Most of us have heard this piece of conventional wisdom before: “Never quit your job without another offer!” It’s good advice most of the time, but not in every situation.
It’s a terrible feeling to be stuck in a job you hate or an environment that’s making you unhappy, or even unwell. If you feel you just can’t continue to work at your current job anymore, you might be ready to call it quits and run. But what if you don’t have another offer?
The truth is, there are actually many good reasons to quit a job that isn’t working for you — even if you don’t have another job lined up. Here are 10 of them:
1. To escape a toxic work environment
If someone at your job is putting you physically or emotionally at risk, leave as soon as you can. There are many routes you can take to protect yourself, and if you can show evidence that you’ve been mistreated, you may still be able to receive unemployment benefits after you quit. But even if you can’t prove anything, you should still remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. Your health and safety come first.
2. If your job is affecting your physical or mental health
A stressful job is one thing, but if your work is making you mentally or physically ill, it may be time to walk away and focus on getting better. It’s hard to find the energy to search for a new position when you’re not well. Sometimes it’s worth taking some time to recover and give yourself your best chance of coming back refreshed and healthy.
3. When your current job is stopping you from job searching
Landing a new job usually involves spending a lot of time preparing applications, networking, and interviewing. If your current schedule makes it impossible to successfully get a new job, you should consider quitting. When job searching is your full-time job, you can schedule interviews whenever you want and spend all the time you need preparing, which may even increase your chances of getting hired sooner.
4. To start a business
One of the most common reasons people leave jobs without another offer is to start their own business. If you’ve done your research and have a good plan, this can be an excellent reason to quit. After all, new business ventures rarely succeed without a few calculated risks along the way.
Seeking help from an experienced business coach, or small business association can go a long way in setting your new business up for success.
5. When you know you can temporarily (or permanently) work on a contract basis
Quitting your job is less risky if you have a way to generate income on your own. Do you have any skills that lend themselves well to contract/freelance work? Whether this is a temporary solution or a permanent one, it has a few advantages:
- No time gap in your resume
- You still make money
- You can set your own hours
- You can work part-time hours while you look for a new job
6. To avoid an ethical dilemma
If the work you’re doing is at odds with your own values and beliefs, or your job requires you to do something you feel is wrong, you may decide it’s best to quit even without another job offer. Staying true to your conscience is often more important than avoiding an employment gap on your resume.
7. To get an education
A good education is an investment in yourself and your career. It can be scary to stop working and become a full-time student, but in many cases, it pays off in the long run, especially if your education will help you advance your career.
8. To take a trip
Maybe you’ve been saving up for a long trip — long enough that your vacation days could never cover it. If you’re ready for a job change anyway, consider using this opportunity to take that trip while you’re between jobs. Some companies will let you extend your start date, so you may be able to get your next job lined up and still take a few months off to travel, but this isn’t always possible, especially if you want to take a really long trip.
9. To be a stay-at-home parent
If you have kids, the decision of whether and how much to keep working is a personal one. If you are able to and wish to stop working to become a full-time parent, and it works for your family, this can be a great reason to quit your job.
10. If your gut is telling you to quit
It’s almost always a good idea to take some time to reflect before quitting any job. Do you have a plan for the next few months? Can you manage financially until you find something else? If you answered yes, then think about why you want to quit. What are your motivations? Are you simply burned out and tired, or is your gut trying to tell you something?
People may tell you that you should never leave a job without another opportunity lined up, but ultimately, this is your life and your career. If your instincts have served you well in the past, trust them.
Starting the next chapter
If you’re feeling stuck in a bad or frustrating situation, remember that this is temporary. You deserve to find a job that makes you happy and you have the power to walk away from any job that doesn’t.
If you’re worried about looking for a new position, want to speed up the process, or want some guidance in your search for a fulfilling job that aligns with your interests and values, our career services can help. At Rush Recruiting & HR, we can help with everything from resume development to interview practice and more. Tell us about your situation and we’ll work together to provide you with the tools you need to find your dream job.