“Do you have any advice on the best way to let a corporate employer know that you won’t be coming to work with them and instead need to keep pursuing your passions while keeping the door open for potential collaboration in the future?”
Dear Uzo — what a wonderful opportunities you have ahead of you!
1- Reassess a Reasonable Start Date. Are you sure September will really be your start date at Microsoft? 🙂 In this case, most parties value transparency. Take a good look at your project and how much time you really want to invest. Explore joining them in 6 months or a year. First, see if this is possible.
2- Are New, Additional Job Opportunities Available? Ask your Microsoft manager if other positions are open in one year from now. Maybe they will be flexible. If your current position won’t be open, would they open other positions for you? That would be helpful to know that future and different job opportunities exist for you there.
Before you ask that, truly ask yourself: Do you need perhaps 2 years? 🙂 One year gets so little traction for startup. Statistics show that 66 percent of millennials want to start their own businesses; in fact, 54 percent of millennials “would quit their job and start a business in the next six months if they had the tools and resources needed.” You’re just creating the vision and there’s a lot, lot more to build.
3- Engage Your Prospective Employer. Every employer is different, but you might want to share your project. When you make this request to defer employment, assess the situation. Do they appreciate you and take a holistic view of your and your life? You could include all the momentum with Releaf and get your manager excited. You might even be able to carve out extra time off to go back and visit Releaf in Nigeria.
4- Pull out parts of Releaf that can help Microsoft. To better the above, pull out assets that can help Microsoft. What might they consider valuable? Diligence on the investment climate in Nigeria? Possible investment opportunities? You can ask them.
5- Don’t forget you. Financially, how are you doing? You must think about investing in your company’s future…. and your future! Have a clear plan for the next 1-2 years that is modest, and a greater long range plan. Passion is excellent, and, needs to be married with self-care.
Uzo, these are great questions which encourage you to understand your values and priorities. We are learning from you, too! Come back and share.
You’re Doing Great,