3 Reasons to Quit Without Another Job Lined Up

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 14, 2024 at 10:30AM UTC

“Where do I go from here?” a Fairygodboss community member recently asked. “I was not planning to resign without another job lined up but could not tolerate the inappropriate behavior from my boss any longer.”

Resigning without another job lined up is by no means ideal. But sometimes, you may feel like you have no other option.

The good news is that during the Great Resignation, you’re not alone, and opportunities abound. To that end, here are three times you should quit without a backup — and what steps to take next.

3 times to quit without a backup job lined up

1. You have backup funds and resources to sustain yourself.

“If you have enough capital to survive for several months, plus employment compensation, go for it,” an FGBer wrote. 

Before you take the plunge, ensure you have the resources and a backup fund to support yourself without new income for at least six months. You will need this while you’re on the hunt for a new job.

2. You have a huge network and plenty of opportunities to freelance.

“Don’t lock yourself into one thing,” Terre Brizzolara advised the OP. “This is time to search for ALL the things you can do, never had time to try and might be interesting.”

If you know plenty of professionals in your industry or prospective industry, that’s an excellent sign that you have the necessary resources to fuel your job hunt. Freelancing is also a good bet. It could be a temporary gig to help sustain you while you’re looking, or you might even become a full-time freelancer. 

If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have a solid plan. “You can definitely go into freelance, but be clear about what you want to do and the types of services you want, and make a list of people you could contact,” Melanie Wexler said. “Having a clear direction and concise plan which will allow you to overall achieve your goals.”

3. It’s a toxic, unbearable environment.

One anonymous poster responded that they did the same thing recently. “The toxic work environment was just too much, and my mental health was suffering so much, that I had to do it,” they wrote. “Since then, a weight has been lifted, and I’ve been able to search for a new job with a clear headspace.”

Sometimes, you just need to protect yourself. If you’re suffering, and your health is suffering, then your work is not a good environment for you. In some cases, such as those in which harassment or discrimination is occurring, you shouldn’t even feel obligated to put in two weeks’ notice.

What to do after you quit without another job lined up

“Catalogue your skills, gifts and passion.”

“Identify any holes you’ve noticed in the market you’re interested in,” Carrie Lee Maldonado wrote. “Figure out exactly who you’d like your clients to be as specifically as possible.”

This is critical if you’re looking to freelance or start your own business. 

“Developing a simple, daily to-do list.”

Sharmil McKee advised creating a to-do list for each day. “Just select three activities that you will do every day, and once you have completed those activities, you are done for the day,” she added. Doing so will help you keep you on track and prevent you from feeling discouraged.

“Try a staffing agency.”

“If there’s one thing I learned in HR and while job shopping myself, it’s exponentially more difficult to get a job when you don't have one,” Shelby Chiles noted. That’s where a staffing agency can help. They will do much of the legwork for you, taking some of the stress away.

Chiles also suggested volunteering services to prevent resume gaps. “It's also good for the soul, helps the community and will give you a reason to get up every day if the job search blues set in,” she said.

“Temping is a great way to build your network and get good references,” another FGBer added. “Even if an assignment is not what you want to do permanently it's a step in building your business.”

Take care of yourself.

This will no doubt be a stressful time, so it’s important to take care of your mental and physical health. If you get overwhelmed, tap into your support system — and remember to do nice things for yourself.

“We are strong women,” Brizzolara wrote. “You can do this.”

About the Career Expert:

 Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

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