Although it doesn’t make for the most ideal situation, some of us might find ourselves asking this question throughout our careers. Handing in a resignation letter without having a new job lined up can be terrifying, but depending on your situation, it might just be the best-case scenario at the time.
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast yes or no answer to this question. Each time where this question rears its ugly head can be complicated and personal. Before making the decision, you have to begin with the end in mind, doing whatever needs to be done to reach the best outcome.
So, think about where you are coming from. Should you quit your job without a new one? Let’s start by breaking down some of the risks.
Loss of Income – Depending on your financial state, it’s important to calculate if you could survive without a steady paycheck, and if so, how long you could do it for. You don’t want to dip drastically into your savings but need to know your options and the availability to do just that if needed.
Gaps in Resume – If you don’t leave one job and start another one soon after that, the question regarding the gap in your resume will come up in future interview processes. Having an employment gap isn’t a bad thing. Instead, it’s something you need to be prepared to explain and discuss because it will come up.
Loss of Benefits – Depending on your situation, this risk can be the most detrimental. Losing health and medical benefits aren’t something to be taken lightly. Keep in mind that your next job might have a waiting period before benefits kick in, so make sure you have an emergency fund in place to provide the health coverage you need until it’s offered by an employer again.
Although these risks paint a negative picture, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are certainly some upsides to answering yes to whether you should quit your job without a new one.
Leave Toxic Environment – If you’re in a work environment that doesn’t support you, protect you, or allow you to develop the way you should be able to in a professional setting, it’s worth considering a departure. There’s no amount of money or benefits that should make you stay in a job where you are truly miserable.
Job Search Flexibility – Looking for a new job is a full-time job in itself. If you’ve tried doing this in between your current job responsibilities, it’s exhausting and close to impossible. If you’re fortunate enough to earn an interview for another opportunity while you are currently still working, this is when the schedule flexibility might get challenging. Scheduling interviews around work gets tricky. If you go through the process sans job, it becomes easier to schedule interviews, whether in-person or virtually.
Regardless of your answer to the question, you owe no one an explanation besides yourself. Staying in an unfulfilling job because you don’t have another job lined up is no way to travel through your career. This doesn’t mean you should hastily decide to leave your job on impulse alone. There needs to be a balance.
Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to quit your job but not having another position lined up prevented you from doing so? Have you quit your job without another job waiting for you? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out What to do Following an Interview – At Any Stage.