Be sure you have the right financial, emotional and professional support to keep it all going while you find something better!
1. Have you saved some money?
Do you have a few months’ worth of rent, utilities and bill payments saved up? You can start to get ahead of your monthly expenditures by cutting down on extras, like big meals out or other nonessential purchases. No, cutting out one latte per week isn’t going to make much of a dent (treat yo’ self!) but that $100 dinner out “just because” probably isn’t a great idea if you’re trying to save. Build up your financial safety net BEFORE you cut out that bi-weekly paycheck. You have the benefit of foresight to do that.
Even if you aren’t planning on quitting, it’s always smart to have a few months of expenses in the bank in case of emergencies like layoffs or illness when you can’t work.
2. Have you told your spouse/partner/friends/family you want to quit?
Talk to your family unit. The goal isn’t to get their advice — it’s to make sure that they have your back.
If you have some support at home or at least at the other end of the phone, it makes going through something as stressful as unemployment so much easier.
Your fam might ask why you’re leaving a sure thing, but that’s all to the good. Having the conversation will help you get clear in your mind about why you’re quitting, as well as ensuring that you have a support system in place.
Don’t feel like you have support at home? It’s not the end of the story! Reach out to professional organizations or even a doctor or therapist who can give you some ideas for ways to talk about your plan and why you feel a strong need to quit. Being able to clearly state your case is so important for your own mental health, as well as talking it over with your family and friends who might not understand.
3. Have you started looking for a new job?
Yes, you can look for work when you’re still employed … but DO NOT do it at work!
Even if your employer isn’t checking your surfing history (and they can), getting caught job searching on the company time is an easy way to get fired, or at least get in a world of trouble.
Use your work time instead to do some research and networking. Talk to coworkers about their roles, learn more about what you might like to do in your next job and make some connections inside the company that may prove helpful down the line.
One of the biggest flags that someone is looking is getting a whole bunch of LinkedIn requests from them out of the blue, so if you’re trying to keep it on the DL, maintain that low profile while you make some connections.
If you can, reach out to recruiters who understand that double life of “employed but looking” or even headhunters who might be able to help lay the groundwork and get you a new gig you’ll love. They can also help you network, and possibly set up interviews or suggest training that can help you become a better candidate. Make some coffee dates and get your face in front of folks who can find you a job!
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