Should You Ever Quit Your Job Before Having Another One Lined Up?

I know many people who would love to quit their job right now but feel they cannot leave because of family commitments and other responsibilities. They feel trapped.

What are some reasons why someone might quit without another job?

1. If your work situation is so stressful it is affecting your health. This is especially true if your employer is unsympathetic to your plight and unwilling to help by providing counselling or time off.

2. If you feel physically unsafe at work. Concerns for your physical safety can result from being asked to use hazardous equipment or by working with someone who is unstable and threatening you with bodily harm. There are channels for reporting these concerns in both cases, but you should leave if you have done so, and nothing changes.

3. If your work is having a negative long-term effect on your personal life. Long working hours, a lengthy commute, or a consistently heavy workload can easily mean you spend most of your waking hours at work. You don’t want to miss too many of your kids’ school concerts or hockey games or quality time with your spouse. It’s time that is lost forever.

4. If you believe your employer is engaging in unethical behaviour. Your own reputation could become blemished. You will be surprised how quickly blame gets assigned to innocent bystanders like you. You don’t want someone else’s behaviour to reflect poorly on you.

5. If you are being harassed or bullied at work (or if you see signs of this activity.) Report this immediately to human resources or senior management. If HR doesn’t help you, or if the person doing the harassment is senior management, you should leave. Again, your security is more important than a job.

6. If your core values do not align with your employer’s values. For example, suppose your employer is only concerned about making money, and you value selling quality products, good customer service, and an employee-friendly workplace. In that case, it is doubtful you will be able to reconcile your values with those of your employer.

But before you go ….

Quitting, understandably, is scary. Most of us are risk averse and don’t want to place ourselves and our families in jeopardy. Here are a few things you can do to get ready:

Prepare a budget and save some money.

Make sure your immediate family is on board. This step is essential.

Update your resume and all job search materials.

Clean up your social media presence.

Prepare a list of people in your network whom you will contact the day you leave.

Gather at least three good references – one of which should be from your current employer. If you are uncomfortable asking your boss, ask a colleague, direct report, or client.

Rehearse what you are going to say in an interview about why you resigned from your previous job.

Investigate whether you can do part-time or contract work while looking for a new full-time job.

Create an exercise plan and watch your diet. You will need to be healthy and strong to carry out an effective job search. Question: Have you ever quit your job without having another one lined up? Tell us your story.