If you’re desperate to quite your job, it can be tempting to leave before you have another one lined up.
There’s a lot to think about including income, your well-being and beyond. Consider your situation from all angles and, seek professional career advice if necessary so you have a proper plan and some confidence going forward.
Here are seven reasons to quit your job even if you don’t have another one to go to.
If you're being mistreated at work and you can prove it, you may be able to leave and still get unemployment compensation. Being forced out of a job due to poor treatment is called constructive dismissal. If you’re not safe at work, you have to resign regardless of whether you’re likely to be eligible for compensation.
Bullying, abuse and harassment can lead to mental and physical illness of many kinds. If your symptoms persist even after taking sick leave, you need to get out. Your health is more important.
If your job is making you completely miserable, you’ll find it difficult to look for a new one because you're stuck in a cycle of misery and inertia. It may look mad, but the only way you’re going to improve your situation is to leave your job.
It’s possible that even though you’ve been approached by headhunters, you've been too stressed and distracted to follow up on the opportunities. This is a sign that you’re in demand and could walk into another job fast.
It’s possible that the culture and leadership of the company you work for are completely at odds with your own. If you’re being asked to say or do things you feel are unethical, you may have to quit before you have a new job lined up.
Calling in sick on a regular basis is a sign that you just don’t want to be there anymore. Apart from anything else, it’s almost impossible to search for a new job when your energy is this depleted by your current job.
When work is making you ill, you need to listen and act accordingly. Trust your gut. You know you can’t keep doing this and it’s time to get out. Even if you fear not having a job, you’ll be able to recover and move on to new and better things when you’re away from a toxic environment.
Leaving your job when you don’t have another one lined up isn’t a sign of failure, it’s simply a recognition that change is necessary. If possible, make sure you’ve got something behind you so you don’t end up panicking about how to pay the bills. It would also be worthwhile seeing a career consultant who can help you plan and find a better job faster.
Leaving your job is a very tempting proposition when every day feels like a month and you dread going to work every day. But there are times when you need to dig a bit deeper to ensure that in escaping one bad situation, you’re not running straight into another.
This can happen when you have unresolved issues or problems.
For example, if you keep getting side-lined for promotion, it may be due to your lack of confidence. Until you confront this and learn to brand and present yourself in a way that conveys your value to others, it doesn’t matter where you work, you’ll still get side-lined.
There’s also no point in leaving one job and moving onto another unless you know what isn’t working for you. Maybe you hate the industry, maybe you hate the work… there are lots of reasons why you might hate your job. So figure out what that is before you move on. Otherwise you might end up in another toxic environment.
You also need to learn to set some boundaries with those around you if you're feeling overworked or set upon by others in your workplace. Think about what you need and how you need to protect yourself before deciding to move on.
When you’ve just quit your job, it’s tempting to take any job you can get, go to a heap of inappropriate interviews, and take the first offer that comes along. This won’t get you anywhere. You left your job for a reason, you were unhappy, unfulfilled, bored… there were probably a lot of reasons.
Before you do anything else, give yourself time to reflect. After all, you don’t want to replace one toxic situation with another. Yet that’s exactly what you’ll do if you just grab the first thing that comes along.
Ask yourself what lies behind your need to get another job fast? The answer will probably be fear. Fear that you’ll starve or end up homeless. Fear that you’ll never get another job. Fear that you’re somehow weak or lacking in some way. Instead, focus on the opportunity you have now: the opportunity to create something new and better for yourself.
Hopefully, you have a safety net in place. It might be in the form of savings, going back to live with your parents for a while or taking on low-stress ad hoc or part-time work. Before you quit, talk everything through with those involved before you go ahead. If possible, put a limit on this period so you have a definite end-point to it.
Feeling anxious about your decision to quit your job is normal and to be expected, so don’t dismiss these feelings. Acknowledge them and remind yourself that you need this time to discover what that ‘better’ looks like for you.
When you start thinking about big changes, it helps to set some short-term goals too. This will help you focus your mind and give you some confidence-boosting ‘wins’ along the way to the new and better life you’re building for yourself.
When you’re looking for something new, it can feel overwhelming. But the best way to get answers to big questions is by trying new things. That small job or volunteering session could spark ideas and opportunities you couldn’t get by just thinking about them.
The truth is that you’ll rarely feel 100 per cent sure about your choices. Life is varied, it presents us with random events and it can feel unpredictable. That’s what makes life exciting. When you stop looking for certainty, you can make choices based on what you want rather than what you need – or think you need.
Your immediate thought after quitting your job could be to go back and ask to stay on. Panic and fear are most likely driving you if that’s the case. But if something significant changes (like your boss leaves or a bigger company takes over the one you worked for) you may want to return for positive reasons.
As you never know what might happen in the future, try to leave your job on good terms and don’t burn your bridges. This is especially important if your industry is small and you plan to stay in it. Your reputation can easily get skewed by gossip so don’t give anyone ammunition to throw it at you.
Ideally, you would always give notice if you intend to leave, but there are some circumstances in which you may need to leave immediately. These include:
However, even in these situations, it helps if you contact Human Resources or talk to senior managers to discuss what’s going on before you just leave. Also, although the company can't force you to stay, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you leave without having a good reason, so it’s worth considering the impact of leaving suddenly.
There’s a big dose of ‘it depends’ around the answer to this question because your personal situation will dictate what’s best for you. Things you may need to think about include:
If a good opportunity has come along, waiting for redundancy may not be in your best interests. However, if you’re ready for a change and the redundancy pay-out will enable you to make that change, you might decide to hang on so you can make the most of the opportunity.
Quitting your job is a big decision so give yourself time to think about all the consequences before you act. If possible, get professional advice and support that allows you to make the transition from your existing role to a new and better one quickly and easily.
If you do decide to leave your job without having another one lined up, don’t shout about it at work. It’ll simply look immature and cut off any other avenues that might be available to you. Bear in mind that a critical factor might change causing you to reconsider.
When you do leave, think about how you can do so on a positive note. Your life isn’t all about your job. It’s about more than that – and you are more than your job.
We offer lots of packages to help you align your career with your inner values and purpose. In these times of turbulent change, it is best to ensure that your career is in alignment with what you feel you can offer to the work world. Do reach out to us for help or advice, if you are unsure of what to do.
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