Should You Really Quit Your Job Without Another Lined Up?

So you’re considering quitting your job. Maybe you’re absolutely sick of how your employers are treating you and your work environment has become toxic to your wellbeing. Maybe you feel devalued and know you deserve better. Maybe your job feels totally unpredictable and you have no control over your work. And now you’re desperate enough to leave without an alternate in place. This has you thinking should I quit my job without another job? Is that a smart thing to do?

Whether you’ve held this role for 12 years or 12 months, if you dread going to work every day, seem emotionally unstable at work, and feel so dissatisfied and unhappy you think your only option is to outright quit, it’s important to seriously evaluate three key aspects of this decision.

How would quitting impact your financial health?

When you leave a job, chances are you’re not just leaving your salary—you’re also leaving valuable benefits. If you rely on your job for insurance (health, dental, life, etc.), HSA or FSA accounts, and retirement contributions, quitting would mean losing more than your income—you would lose key components of your financial health. 

Depending on the job market in your industry or location, job seekers can expect to be actively searching for a job for at least four months. If you’re serious about quitting, have you mapped out your monthly expenses without an income? Have you considered how this will impact your savings account or long-term savings plan? Will you need to obtain independent health insurance, and if so, how much would your premium cost? How will your plan for retirement change if you stop contributing to your account for a number of months?  

If you’re a sole earner or an important contributor to your household, or rely on your employer for benefits for yourself and/or family members, leaving could be more detrimental than staying in your current work situation. If you can rely on another earner for income and benefits, maybe you can afford to quit with fewer consequences. However, if quitting means you’ll be overwhelmed with financial hardship, it is less likely you’ll be successful in the job application and interviewing process while trying to make ends meet. No matter what, be sure to consult a qualified financial planner as part of this consideration. 

How will this impact your employment narrative?

Quitting without a new role in place could put a significant gap on your resume and add undesirable suggestions to your job history. Depending on where you are in your career, whether you’ve lasted 10 years at a company and shown your ability to commit to a role and organization, failed to progress in a role over a long tenure, or changed jobs frequently over a short amount of time, a recent gap in employment can hold different weights for hiring managers.

It’s important to put this gap in employment in the context of your overall experience—think about how it influences the story of your career. How would a hiring manager interpret this choice? Think about how you can tell a compelling story about how this gap fits into the bigger picture. 

What does your overall wellbeing look like?

For some people, their current work environment is so toxic it drains them so much physically, mentally, and emotionally, it prevents them from being able to effectively navigate the job transition process. At the end of the day, they are out of the mental energy required to research roles, communicate with recruiters, submit applications, etc. If this is you, download my free guide on how to reduce work stress today.

Consider if there are ways to reduce your day-to-day burdens to conserve energy for your own job search. Could you use vacation or personal time, or even go part-time, to allow you some breathing room to focus solely on kick-starting your job search process? It’s best to quit with a new job lined up, so anything you can do to find a new role before leaving will help.

The decision to quitting your job without another one is not an easy one, nor one to be considered lightly. And these three questions are difficult to answer alone, especially when work has become so debilitating.

If you’re in a toxic work environment, constantly googling the phrase- how to quit my job- and feel like you’re at the end of your rope, let’s talk. Schedule your free 45-minute coaching session so we can discuss your options and determine the best next step for you.