If you ask yourself, “Can I quit my job before I get a new one?” the answer may surprise you.
A lot of people will tell you never to do this, but as someone who was once hired and someone who left the previous jobs without any other plan (and ended upright), I think it makes sense in some cases.
So I’m going to share situations where you can leave your job without someone else, and situations where it’s NOT a good idea.
Reasons to Quit Before Getting a Job
Quitting your job without a planned partner comes with risks, but sometimes it is a sensible step.
If you enter into any of the following situations, you may be required to quit your job without a promise from another company.
You want to pursue other interests
There is more to life than just work. If you have the money to do so and want to pursue other interests besides working less, then this might be a good reason to quit your job without having another position.
You want to focus on your next job search
This brings me to my next possible reason for quitting the job without another line.
If you have money and feel overwhelmed by your current job, you can resign to fully focus on your job search and commit to finding a new job that will improve your career.
This is a step you have to take if you can handle it financially and if you know it is time for a new job but you need time to explore the market and find the right balance.
This is not a step you should take if you are worried about getting a job, or if you are unsure what kind of job you want.
This is often used and best used by job seekers who already have some experience and who are convinced that their skills are much needed (by market research, talking to employers before making a decision, etc.)
They are at a critical juncture in their work and need to accept the right position for their next move, not just any position. So they go to focus on this big change and dedicate themselves to their conversations.
As a hiring person, I had a few experienced engineers tell me that this was their real reason for leaving the company without any further work for now. They wanted to focus on their job search and find amazing balance in their next role. This didn’t stop me at all as an employer, and it probably won’t separate employers in your negotiations, either.
You want to start a business
This was the exact reason I left my last employment position without any other planned work. If your main goal is self-employment and you have a strategy to do it, then quitting your job and giving yourself a year or two to pursue your dream is worth it. Just make sure you have the money to pay for your living expenses, health insurance, and emergencies before quitting your job to do this. It is important to have a plan and make sure you can manage money wisely before retiring and leaving to start a business because most beginners do not start making a profit until at least two or three years into their career.
Also, if you have enough free time and can’t manage it mentally, consider taking some initial steps to confirm your business vision before leaving your current job. Try to find one or two customers, for example, to make sure your idea is reasonable and attractive.
For business ideas, you started in your free time without resigning from your job, read our list of the best side ideas here.
You want more education and/or job change
Seeking a job change or further education is another good reason to quit a job other than a planned one.
For example, if you ever wanted to study software engineering but could not find the time to go to a coding school while you were working.
Or, if you feel that you have reached the top and need a Master’s degree to further your career, yet you do not want to combine this with work, you may consider leaving your job to pursue that degree.
However, if you are striving to improve your career or get the jobs you want, be aware that further education is often not the answer.
I see a lot of people graduating from high school, struggling to find a good, high-paying job, and then thinking that investing more in school and getting a Masters’s degree is the solution.
That is rarely the case.
So it is recommended this only if you already have success and experience in your job, know the type of role that will lead to this new degree, and know that employers want/need it.