Quitting Your Job Without Another Lined Up: How to Prepare
Quitting a job without another one lined up is a personal decision that could provide you a rare chance at realigning your goals—however terrifying that may be. Depending on your circumstances, it can be highly risky or provide relief and liberation. Your financial situation, career goals, and mental health are all factors that can be heavily affected by having or not having a job.
Before making any final moves, gather a clear understanding of your motivations, concerns, risks, rewards, and the current job market. In this article, we'll guide you through recommended steps to thoughtfully resign from your job and how to ensure your next job search is successful.
Pros and cons of quitting job without another lined up
Quitting a job without another one lined up can be terrifying. However, it’s not necessarily a bad decision for every one—doing so can bring a much-needed sense of freedom from a job that no longer serves you. But quitting without a plan also brings risks with potentially long-term consequences.
- Relief from job dissatisfaction could feel enormously liberating
- Time needed focus on long-term career goals
- Space to find a job that aligns with your core values
- Opportunity to mentally refresh and recharge before diving into a new role, putting you in a better, stronger headspace.
- Financial strain of living without a steady paycheck—having enough savings is crucial
- Stress and anxiety of the unknown
- Instability and negative mental and physical health affects
Considering the above, there are still ways to mitigate the risks of quitting without a plan. You can take time to upskill, network, and explore different job opportunities. You can also consider freelancing or starting a side hustle to bring in income while you figure out your next move. Make sure you have a plan in place and are prepared for the potential consequences before taking the leap.
Reasons for quitting a job before finding another
Prioritize mental health and work-life balance
One of the most common reasons people quit their jobs without another opportunity lined up is to prioritize their mental health and work-life balance. Maybe you're working too many hours and are burnt out at your current company. Perhaps you crave the flexibility remote jobs bring, or your current job’s culture might make it hard to find a balance between your career and personal life.
Whatever the reason, it's important to remember that your well-being should always come first. If your current job is taking a toll on your physical and mental health, it may be time to assess your options.
Lack of growth opportunities
Another common reason for leaving your current employer without a game plan is a need for growth opportunities. Maybe you feel like you've hit a ceiling in your current role. If you aren't able to earn more money, aren't being challenged, or are not given a chance to learn new skills, it's natural to start feeling restless.
Lack of growth and development can have a huge impact on personal fulfillment. Sometimes the only way to find new growth opportunities is to step outside of your comfort zone and search for a new professional experience.
Professionally unfulfilled and suffering from burnout
Feeling professionally unfulfilled and experiencing burnout can be a strong motivator for quitting a job before finding another. If you're feeling unchallenged, undervalued, or underutilized, it's natural to start questioning whether your current job is the right fit for you. Additionally, if you've been overworked and stressed out for an extended period, burnout can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. In these cases, looking for a new gig may be the first step towards reclaiming your sense of purpose and passion.
Time to pursue a passion project
When you quit a position without another lined up, it can be a deliberate and positive choice driven by a desire to leave a toxic job or pursue a passion project or side hustle. You may dream of starting your own business, writing a book, or following a creative endeavor. Maybe your dream business involves independent consulting for your same company.
Starting a business often requires a strategy and significant upfront costs, such as renting office space, purchasing equipment, and marketing expenses. Prepare for the potential ups and downs of entrepreneurship and have enough funding to cover these expenses while you're building your business.
Considering a career change
If you're feeling unfulfilled in your current career path, the decision to quit your job without finding another may be the first step towards making a change. You may have been working in the same field for years but are starting to realize that it's not the right fit anymore. Or perhaps you've always had a nagging feeling that there's something else out there that would better align with your skills, personal interests, and values. Your personal reasons are valid, and a career change can be a powerful way to breathe new life into your professional journey.
Looking to upskill in another field
Another motivation for quitting a job before finding another is to take time to upskill in another field. You may be feeling stagnant in your current role and are passionate about a different field of work. Taking time off to learn new skills, pursue additional education, or even go back to finish your bachelor's degree are valid reasons to consider new prospective employers. It could mean taking a lower salary in the short term, but doing so can help you build the foundation for a career transition or a new professional direction.
How to prepare to quit
Get clear about your motivations for quitting
Before you decide to quit your job, get clear about your motivations for leaving. This could be due to a lack of growth opportunities, an inability to work remotely, a toxic work environment, or simply wanting to start searching for other interests. Take some time to reflect on what's driving your decision and what you hope to achieve by leaving your current job. Getting clear about your motivations will help you stay focused and motivated while you get a new position lined up.
Discuss concerns and potential solutions with your manager
If you're experiencing issues in your current role, it sometimes makes sense to discuss your concerns with your manager before deciding to quit your job. Be open and honest about your challenges and ask for their input on potential solutions. This could include exploring different projects or responsibilities, adjusting your workload, or finding opportunities for professional development. Having an open and honest conversation with your manager can help improve your current situation or clarify whether it's time to move on.
Evaluate the current job market, labor statistics, and standard job responsibilities
Before you quit your job, it's wise to evaluate the current job market and understand the demand for your skills and experience. Research job openings in your industry, think about your health insurance needs and consider networking with others in your field. Understanding the current job market and lack of professional life or financial security can help you make infomed decisions about your next steps and provide insights into potential job opportunities.
Determine how much time you can afford to recharge
When you quit your job, it's important to consider your mental health and well-being. Take some time to decide how much time you want to devote to rest and rejuvenation—and how much time you can afford—before diving into the job search. You may want to take a vacation, develop a new self-care routine, or explore new hobbies and interests.
Be realistic about your expenses and factor in any upcoming bills or payments. Consider how long it typically takes to find a new job in your industry, as this may factor into your decision-making process.
Determine any freelance or part-time opportunities
If you want to quit your job without a new job lined up, first explore any freelance or part-time opportunities that could help bridge the gap financially. This could include freelancing or consulting in your current field or exploring new opportunities in a different industry. Finding a part-time job can also provide structure and routine during your job search, as well as potential networking opportunities.
How to resign from your job professionally
Schedule a meeting with your supervisor
When resigning from your job, the first step is to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your intentions. It's important to do this in person and not via email, as it shows respect and professionalism.
Giver proper notice
During this meeting, be transparent about why you're resigning and give proper notice. This notice period may vary based on your employment contract, but typically it's two weeks. Also, follow your company's policies and procedures when it comes to resigning; this way, you can leave without regret and hopefully maintain access to good references in the future.
Prepare a formal and gracious resignation letter
To make things official, you'll need to prepare a letter to resign from your job respectfully; this should include your last day of work and expressed gratitude for the opportunities afforded while working there. However, keep this letter concise and to the point.
Not sure where to start? Teal’s Job Tracker can save you time and energy with email templates built straight into the platform to help you resign, give your formal notice, and so much more! Check out the Job Tracker in action and sign up for free.
Express gratitude and stay professional until your last day
One thing to remember is that you want to leave on good terms with your employer. You never know when your paths might cross again, so it's important to stay professional and positive until the end.
Expressing gratitude is a great way to do this. Thank your supervisor and colleagues for their guidance and support during your time at the company. Highlight the skills and experiences you've gained while working there and how they will be valuable in your future endeavors.
Wrapping up loose ends
For example, check your contract to ensure that you're not breaching any terms when it comes to resigning. Consider any benefits you're entitled to and how to best utilize them.
Another important thing to remember is how you'll transition your work to your successor. It's essential to ensure that the responsibilities of your last position are properly handed over and that your colleagues are aware of any ongoing projects.
Additionally, remain courteous and professional in your exit interview. Use your judgment regarding how honest you want to be, but regardless, any opinions should be delivered tactfully.
How to ensure your search for a new job is successful
Now that you've resigned from your position, it's time to focus on your next job search. Here are some tips to ensure it’s a success.
Update your job search assets
Your job search assets include your resume, cover letter, and online profiles. It's important to keep these assets up to date and relevant to the roles you're applying for—especially if you quit a role without another job lined up.
Get a job lined up by creating a job search plan
Creating a job search plan can help you stay organized and focused on your goals. This plan should include the types of roles you're interested in, the companies you want to work for, and the job boards and networking events you'll attend. Set goals for yourself, such as how many applications you'll submit each week or how many networking events you'll attend each month. This will help you stay motivated and on track.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to each role for optimal job interviews
It is crucial to tailor your resume and cover letter to each role to show your attention to detail. It's also essential for standing out in a sea of job applicants. With the help of certain tools, you can easily analyze job descriptions and identify what recruiters want to see in your application and job hunting assets. From there, you can create a custom resume that stands out, and increases your chances of receiving an interview.
Added bonus – Teal can help you do just that! Our AI Resume Builder lets you connect a job from your Job Tracker and attach it to your most recent resume. From there, you’ll receive a match score and get suggestions on what keywords to add to your resume to increase your chances of success.
Teal’s Chrome Extension can also identify the top five hard skill keywords inside any of the jobs you click inside during your job search.
Use the AI technology integrated within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate personalized cover letters directly within the Teal platform.
Tailoring your application shows the hiring manager that you're focused and thoughtful. Highlight your most relevant skills and experiences to make recruiters take notice. Don't aim carelessly, use your resources to nail your target with precision.
Track your job applications
It's important to keep track of your job applications when looking for your next position so that you know what roles you've applied to and when to follow up. Teal is an excellent resource to help you stay organized when job searching.
Manage your job search efficiently with Teal for job seekers
Teal’s Job Application Tracker is perfect for bookmarking and tracking all job search activities in one place. Teal can help you save jobs you want to apply for, track where you’ve applied to, and where you haven’t yet applied, keep track of interviews, dates to follow up, and more. It also gives you guided support throughout your entire search.
If you plan on starting your job hunt after leaving your current job, manage your job search with Teal's Job Application Tracker software and stay on top of all your important job search details.
Quitting your job without another one lined up can be a scary decision, but it's not necessarily a bad move. Sometimes, a leap of faith can lead to incredible opportunities you may never have come across otherwise. Life is too short to be stuck in an unfulfilling job, so make a plan, stay positive, and don't give up on your goals—you deserve to pursue your passion.