When Is It Better to Quit Your Job without Another

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

When Is It Better to Quit Your Job without Another

The ideal time to look for a job is when you already have one. Hands down, no question about it. But when is it okay to quit your job without another lined up?

Sometimes what we're afraid of doing is what will set us free. I was afraid of quitting my job without another one lined up. But I was so burned out from my corporate job.

It was to the point that it was hard to bring myself to make time to job search, update LinkedIn, edit resumes, schedule interviews, and so forth. It’s no joke when they say job searching is a full-time job.

So I quit first.

I used the time off to get my health, sanity and life back in alignment. And it sparked my interest in getting my finances in order too. I realized that I did not want to rely solely on an employer for a paycheck and health insurance.

Eventually, I kept working on my personal finances and I was able to reach retirement at 35! Yep, I got FIRE’d….financial independence retire early (FIRE) that is.

So there was that unexpected benefit from taking time off to heal. What came out of that Eat, Pray, Love soul searching journey was the start of my path to FIRE.

I do not recommend quitting without another job lined up. Ever.

It’s not for the faint of heart. However, you know yourself best. You know when you've hit a breaking point.

In the past, I quit my corporate job several times without a Plan B. Things worked out each time but it was definitely scary times.

What made it even more tough? Not having support from family and some close friends. Here’s the reality of what happened one time after I quit...

Related Content:

Top 3 Signs It’s Time to Leave a Job

5 Things You Must Do Before You Resign

3 Essential Steps to Leave a Job + Switch Careers

Even when the finances were in order, everything else in my life fell apart after my last job quit in 2017.

From an unexpected breakup to my dad getting into a car accident to ending up in the ER myself while traveling in Europe.

This all happened within a month.

In my mind, I equate being "jobless by choice" with the notion that the worst case scenario is going to happen in my personal life.

So when I wanted to relocate across the country, I had to really think things through. Even being financially independent, I had huge mental blocks. I was fearful of October 2017 repeating.

The key is to mentally, emotionally, physically and energetically prepare as much as possible in advance. Even without a Plan B lined up, you can still do a lot of heavy lifting.

So do yourself a favor and give yourself options. Start with getting your finances in order ASAP so that you have more options! This includes having a plan for debt management to planning ways to create positive cash flow.

Set up a protection plan. What’s the worst case scenario? How are you going to protect yourself with your current resources, cash flow and insurance?

Remember, it’s not just about having all kinds of (sometimes unnecessary) insurance. Have at least a 6-month emergency fund to cover living expenses.

Here’s how I built my emergency fund in under 6 months.

Leaving a job is a big decision. It’s not always a black or white decision either. Here are three common signs that lead many people to leave their jobs without another lined up.

3 Reasons People Quit Their Careers without a Backup

1. Physical

Is your health is taking a toll? Our bodies communicate with us all the time. But we don’t always listen.

This could be our gut instinct telling us something isn’t quite right. Or other physical responses like frequent headaches from work-related stress.

In the past, I knew enough was enough when I started losing a lot of hair. Then there were crying spells that went on beyond Sunday blues when weekends ended.

Notice what your body is trying to tell you. Here is how to not only sharpen but also better tap into your intuition.

2. Mental

Often times, we aren’t aware we’ve hit a glass ceiling. It isn’t until we realize we are no longer learning from our projects, tasks, and environment.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work routine. Thus, it may require taking a step back to evaluate a career path from a long-term perspective.

Ask yourself if your job allows room for personal and professional development. Are you bored most of the day at work? Are there trainings or courses of interest that are available to you?

If there isn’t room for growth, it may be time to move on. Before you resign, here are five things you should do.

3. Emotional

Having to go to a workplace you don’t enjoy can be emotionally depleting. Whether it’s a micromanaging boss or passive aggressive coworker, working even half a day with difficult people can be exhausting.

A toxic work environment can be energetically draining as well. Being surrounded by heavy energy can take a toll on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

If you find yourself in a hostile work environment, it may be time to move on. Before then, here are some ways to deal with a hostile workplace in the meantime.

Getting ready to quit the 9-5?

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Need money mindset tips for your upcoming resignation?

Pivot your career to align with your ideal lifestyle. Easier said than done? Perhaps.

Changing jobs within the same industry can be challenging. Pivoting to a new industry can be even tougher and take longer.

So what do you do to shorten the lengthy process of job searching?

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