fund your business.

Get a part time job

This is one sure-fire way to ensure that you don’t get trapped at a job. A part-time job is exactly that: part-time. You are only contributing a fraction of standard job hours towards work, so you never become invested enough in the job to get trapped there. Plus there is the added bonus that you get more time to work on your business than you did if it was a full-time job.

This lack of commitment goes both ways. Employers will generally view a part time worker as someone who doesn’t have a career-grade investment in this job, so they may ask less of you. This is good for you so most of your time and attention can be contributed towards your business.

Quit as soon as your profits can replace your salary

Telling yourself at the beginning that you will leave as soon as your profits can replace your salary will enhance the temporary feeling of the job.

The less permanent the job feels, the easier it will be to leave and the less likely that you will feel trapped at the job.

There is no reason to stay at the job anyway if your profit from your business is equal to your salary. Don’t get greedy and enjoy the extra income both bring you–the more time you can spend on your business, the easier it will be to grow your profits. The same can’t be said about a job.

Don’t get too invested in your job

This may be kind of obvious, but just try not to get to attached to the job. Making friends and establishing networks is one thing, but don’t allow yourself to begin considering this as permanent.

Always keep in the back of your mind that the job is temporary. As long as you keep remembering that, you will never allow yourself to get trapped.

Avoid any serious, high commitment jobs

Okay, so a part time salary doesn’t yield enough income for your business’ needs. Going full-time seems like the only option.

If this is the case, avoid any jobs that require high commitment, working hours in excess of 40 hours and those that are generally career-oriented jobs.

Looking for these types of jobs sends employers the wrong signal: that you are looking for employment for the long haul. You are destined to under-perform or even get fired at this type of job if you are treating it as temporary, while your employer thinks you are permanent.

Also, for those entrepreneurs that are especially ambitious, getting involved with a high commitment job can get you trapped because you will want to fulfill or even outperform on your required commitments at this job because that is the type of person you are: ambitious and demanding of excellence.

Either way, it’s best to just avoid the high commitment jobs altogether.

Consider pursuing a job that you don’t love

You certainly won’t stay at a job that you don’t enjoy, or at least don’t enjoy that much. Getting this type of job will ensure that you are viewing this job as temporary, something just to get you some seed money.

If you don’t like the job, you can’t wait to leave, so you will have no problem quitting when the time comes, and you will be unwilling to work extra hours if your boss asks you to. Remember, you don’t want to work more than you have to. You want as many precious hours as possible to work on your business.

Consider a job that you would enjoy as a casual hobby

Conversely, taking on a job that you would enjoy, just as a casual hobby might not be such a bad idea. The goal is to keep this job temporary, or at least low priority.

If you enjoy the essence of the job enough for it to be a hobby (a part-time hobby), than there is no reason why you shouldn’t do it. After-all, entrepreneurship is supposed to afford you the time so you can do what you love.

If you can find a job that you enjoy part-time, yet one that would never eclipse the importance of your own business, you should consider this as well.

Are there any other tips on how to avoid getting trapped at a job? Do you know of other creative ways of generating seed money without sacrificing equity?

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