Maybe you’re right. But then again, maybe you aren’t.
Regardless of what you believe right now, your current job just doesn’t cut it. Your boss is stressing you out or you’ve outgrown your role. The next logical step is to quit but you don’t know how to go about this. You cringe about the idea of sending your resignation letter to your boss. On the other end, you’re worried about how you’d cover your bills.
So what happens?
You let these thoughts roam your head each day without taking action – hoping that one day you’ll find the answer. I hate to break it to you but you’re playing the wrong game.
The truth is that you quit your job without another one lined up isn’t easy. But by planning ahead, you’ll be better prepared to make the choice that’s best for you. If you’re done waiting for an answer–here’s how to know if quitting your job without another one lined up is the right choice for you.
1. Remember, You Only Need One Person’s Permission
I get it, leaving a secure job isn’t easy–especially when you’re earning a high income.
When I was going through this phase, like most, I’d seek out validation from others. The problem was that I’d end up with mixed answers.
My family worked for a single company most of their lives. So when I’d mention wanting to switch careers, I was being stared at as if I had a third eye. On the other end, some of my friends were supportive but questioned if my approach was the best option.
The truth is that most of the world seeks certainty in everything they do. To some extent, this is smart but it comes at a price. That’s settling for good when you could have something greater.
You want to quit your job due to reasons that have been roaming your mind for some time. So why should you seek permission from anyone else that’s not you? Instead, take everyone’s opinion with a grain of salt and decide on your own.
To stay focused, make quitting your job as your goal to reach in the next 3–6 months. Data shows that you greatly increase your odds at achieving your goal writing it down.((Dominican Edu: Goals Research Summary)) Once you’re committed to quitting your job, you’ll be less dependent on other’s opinions.
2. Knock Fear by Changing Your View
Embrace your fear of the unknown.
It’s crazy to know that some people are afraid more of public speaking than [death]. Let’s face it, leaving your job is scary. But this shouldn’t prevent you from taking action.
Instead, change your perspective about leaving your job. For example, do a checklist comparison for staying and leaving your job. When you discover that you have more negatives on one end your fear becomes less relevant.
Take my case, for example, a few months ago, I was afraid to launch my own Podcast. After months of shooting this idea down, I’d realized that fear of the unknown was what held me back. So, I started slow and eventually worked my way up to launching my own Podcast to the world.
So why am I sharing this?
To prove that fear is most likely holding you back from making a choice. Instead of ignoring your fear, embrace it. Start by creating a plan and work your way up from there.
Take a look at this article if you want to learn how to conquer the fear of the unknown:
3. Don’t Wait to Have a Complete Exit Strategy
Most people believe that they need a thorough plan to quit their job. But this is far from the truth.
Do you know what’s more valuable than your job or money? Your health.
Research shows that stressful jobs trigger your fight or flight response frequently.((Center for Disease Control and Prevention: STRESS…At Work)) Because this response is response triggers your body takes a toll – leading to long-term health issues. While a sustainable income is important, working at a stressful job is bad for your well being.
But if you’re healthy, use this knowledge to create an exit strategy to leave your toxic job as fast as possible. Good enough is better than perfect.
Besides your health, there are other reasons why you may need to quit as fast as possible:
You don’t have full control of your schedule.
There are jobs that are too demanding, especially if you’re in a senior level position. I’m a firm believer that we can always make time for anything, but a demanding job may be the exception. The problem with a demanding job is that on most days you have back-to-back meetings.
Sure, you can cancel some meetings but you can’t predict this– making it challenging to set specific interview dates.
If this is you, explore quitting to focus your attention on the job hunting process.
You can’t keep your job search confidential.
Although there are thousands of companies to choose from, you may work in a niche industry. Because of this, it would be difficult applying to new jobs without your boss finding out.
If you have a great relationship with your boss, this won’t be an issue. But if your boss micromanages you, it may be better to leave your current role before applying to new ones.
4. Answer These Questions to Create a Plan
So how’s an un-detailed game plan different from a thorough one?
It doesn’t take long to make. It’s a simple checklist of questions that will help you transition out of your current job.
First, decide if leaving your job is a definite decision. Mingling with this idea will only prolong the process from taking action. Instead, be decisive to start creating a plan.
If you know that you have skills that are in demand, estimate how long it would take you to find a new job. For most people, this would take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Knowing this you could predict how much you’d need to save and the number of job applications you’d need to send.
If you’re a stay at home spouse who can afford to quit without saving money you have an advantage, for most this isn’t the case. Here are some questions you need to answer before quitting:
- How long can you cover your expenses?
- What will you do in the next 3 to 6 months if you quit today?
- What type of job do you want to transition to?
- How have you invested in yourself these past 3 months?
These questions will prepare you to be productive for when you do leave your job. More importantly, these questions will help you find a job you love. Often times, people quit their jobs only to jump back into a similar one and put themselves in the same scenario.
5. Risk Everything to Find Your Zen
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”–Annie Dillard
It might seem trivial to dedicate a lot of your energy transitioning out of a job you hate, but it’s time well spent.
Aside from health issues, working in a job you’re miserable in is a waste of your time. You won’t grow to your full potential and won’t live a happy life.
Data shows that on average that you’ll spend 4,805 days working and 368 days socializing.((Huff Post: We’ve Broken Down Your Entire Life Into Years Spent Doing Tasks)) If this doesn’t scare you to not procrastinate in leaving a career you hate, nothing will.
That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with amazing people who’ll push you to grow. Listen to podcasts, read books, and network with people at higher levels than you. Doing all these activities will help you put your life in perspective.
The more you invest in growing, the more confident you’ll become. Once you’re confident you’ll value yourself more and tolerate less a job you hate.
Have the Courage to Improve Your Career
Should you quit your job without having another lined up?
That’s a question that only you can answer. But I bet that deep down you already know what’s the best choice.
The good news is that you now have a mini blueprint for how to transition out of career your hate.
Don’t wait to have another job lined up if you don’t need to, but plan accordingly. Remember, you don’t need anyone’s permission nor a complete strategy to take this leap of faith. Leaving a job even with another one lined up is never easy but worth doing.
Imagine waking up each morning and feeling excited to start your day–the crazy part is that it’s Monday. While most need coffee to get them through the day you’re energized without it. You’re working in an interesting job and couldn’t be happier.
Is this a Utopian dream? Of course not. You simply created an effective strategy and took action.
The world is yours for the taking, now go get your dream job.