The generally accepted view regarding job change is that you do not quit your job without having another one to go to. It makes logical sense and most people tend to follow this process, but there are some instances where the best thing you can do for yourself is quit your job whether or not you have another one lined up.
We look at 5 situations where you should consider quitting your job for your own physical and emotional well being.
When To Quit Your Job Without Having Another One:
1. You Are In Danger
If you feel that you are in any physical or emotional danger then you need to quit your job even if you do not have another job lined up. Examples of this would include sexual harassment, verbal abuse, emotional abuse etc…
Many people would argue that you can stay and fight against things like sexual harassment. If you feel strong enough to do that then that’s great, but many people do not. If you do not want to stay and fight, then you should bring the issue to the attention of HR and then move on.
2. Your Job Is Making You Sick
It’s OK to quit your job without having another one if your work environment is causing you high anxiety and stress. This could be because you have no work / life balance or you are working in a highly toxic environment that is taking its toll on your mental health. In these instances. it is almost always better to take a short break and focus on the job search process than try to tough it out in an environment that is making you sick.
3. There Are Personal Issues
There are times in our lives when personal issues overtake career priorities. Either parent may take a career pause to look after a newborn, you may need to look after sick or elderly parents etc… These are perfectly valid reasons to quit your job without having another one and are easy to articulate and explain in a future job interview.
4. No Time To Job Search
If you are wanting to quit your job and move on, your first step should always be to try and devote some time each week to the job search process. If your current role means that you are working 10 hour days and not getting any down time then you may need to consider quitting your job and devoting some time to networking and job search.
5. You Are About To Get Fired
It is always easier to explain a short break in your work history than to try and explain why you were fired from your last role.
It is not easy to quit your job without having another one to go to. You need to think about the financial implications, the effect it will have on your self esteem and how you are going to explain the employment gap to future employers.
That said, if you identify with any of the 5 situations above, then you need to seriously consider quitting your job and launching into the job search process. Compromising your personal health and safety are just not worth it.
If you do make the decision to quit, it is really important that you keep your contact network in place and do not burn any professional bridges.