You’ve probably heard or have been told to never leave a job until you have another one lined up. If you choose to leave a job without another one lined up, serious concerns include financial stability and security. No job, no income!
However, situations do occur . . . circumstances do arise . . . and life occasionally deals an unexpected hand. As a result, you may end up in a scenario where you’re considering leaving a job without having anything lined up. Perhaps you’re trying to get out of a toxic environment, maybe you’ve found a calling which you’re truly passionate about that you want to pursue full-time, perhaps you’re looking to make a major life change or pursue a fresh start. Whatever the reason may be, you’ve been thinking about this long and hard and you’re truly considering taking the risk and making the leap.
Before you make the move, try to have in place a safety net or security blanket for yourself. Hopefully, over the years, you’ve been saving up money in a reserve fund. Your reserve fund should have at least enough funds to cover no less than three (3) months of expenses, but ideally anywhere between six (6) months to one (1) year worth of expenses. While the hope is that you will begin to generate steady income again within a short period of time, depending on your situation or circumstance, the more funds you have in reserve, the greater the flexibility you’ll have in pursuing your endeavors.
You may want to consider looking at freelance, project or part-time work that offers you the flexibility to pursue your endeavors while also bringing in some income to help offset your monthly expenses. You may be able to find opportunities through staffing firms, online job posting sites and job boards, networking events and/or word-of-mouth.
Try to trim unnecessary expenses from your budget early on so you can operate off what you absolutely need. If there are any major expenses that you need to incur, try to take care of them while you still have steady income. While you can’t anticipate every eventuality, be proactive as you prepare to make this change.
When the time comes to leave your job, avoid burning bridges! You may need references from your former employer, managers or supervisors and/or if you remain in the same industry, you may find that it’s a small world out there. Leave on your own terms but do it professionally and respectfully! Provide ample advanced notice (generally two weeks but refer to your company’s policy, if applicable) and offer to help throughout the transitional period, as needed. On your last day, when you leave that job for the final time, you’ll want to walk out with dignity and your head held high.