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Should You Quit Your Job Without Another Job?

Should You Quit Your Job Without Another Job?

I bet you feel like you can’t afford to leave your job.

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.

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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.[1] 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:

7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown And Get More Out of Life

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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.[2] 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.

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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.[3] If this doesn’t scare you to not procrastinate in leaving a career you hate, nothing will.

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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.

More Resources to Inspire You for a Fulfilling Career

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Dominican Edu: Goals Research Summary
[2] Center for Disease Control and Prevention: STRESS…At Work
[3] Huff Post: We’ve Broken Down Your Entire Life Into Years Spent Doing Tasks

More by this author

Christopher Alarcon

Finance Analyst and Founder of the Financially Well Off Blog & Podcast

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers

13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers

Do you have a path not taken? Maybe you had big career dreams when you were younger, but somehow they didn’t materialize.

Maybe you took your first job, thinking it would be a stepping stone to a better job. It seemed like a good idea at the time, you recall, except the better job never came along. Or perhaps, saddled with student loans, you took a job that helped you pay them off. You paid them all right, but now you feel stuck in a career you don’t really like.

The average person spends 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work[1]. That’s too much time to be doing anything you don’t love!

Is it time to think about switching careers? Here are 13 things to do when making the big leap.

Diagnose Your Current Work Situation

Before switching careers, it’s important to figure out why you’re currently unhappy so you don’t step into another situation that isn’t right for you. Start with these considerations before making any big decisions.

1. What Are You Passionate About?

It’s somewhat shocking, but research shows 87 percent of workers have no passion for their jobs[2]. Passion can be measured many ways, and one person’s passion is another’s poison. Still, if you believe in your company’s core mission, it really helps.

How can you find your passion? You may have to switch careers. Try to arrange informational interviews with as many people as you can who work in the field of your dreams to be certain that making the switch will make you feel more engaged with your work.

Your aim: To be as happy walking into the office on Monday morning as you are leaving the premises on Friday afternoon. When you love your job, no day feels too daunting. When you love your job, it doesn’t feel like work.

Need a little help finding your passion? This article can help: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

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2. Can You Keep up With Technology?

Are you keeping up with it? And is your current company supporting your efforts? The speed of technology is so fast that many companies today can’t keep up. This may result in anxiety among the company’s leadership. The sense of anxiety can filter down and impact the workers. Morale is low, and everyone fears for their job.

When switching careers, try to find a company that will allow you to learn as you grow. It also helps to consider yourself a lifelong learner. These days, we all have to be.

Invest the Time to Dream Big

If you’re now sure of why you want to make a move, it’s time to dig into your dreams to find exactly which direction to go.

3. What Does Your Vision Look Like?

Athletes visualize their signature moves. Politicians fantasize about winning. Your task is to visualize your dream. Where do want to be working five years from now? Ten years from now? Fifteen years from now? Figure out what your titles will be at each point along your new trajectory. Will you be living in your current geographical area or will you have moved?

Ask yourself the hard questions as well. Can you afford to switch careers right now? Will you be making more money or less than you currently do? How will you support those who depend on you?

Once you have your vision clearly committed to paper, run your vision by a few of the people who know you best. Do your friends encourage you to pursue your vision? (If they don’t, consider finding more supportive friends.)

4. Do You Know What to Expect?

It’s harder to switch careers than to find a new job in your current field. You may have to accomplish the move in several discreet steps. Will making a lateral move at your current company take you one step closer to your ultimate goal?

In addition to researching your dream field online, try to surround yourself with some friends who have recently switched careers. After you have formed a rough idea of the steps you will need to take to get from where you are now to your new career, consider committing it to an action plan. The more concrete you can make your Plan, the better.

Should you be attending more networking events? Do you need to burnish your online profile? Commit to action steps, and then put those steps into your daily calendar. You’re going to do this!

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If, for instance, you’ve decided to move from marriage counseling to financial planning — you’ve seen enough divorces resulting from money matters to know there’s a better way to help people — your listening skills and discretion will be an asset. Your research will reveal whether you need specialized training or licensing to qualify. If so, go online and add your name to every list you can find to learn more information. Start calculating how to pay for your courses. A bonus you’ll get with continuing ed courses: you’ll gain access to a strong peer network.

Take Action

Time to make the move. Start considering how you will approach these steps to get where you want to go.

5. Who Will Support You?

What if, early in your career, you made a job switch that you regret? Now is the time to call your ex-boss and try to get together for lunch or a cup of coffee. Let them know you are thinking of making a U-turn back to your former field.

What if your sister disapproves of every idea you have? Either resolve to avoid her for the next 12 months or call her right now — and tell her you’re switching careers and you don’t care whether she approves! Keep all naysayers at a distance during this transition time.

6. What Can You Do Each Day to Accomplish Your Dream?

Switching careers can be quite time-consuming, but if you break down the task into small chunks, tracking your progress as you go, you’ll have a better chance of success. Whether you spend a few hours today googling your dream career, or refurbish your LinkedIn profile to emphasize the skills you have that will help you land this new job — just keep at it.

Career-switcher’s hint: Working on your new dream for one hour each day is more productive than spending 12 hours working at it on a Sunday. The more committed you are to achieving your goal, the faster it will happen.

7. Does Your Resume Highlight the Correct Skills?

First, research the qualifications of the position you hope to land. Then, look for ways to mesh them with your own skills. While some careers require specific degrees and credentials, there are many positions you can transition into that require no additional education. Sometimes, what you bring from your own background is perfect.

Take inventory of all the hard and soft job skills you possess. For the skills you don’t have, put a plan in place to acquire them!

Highlight your qualifications in a way that makes a well-argued case for your compatibility with the organization and the position you’re after. Keep in mind that all employers look for candidates with skills that show leadership and the ability to solve problems, persevere through challenges, and get results.

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Refine the skills on your resume to incorporate these resume “musts.” Make sure, though, to only claim skills you truly possess. Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

Switching Careers Shortcuts

When switching careers, there are ways to make it easier. Look into these questions to see what can work for you in your search.

8. Do You Have Any Contacts in Your Desired Career?

People are remarkably forthcoming on their LinkedIn profiles. This helps when you search out employees in your dream field or a targeted company. But before you take full advantage of online networking, first make sure that your profile content is fresh.

Curate all social media accounts to reflect your new direction. Social media can increase your networking opportunities exponentially. Comment on the posts of your targeted contacts and pose pertinent questions to get on their radar.

9. Are You Networking Enough?

While it may be considered old-school to tap your organically grown (offline) network, it still comes with the best odds of success. Reach out to your friends and acquaintances with industry connections who can help you make a connection.

Make a point of meeting face-to-face with anyone who can offer you a lead or provide a reference. You never know what kind of opportunity will unfold from these offline connections.

Learn more about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

10. How Can You Become an Expert in Your New Field?

Start building the skills you’ll need to make your career switch. LinkedIn and many other providers offer online courses in everything from accounting software to mastering Excel. For extra credit, see if you can find classes that award online badges for completing each course. Don’t be shy about adding these certificates to your online profile.

Read trade magazines and study up on industry trends. Write and post articles on timely topics. Develop an online presence in the field of your dreams.

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11. Are You Willing to Put Yourself out There?

Nonprofit organizations often look for volunteers to help them with their outreach, social media, fundraising, and more. Once you’ve mastered the needed skills, be sure to have the head of the organization or a board member write a glowing recommendation for you.

Depending on your desired career, it may be possible to take on a contract assignment at a company where you learn on the job. A freelance gig allows you to polish your skills, make connections, and prove you’re serious about this career change.

For example, if your dream is to transform your knack for attracting followers through pithy postings into a career as a social media manager, don’t be afraid to pitch your services. Most companies need someone to manage their online presence and may welcome your fresh new strategy.

Switching Careers Results

Now that you’ve taken the steps to switch careers, bask in the success you’ve found in doing so.

12. How Can You Reward Yourself?

Set whatever benchmarks you need to achieve as you embark on switching careers, and think of them as cause for mini-celebrations. Find frugal ways to reward yourself.

However, hold out for the big, pop-the-champagne celebration until you land your dream job.

13. Has the Risk Paid Off?

People who prefer to play it safe throughout their careers often fall short of their potential. Research shows the primary reason executives derail is an inability to change[3]. It takes a large measure of courage to pursue a new path. And when you succeed, it fuels your confidence.

You have an air of self-assurance about you and a can-do spirit that stands out. And best of all, you’ll have moved from a dead-end or lackluster job to one into which you can pour your passion and realize the feeling of self-fulfillment.

The Bottom Line

Don’t be afraid to switch your career path once you’ve outgrown the one you’re in. Set out to intentionally pursue career satisfaction and you’ll reap great rewards by realizing the joys of job satisfaction.

More Tips on Switching Careers

Featured photo credit: Kevin Bhagat via unsplash.com

Reference

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