Right and Wrong Times to Quit Your Old Job Without a New Job

Right and Wrong Times to Quit Your Old Job Without a New Job

Is quitting your old job without a new job a mistake? Some may instantly say, “Yes!” while others will say, “It depends”. There are always circumstances behind why we look for new jobs. But when we are thinking of quitting without a new job waiting in the wings, the decision takes a lot more consideration.

Whatever your reasons for becoming unemployed without a new job in sight, here are some right and wrong times to quit your old job without a new job.

1. Consider your network

Right time

  • You have been networking for a while and know people who can help you, quickly. Ideally, you want people who can truly help you, not just big talkers who claim to know people. You need solid promises of interviews.

Wrong time

  • You only plan to start networking once you quit your job. This is also known as, “putting the cart before the horse”. You are thinking backward. Do not quit to start networking. You should network to eventually quit.

2. Consider your finances

Right time

  • You have money saved up that will give you a large window of time to find new work.You are going to need it. Job searches cost time and money.

Wrong time

  • You plan on playing it by ear. You will figure it out as you go, but essentially you are flat broke. This is a huge mistake many optimistic, wide-eyed thinkers make. Starting a job search with no money and no plan other than to “wing it”, looks bad on interviews and will eventually leave you feeling desperate for work. Getting hired or interviewing while feeling desperate always leads to negative results for your career. You look irresponsible to others and may end up in a job you hate.

3. Consider your health

Right time

  • Your health and mental state are suffering. Any job that is causing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and physical damage to you is not a job you should keep. Not only will it hurt your chances of finding new work while employed, but you also may be damaging yourself and your career by working too long in a toxic environment.

Wrong time

  • If you just “kinda feel like you need a change”. If all you want to do is change what you are doing, know that it takes time. Executing changes requires time and you will have a better idea if you actually want to change when you give yourself the time to figure out how you will do it.

4. Consider your future

Right time

  • When your job is pointless and has no place in your career. It is still ok to go “get a job” when you need money and you know you can contribute to a company. You knew that your job managing a retail store was only going to be temporary. So, you can leave it whenever you want.

Wrong time

  • If the job offers a stepping stone to a new career or growth within an established business. You may not be where you want to be now, but if you can visualize a future for yourself at your current company or you know it offers great potential for career growth, stick the job out.

5. Consider your impact

Right time

  • You tried to make it work. You gave it your best, but all the work is simply going to be in vain. After years at the company, you know you had tried all you can do and the only remedy for you is to leave before the job starts to hurt your career.

Wrong time

  • There is more to do at the job, but all you need is one minor thing to change and you will be happy again. Ironically, people make irrational decisions like “quitting a great job” over minor issues. Take some inventory of what you like and do not like about your current job. If you simply have quirks about your job, or the pressure is wearing on you, take a vacation or actions that will help correct the situation. Don’t quit just because you have some uncomfortable days at the office.

Reality check

  • Quitting your old job without a new job is not a decision you should take lightly. The long-term effects on your career can be damaging even if the short-term satisfaction exists. Even though many will say it is ok to take risks, most who claim risk-taking is required in a career, usually take “calculated risks”. Meaning they did the work to minimize as much risk as possible.

  • Ideally, most of the time it is not a good idea to quit your old job without a new job, but sometimes it must be done!

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