Thinking of Quitting Your Day Job? Here’s How to Do it Without Losing Time or Money

Carolyne Njeri

Thinking of Quitting Your Day Job? Here’s How to Do it Without Losing Time or Money
Quitting your job can be a scary affair, and a decision as important as this requires a plan to cushion you as you make the transition.

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If you’re thinking about quitting your job, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a shortage of employees right now (especially in first world countries) due to a wave of resignations fueled by the pandemic dubbed the “Great Resignation”. Maybe you’re tired of working those long, gruelling hours or you’re questioning whether the job you have is the right fit for you, maybe you want to leave that toxic work environment for good or you’re finally ready to pull the trigger on that business you’ve been dreaming about (over 4.4 million businesses were started during the pandemic); whatever reason you may have to quit your job, this is as good a time as any to make the move.

But quitting your job is a very scary affair, even amid the mass exit. You’re giving up your chief source of income, which may not only affect you but your dependents and those closest to you. So although it’s great to be spontaneous, a decision as important as this requires a plan to cushion you as you make the transition. In some cases however, (think world-altering pandemic that has no end in sight), you may have to quit your job instantaneously due to at-home responsibilities or work-induced mental health strain or a myriad of other reasons, without necessarily having a new opportunity lined up. What do you do then? 

Leaving your job doesn’t have to be all-bleak; there are thousands of articles on the internet where people talk about how resigning was the best decision they ever made. Quitting your job opens you up to new challenges, makes you more resilient and instills a lot of self-confidence. So if you are ready to call it quits, this blog is for you. We’ve compiled a guide to help you do it without having to stay idle or worry about money as you make the change.

  • Register on a freelancing platform

The fear of going back to the job market is probably one of the biggest reasons why people stay in their jobs long after they’ve outgrown them. But what if you can keep doing what you love on your own terms? Set your work hours, choose your clients and even dictate how much you earn? This is freelancing in a nutshell.

Even if you’re not thinking about leaving your job now, it’s vital to have a side-gig that brings you extra income on days when your resources are stretched thin. There’s really no such thing as job security, as the past two years have shown us, therefore the importance of having a plan B on the side cannot be stressed enough. Plus, it doesn’t have to be related to the job you have right now- it could even be a hobby. So long as you have the right skill set (this doesn’t mean a college degree), you can set up a profile and begin earning immediately! That’s what makes freelancing so ideal especially for those quitting their jobs-you don’t have to wait for weeks as recruiters read through thousands of applications before they even consider you for an interview. As a freelancer, you set up your account and get access to opportunities immediately. 

We’ve written a lot about the benefits of freelancing before but in light of our current collective experience with the pandemic, these benefits are that much more important. For those who have had to quit their jobs because responsibilities have forced them to be home-bound, freelancing offers flexibility, for those looking for higher pay, negotiation is on the table each time you pick up a new gig, those who want new challenges, there are thousands of opportunities to explore. As an independent consultant, the only thing standing between you and success is you.

  • Grow your network consistently

The job market is an aggressively competitive space, so having an in with employees at different levels in various companies and their hiring personnel is a sure-fire way to stay ahead of the curve. Sometimes companies don’t even announce that they are hiring but they’re always on the lookout for fresh talent, therefore having people on the inside can go a long way in making your job search so much easier. And thanks to LinkedIn, you don’t have to attend conventions to interact with like minded people en-masse. You can easily contact them via their contact information on their profiles or send them a quick direct message using formats as simple as these.

Growing your network is an integral part of thriving in any profession, because not only does it help you continuously advance in your career, it also comes in handy when you want to make a radical change like quitting your job. In the past few years, companies have been rethinking how they source their talent. For instance, some now rely on talent pipelining, where they interview employees proactively and call on them when a gap arises in their work force, saving them the time and effort of recruiting each time there’s turnover. So if you’ve already established a rapport with a company and you are already part of their talent pool or pipeline, you can inquire if there’s a vacancy before you quit your current job. Even if they don’t have an opening for you immediately, you’re sure that you won’t have to go through a rigorous interview process or compete with other candidates again when they finally call you in.

  • Always keep a rainy day fund

You know what makes it so much easier to leave an unsatisfactory job? Not having to worry if you’ll make next month’s rent. According to the American Payroll Association, nearly 7 in 10 employees would have a hard time making ends meet if their paychecks were delayed by just a week. Imagine that! It would be impossible for you to consider quitting a job no matter how terrible it is if you know that you’d be starving within a week. But with some savings in the bank, you’re emboldened to take such a huge leap because you are sure that your landing will be soft- at least for a little while as you search for greener pastures. You’ll be less of a burden to your loved ones, be able to take more risks and focus on getting the job you actually want (without having to take the first offer you’re given because you are desperate). 

This is why leaving your job requires a lot of planning. You can start by making a list of all your weekly/monthly expenses, then giving a conservative time frame that you’d be unemployed for, say 6 months, then doing your calculations to find out how much money you’ll need to quit your job comfortably within that time. If you don’t have any savings, start now even if you’re not anticipating leaving your job. But if you have to quit urgently, some countries offer unemployment insurance which you can rely on as you stabilize. On the other hand, if you are quitting to start a business, ensure you have enough money on-hand and you’ve secured additional funding if you need it.

Before you quit…

It’s so easy to get sucked in by the allure of the great resignation without giving the potential repercussions enough thought. So before you hand in your resignation letter, ensure you’ve exhausted other avenues to better your situation. Be vocal about your experience at your workplace, your level of satisfaction, scope of duties, remuneration, etc before you decide to quit. A time like this especially, when there’s a shortage of employees, can be a perfect time to renegotiate your employment contract. In most cases, employers want to retain their employees for as long as possible because turnover costs money; it is estimated that it costs 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace them. Make sure your situation is beyond repair before you give up.

That being said, there’s no better time than now to begin your journey as a freelancer. One report found that up to 10 million Americans turned to freelancing amid the great resignation. Even if quitting your job is not up there in your list of priorities, having a sustainable source of income that allows you to be your own boss and creates space for you to thrive is always a welcome reprieve. Click here to unlock unlimited opportunities with Ureed.com.

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