Why I quit my corporate job

The dramatic announcement: I quit my job!

The books, the lectures, the TED talks, the articles, the conversations, the thoughts, my goals, my plans, my emotions, the early mornings, the late nights, the long ass days, the short weekends, the limited holidays, the tedious leave requests, my neglected side project that I am extremely passionate about. These are just some of the reasons I had to quit my job, yes ladies and gentlemen I quit my corporate job *insert dramatic reaction here* , Benjamin Jacob Mmari, challenging the status quo since 1992.

The disclaimer:

It was a great company, great people, a really great workplace in general, the problem wasn’t them, it was me (the cliche relationship line…). If I told the Ben of 5 years ago that in 2015 he would be leaving a company that was everything he ever wanted and more, he’d probably spit in my face and walk away. But the issue is that I have been quite resistant for the longest of times and it’s because I know and I have known ever since my very first stint at an internship during varsity, that being at the office, doing a conventional 9-5, clocking in and clocking out, is just not where I belong. My soul isn’t at ease, my heart is not at peace, my mind cannot sit still.

“I am an entrepreneur”…”I also really like writing :D”

So who am I?

I am a creator, an innovator, I get uber enthusiastic about solving real world problems, I love implementing business ideas from the ground up, I love sharing ideas and insights. I am an entrepreneur, I am a writer. A special type of creature, I get bored easily, my mind is not easily subdued, essentially I think I have life-ADD. And the glorious part of all of this, is that I am not alone, a large percentage of the people I am friends with are in the same boat as me (viva millennials viva!). Actually, funny thing is every week or so I find out about another old friend who is doing their own thing, be it full-time or on the side. Jim Ron said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, spot on Jim, spot on.

“You need to let go of one opportunity to grab onto the next”

The Dilemma

Now there is nothing really dramatic about quitting your job, people do it all the time, but when you don’t have the faintest of ideas where your next stable income will come from, then it gets a bit interesting to say the very least. But that’s the thing and yes, as arrogant as it may sound, as vain as it may seem, as pompous as I may appear – I am not really worried about the future from a financial perspective. Why not? Well,  I am young, educated, passionate, hard-working and enthusiastic about making a change in the world through technology. I have exposed myself to a lot of information and people over the years to confidently say that doors will open, a plan will be made, opportunities will arise, I have no doubt about that.

“Always have a plan B”

What’s plan B, you always need a plan B

As a fallback, companies all over the world are aggressively looking for developers anyways – so my qualifications and work experience will always be the plan B. My parents didn’t fork out +half a million Rands on my varsity education for nothing. I have ‘prestigious’ degrees, tucked away in a cupboard …somewhere.

“Save more” – “Waste less”

What would I have done differently?

Well for starters, had I known that I would quit after ~2 years of working, I would have saved a hell of a lot more. I would have wasted a lot less money and I would have lived a tad bit more frugally up till now. Essentially the larger your emergency fund, the longer your runway.

For example, had I saved enough from the beginning I would have been able to live comfortably job-less for a year without needing any additional income, which would have been great for my stress levels and general well-being, but unfortunately I’m not that much of a forward thinker. But on the upside (there is always a silver lining), now that I have a much shorter runway, I actually need to make money, before what I have eventually decides to run out – this will definitely force my creative juices to do a lot more creative juicing.

“Time moves forward, life goes on”

The transition

The final and most important reason why I had to resign from my job is that this caterpillar really needs to turn into a butterfly. The truth is that I am not yet at 100% of the person I know I should be right now and this needs to change. There are people and situations for every part of your life, and I believe we need to take what must be taken from our surroundings at each point in time and when there is nothing more left to be taken, you have to move on. The journey continues and life must carry on. Time can only move forward and so should we. I don’t quite know what the future holds, but that is the exciting part, for it is only when you close the one door, that you begin to notice all the other ones that lay wide open right in front of you.

“You need to figure out who you are and what you are about”

Final words of wisdom

Now to set the record straight there is nothing wrong with conventional jobs, corporate jobs or uncorporate jobs (yes, that’s not really a word, but you get my point), let’s be real with each other money needs to be made somehow folks. The point is that life is short, you only get one of these life things, and it is in your best interests to make sure you that figure out what it is you want to spend the majority of your time doing, before we attend your funeral. Some people are passionate about their jobs, some people use their jobs to fund their passions outside of work, some people don’t have any jobs and some people don’t have any passions. You just need to figure out which type of people you are, and more importantly which type of people you want to be.

“Here lies Benjamin Jacob Mmari, he was an average man…”

Funeral speech

Honestly, at my funeral the last thing I want the speaker to say as I sit idly in my coffin is “Here lies Benjamin Jacob Mmari born in 1992, he was an average man, who didn’t follow his dreams, put his passions aside, never took any risks and continuously obeyed the hidden laws of society until he met his timely death. He really never made an impression on the world and his surroundings, but we will miss him dearly because uhm… he was a really nice guy. (:/)”… Yeah, ain’t nobody got time for that.


Game changer: Finally a big shout-out to Seth Godin, his book The Dip was a large contributing factor towards me actually having the balls to make my decision, read this book and you will understand why.

“If you are going to quit, quit before you start. Reject the system. Don’t play the game if you realize you can’t be the best in the world.” – Seth Godin.



6 thoughts on “Why I quit my corporate job

  1. Who would have thought… Ben M from Mrs Simelane’s class was going to turn out to be quite the philosopher and writer 😃😃


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