Long before I was old enough to have a job, I heard my parents say, “Never quit a job before you have another job to go to!” I heard them tell my older brothers and sisters “Wait until you find a new job... then quit!”
It’s sensible advice and we all try to follow it. Sometimes we try so hard to stick it out at a miserable job that we get sick as a result.
Sometimes we know we don’t have what it takes to get a new job right now.
You can’t job-hunt effectively when you’re depleted and discouraged. Sometimes, you have to quit your job to get healthy before you can start looking for a new job! Is it harder to get hired when you’re unemployed? It can be.
For some people, a full-time job search is easier than a part-time, stealth job search. When your job search becomes your job, you have more time to research prospective employers, network with new and old friends and generally investigate the job market.
Even if it is harder to get hired when you’re unemployed, you may reach the point where you can’t force your body to walk into your evil workplace one more time.
Many of us have been there! Here are good reasons to quit your job - even without a new job to go to. If your current job is physically or emotionally unsafe, you have to get out. If you are being mistreated at work and you can prove it, you may be able to quit your job and still receive unemployment compensation.
Being forced out of a job via poor treatment has a name... it is called constructive discharge. Whether you can collect unemployment compensation or not, if you are not safe at work you have to bolt.
If your current job is making you ill, you may be able to take a medical leave of absence from your job on the basis of stress or another condition created at work. If your job is making you sick, you have to get out.
If you have a friend or relative who could employ you while you work out your next move, grab that opportunity!
You may not have another “career-type” job ready to walk into, but you’ll have an income and a place to go during the day, and those are two important pieces of the puzzle.
If you already know you can consult or work on contract gigs, quit your toxic job and rev up your contract or consulting engine.
Any income is better than none, and consulting will give you some structure and clarity in your work life while you plan your next adventure.
If you know you won’t have the time, focus or peace of mind to launch a productive job search as long as you’re stuck in your current unhappy work situation, then quit.
You may have to slice your expenses to the bone and or take a survival job, but you cannot stay trapped in the hamster wheel forever! If you can cobble together several small revenue streams to pay your bills while you job hunt, then quit your job and get those revenue streams going.
You could drive for a car service, work part-time for a catering firm and sell your extra stuff on eBay to cover your bills at first. When you have to escape a bad work situation, you suddenly become very creative!
If you often have headhunters calling you about job opportunities but you’ve been too stressed and distracted to call them back, quit your job and jump into your job search full-time.
It is amazing how empowering it can be to take a risk like quitting your job without a new job in the wings.
Is it scary, too? Yes! Many things in life are scary the first time we try them. Then we grow muscles and learn that the more we challenge ourselves, the stronger we become!
When you cannot reconcile your own values with the culture and leadership of the company you work for, you may have to quit before you have a new job lined up.
You may have to quit when your manager insists you do or say something you cannot ethically say or do.
If you reach the point where you are calling in sick so you don’t have to go to work, it’s time to get out now. In that state, it will be difficult or impossible to organise a job search, conduct the job search while still going to work every day, and coming out on top.
Mother Nature is pushing you to make your job search your highest priority. When your body rebels and tells you “No more!” You must listen to it.
Your trusty gut evolved over millennia to guide you to the right places and away from the wrong ones.
Unemployment is no picnic and a job search can be a trial, but as long as you trust yourself, you will come out of difficult patch into a new and better spot!
If you quit your job without knowing what your next job will be, don’t feel like a failure or a quitter.
You triumphed over a bad situation. That’s something to be proud of!
You are powerful as long as you remember that you have choices.
One of your most important super powers is the ability to get up and leave a situation that has become untenable. No one can make you stay in a workplace that doesn’t deserve you.
It’s your career to run! This painful chapter will soon be over. You will be racing forward down your path - and we will be cheering you on!