Are you feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, or just tired of your current job? Maybe your new boss is getting under your skin, or you feel you’d be better suited for a different field. Those are all valid reasons to be considering leaving your job. We’ve all been there. But, before you leave, is it a bad idea to quit your current job without another one lined up?
Quitting your job without another one lined up is a bad idea. You can experience income uncertainty and a loss of salary negotiation power with future employers. Whilst you can volunteer or attend school to stay appealing to employers, a gap between jobs makes you a less desirable employee overall.
There are many factors to consider before making your final decision. Here we will go into more detail about why you shouldn’t leave your current job without having a backup ready to go.
Going from one job to the next without a gap makes you more desirable
If you were to leave your job without having one lined up, there would be a gap in your resume until you found a new one. Employers don’t like to see gaps in-between jobs because this makes them question your work ethic, dependability, and whether you are liked and employable.
Leaving one job to go to a new one shows future employers that you are not a quitter. This is a valued personality trait for companies looking to hire. It shows them that you know what you want out of a company. Also, that you are willing to stick out the rocky times until a new and better opportunity arises. This trait shows them that you are not going to jump ship when times get hard and that makes you favourable to other prospective employees.
Having a lack of gaps on your resume also shows that you are dependable. When you go from one job to the next, you are showing employers that you want to work. You also show that you are ready to work and that you plan to stay with the company for an extended amount of time. You are clearly building a career. Employers like to see gapless resumes as they show that this person is a hard worker who will show up and be a team player.
Starting a new job without a gap also shows that you are constantly doing something productive. Employers like this trait as it demonstrates your maturity, work ethic, and dependability all at the same time! When reviewing a resume, future employers are more likely to favour you if you are constantly doing something to be of service to society. It is much more appealing than having a gap filled with downtime.
You will experience income uncertainty during a gap period
Quitting your job without having a backup will leave you without a stable source of income. For some people, this isn’t a big deal, but for others, it may be the reason they decide to stay.
Before quitting without having a new job lined up, you need to evaluate your finances and determine if this is even something attainable for you. Can you leave this current position comfortably and securely?
A lot of people, when they leave a job that they weren’t enjoying, feel a sense of freedom and relaxation. However, if you haven’t properly considered your financial situation before leaving, this might not be the case for you. Initially, you may feel that freedom, but stress can quickly kick in if you don’t have the financial stability to support yourself whilst you’re jobless. There’s nothing like falling short on rent or utilities to kick you out of a relaxing moment. Having a backup ready to go can prevent this circumstance from occurring.
If you aren’t in a financial position to quit without a job, recruitment and labour hiring agencies are a good resource. You can talk to agencies like Rednax and get help lining up a new job so that you can feel less stressed about your income.
Quitting first means you lose salary negotiation power (with future employers)
While we’re on the subject of money, quitting your job means you forfeit the ability to negotiate salary with future employers. The reason being this new prospective employer wants to take you away from your current company. You hold the power if you are still employed versus if you are unemployed.
For employers, hiring someone who currently does not have a job is much easier and much cheaper than hiring someone who is still employed. The unemployed person just needs a job and will often take what is offered. A currently employed person switching jobs holds the power of being desirable, valued, dedicated and more. The person still employed holds all the power in a salary negotiation. If you quit first, you lose that power and ability.
What are some good reasons to quit a job without having another lined up?
- harassment claims
- unsafe working environment
- going back to school
- company is unwilling to work with your schedule changes
- you are needed to take care of a family member or child
- drastically unfair wages that cannot be negotiated
- being forced to work positions you are not paid for.
There are also a few less severe reasons that may validate you leaving your job, including:
- Feeling overstressed
- Being overworked
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Boredom – needing something more challenging or exciting.
These reasons however may simply mean that you need a break.
What should you do between jobs to still look good to employers?
Sometimes you feel like you have no choice but to leave your job without another one lined up. Even if this is the case, you still want to be as appealing to employers as possible. There are a few key boxes to check when you’re in between jobs that can help you remain valuable and appealing to prospective employers.
One of the most appealing notches on a resume, when you aren’t working, is volunteering. Volunteer work shows that you are remaining productive in your time away from a job. It also shows a sense of initiative as you are choosing to spend your free time learning and expanding your mind doing volunteer work. It is a good way to gain experience, especially in labour industries, showcasing that you are a reliable, skilled general labour worker.
Employers also like to see academic-related work on resumes. You can use your time in between jobs to complete a degree, earn a certificate, or take a class to expand your knowledge. By doing this, you’re showing employers your willingness to learn.
Should I quit my job so I can have a break?
Rather than quitting your job when you’re wanting a break, it’s a better idea to talk to your current employer about some time off work. You can’t be expected to work at your most productive rate if you are tired or bored. You won’t be your most inspired self if you are anxious or overwhelmed. Employers know this.
In fact, so many people experience fatigue, burnout, stress, and even boredom from their everyday jobs. Enough so, that employers have started honing in on their PTO and vacation policies to allow more time for breaks for their employees.
Your employers offer you vacation days and paid time off for a reason and it’s not just to make themselves look good to prospective employees. Rather than quitting because you need a break, then struggling to find a new job, take those days off. Use that time to your advantage before deciding to quit and risk feeling a lot of uncertainty and instability.
Quitting your job without having another one lined up is not the be all end all of your working career. It is, however, a risky move that needs to be calculated, not impulsively made. You need to consider you’re leaving yourself open to lower wages at your next job; being viewed as less reliable than others; experiencing income-related stress. But, with all of this information, we are hoping that you feel better prepared to analyse your options and make the right choice for you.