One question I get a lot from job seekers is, “Should I quit my job without having something lined up?” Often times they describe their current workplace being toxic and unbearable, and they just can’t wait to get out of there. At the same time, they are conflicted because they don’t have an offer lined up. In this article, I’m going to break down the three best strategies to decide if you should quit your job without something to fall back on.
The Three Best Strategies To Decide If You Should Quit Your Job
I personally believe everyone has a unique situation, so this isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t ask everybody around you for their advice, because they’re not you. And quite frankly, you’re going to get a variety of answers all across the spectrum, which is going to leave you feeling really confused.
The most important thing that you can do is answer this very question for yourself. This is your career and your life. So this decision can really only come from you! Watch the video below to learn the three best strategies to decide if you should quit your job, or continue reading!
Assess Your Financial Needs
This first step is very practical. I’m not talking about nice-to-haves, which you can have a little bit of sprinkled in. I’m really talking about the true monthly expenses that you need to sustain your current cost of living. We all know it’s nice to make a six-figure salary, but when it comes down to it, very few of us actually really need a six-figure salary. When we can get clear on what our true monthly expense number is, it actually frees us up quite a bit. It helps us recognize that we can temporarily survive on a lot less than what we’re used to.
To start out, calculate all of your monthly expenses, including some little things you like to do for fun. Maybe it’s going to a movie once a month, maybe it’s stopping by Starbucks once every other week. You don’t want to deprive yourself of everything, but you should get really clear about what your monthly minimum will be. When you have that number in mind, you can think more rationally about how much you have saved up for the months you’ll be job-searching. I have a lot of clients who find their jobs in three months or less, but I’d say the average is three to six months.
Another reason why building a financial cushion is a smart idea is that the hiring process has slowed down considerably. We used to be able to get interviews in week one and get an offer by week four. But now, your phone interview is scheduled in week four and sometimes the on-site interview is delayed to week 12. Crazy, right? But it happens. So, it’s important to understand if you have enough to survive for the next six months. And if not, that’s okay – but knowing your situation is key.
Assess Your Income Options To Decide If You Should Quit Your Job
The second part of this question is assessing how you can generate extra monthly revenue or income in some form. This way if you really do want to leave your job, you won’t be digging yourself in a hole of debt and waiting and praying that a dream job will land in your lap. Figuring out how you’ll be able to pay rent will help take some of the stress off your plate. I also want to share that there’s nothing wrong with taking gig economy jobs. Whether you have to Uber, be a barista or bartender, or walk dogs. It’s totally fine and acceptable if that’s what it takes for you to leave your current situation and have peace of mind from a financial perspective.
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So take the time to go through all of your finances. I know it’s a lot of work and it’s not the most fun, so put on some music, start an excel sheet, take a look at all of your statements and bills. Really calculate out the monthly budget you’ll realistically need. And again, make sure that you can survive on that for the next six months and/or make up for the amount of money that you’d be losing in order to cover your necessities. Determining financial stability is one of the key strategies that can really help you to decide if you should quit your job.
By the way, if the answer is no and you cannot afford to leave your current job without something lined up, then I highly recommend you check out this article about the four tips to stay motivated during your job search. Now, if you’re saying, “yes, I can financially do this, I feel really good about this”, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Learn The Difference Between The Voice of Your Ego And The Voice Of Your Higher Self
Step two is discerning the voice between your ego and your higher self. We all have these two voices right now and can access them at any time. It’s really important to make sure that we understand which voice is speaking to us, because they are distinctly different.
The Voice Of Your Ego
As you can see on the left here, the ego is the overly logical, fear-driven part of your brain. It might ask things like, “Are you sure you can find a job?”, or, “What if no one wants to hire you? What will your friends and family think?” It’s often focused on scarcity and lack, and it provides a sense of protection for us. My ego once told me things like, “Don’t quit. You’ll look foolish.” As you can see, this ego voice was very fearful, very anxious. It sounds very binary, very black and white, and always asks close-ended questions or makes closed-ended statements. It’s focused on the problem rather than the solution.
Now let’s take a look at what the higher self would say instead. Your higher self is the version of you that can access intuition, abundance, and self-trust. Whenever I make higher self decisions, fear about not being able to land a job doesn’t actually cross my mind at all. Because deep down inside, I know I’m good enough to find an employer who values me. I know that as long as there are businesses operating, there’s a demand for my skills. My higher self steers away from drama and looks at things objectively and calmly. My higher self is focused on possibilities. It asks open-ended questions, like, “How can I find a way to replace my income as quickly as possible?”
Put A Safety Net In Place
Now it’s time to move on to the final step: put a safety net in place. Perhaps you’re ready to make that leap of faith and know that you have enough financial security to leave your current job. I still want to make sure that you have a safety net in place. Just like a tight-roper walking along a line for the first time above ground, you want to make sure you’ll be caught if you fall. This isn’t to scare you, but to prepare you to take action to get to where you want to be.
Keep in mind that the safety net can look very different for everyone. When I quit my job without a fallback plan, I remembered my boss from a previous organization had offered me the ability to contract any time. That was my safety cushion. I have other clients who have told me their safety net is moving back in with their parents. It’s really up to you what that looks like. Again, everybody’s situation is different, but I just want you to make sure that you have a safety net in place that’s intentional and thought-out. It doesn’t have to be an exact plan. It’s just an emergency plan so that you know you’ll still be okay, no matter what.
There Is Nothing Wrong With Quitting Your Job
And finally, I want to share that there is nothing wrong with quitting your job. You are no less valuable and no less worthy of another job just because you voluntarily resigned. I personally have voluntarily quit twice without having something to fall back on. For me, staying in those work environments was more damaging than missing out on a few paychecks. But again, I went through the steps to make sure that was the best decision for me.
A lot of the things we are scared of doing are completely achievable. My favorite Jack Canfield quote is, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” So again, make sure you have a safety net in place, and make sure you’re coming from your higher self. Your intuition is crucially important, so trust your gut so you can take that leap of faith. And remember, you’re going to be okay. Just do what is best for you, not what other people think you should do or tell you to do. This is your life and your career – trust yourself to make the decision you know you need to make!