It may go against conventional career wisdom, but sometimes it can be the right decision to quit your job without having the next opportunity lined up. But, before we get to those potential situations, first things first: your mother was right when she told you that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. It’s also easier to afford to pay your bills when you’re getting a paycheck, especially since most workers are ineligible for unemployment if they quit.
That said, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to adapt. Here are a few situations that might indicate you need to quit sooner rather than later:
1. Your Health Is Suffering
Stress will damage your health over time. If you’re sleep-deprived, depressed, or suffering from a lack of work/life balance, it might be time to reassess what you really want out of a career. Taking the time to recharge before applying somewhere new can allow you to focus on physical and mental health. If you’re feeling miserable every day at work, having that breathing room will help you gain a fresh perspective before diving into a new position.
2. You Want a Total Career Change
If you’ve been thinking about heading in a completely new career direction, a pause between jobs might be the best idea. Spend time volunteering to build up experience in an unfamiliar industry, or networking in order to land that ideal opportunity further down the line. A gap in the resume can be fully explained if your goal is to go for something totally different. That type of initiative and willingness to step out of your comfort zone should appeal to the right kind of prospective employer.
3. Your Life Is Changing in a Big Way
Moving across the country? The relocation will be big enough without stressing over finding the right job before you even get there. Unless you’re moving specifically for employment, try to save enough to settle in for a couple of months as you search for the ideal company and position to start your new life with. If you’re not familiar with the area, there could be all sorts opportunities that you may not have previously considered.
4. You Have the Savings
It should go without saying that if you are leaving employment and aren’t sure when you’ll get a new job, you need to have money set aside to tide you over in the meantime. It can take several months to find a job you really want, and it could be even more if you are in a competitive industry. If you have a leaving date in mind, work out how much you’ll need to save every week in order to feel financially secure during your timeout. It’s not going to be a good decision overall if you’re forced to take a job you like even less than your existing one, out of financial necessity.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever quit your job without getting a new one first? Would you recommend it to others, or warn them against the idea? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.