This being the second week in January, many people are making resolutions to improve their lives. Maybe your resolution is to quit your job. But you may not go to another job. So you want to know how to quit your job if you don’t have another ready. I did that a few years ago.
It was late 2016, and the management at my job wasn’t good at all. I was a Team Lead without any power, because my manager wanted me to verify the work got done, which I did. But I severely disliked the nepotism swirling around. In addition, the promises to improve morale and the workload in the department never came. I had enough. After checking my finances and seeing my savings, I did some math. I wanted to learn a new skill: Web Development. After running the figures, I discovered I could quit my job, live off my savings and work full-time on learning the new skill. And that’s exactly what I did!
How To Quit Your Job If You Don’t Have Another Ready: Do A Detailed Analysis Of Your Money
This step needs to be done way before you actually quit your job, because you most likely won’t have any income coming in and will have to live off of your savings. And that’s what the detailed analysis is for: To see how much money you have in savings.
Now if you have none, you can’t quit your job without having another lined up. You will get into debt, and could lose your housing, your car, and your family.
But if you have savings, then you need to analyze where that money is. For many people either the money is in a savings account or a work retirement account (like a 401(k) or 403(b)). If the money is in the latter, you will have to pay taxes and penalties if you’re under 59.5 years old if you take a distribution.
For me, my money was in two high-yield savings accounts. I also had retirement money, but I wasn’t going to touch that.
If all of your savings are in a retirement account, and you’re not over 59.5 years old, I highly suggest you don’t quit your job. The taxes and penalties on retirement distributions are just too high. How high? Whatever you have currently in your retirement account, cut it in half. That’s the amount you’ll end up with.
How To Quit Your Job If You Don’t Have Another Ready: Have A Plan
I watched various videos on YouTube about people quitting their job without having another ready recently, and quite a few of them didn’t have a plan. Many believed God would lead them and take care of their needs. And while I’m a God-Fearing woman, I also know that God told us that we humans have to help ourselves too. We just can’t run to God for help, especially if we made a decision to quit our job without having another lined up.
So make a plan with a strict time-line. I did when I taught myself Web Development. My day started at 9am but I worked on my classes and projects past midnight more days, including weekends. I did so because I wanted to look for a new job starting January 2017.
If you don’t make a schedule you are more likely to lay about your home, browsing social media, not doing anything. Don’t fall into that trap!
Reduce Or Eliminate Expenses
When I made the decision to quit my job and study full-time, I knew I had to live by a strict budget. This was the only way to actually survive on my savings properly.
First, I wrote down all of my fixed expenses, like rent, car insurance, utilities, debt repayment, things like that. Then for my variable expenses, like food and entertainment, I created a very small budget.
Regarding food, I ate healthy but inexpensive. That meant chicken or pork for meat, rice and lentils, and frozen veggies. As for entertainment or going out, I chose free options like walking around in the park or a free event in my city. You shouldn’t stay holed up in your place all day, but you shouldn’t be out and about all the time either.
Network, Network, Network!
If you are quitting your job so you can start your own business, or a new career, or even to learn a new skill, you need to network as much as you can. It takes time to build up a paying clientele or find a new position in your new career.
When I taught myself Web Development, I went to Meetups focused on that skill. I spoke with like-minded people and got my name into the industry that way.
Yes, networking can and will use up some of your savings, but it’s a good investment in yourself which can have an awesome return!
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