CAREER DEVELOPMENT / FEB. 19, 2016
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Why you Shouldn’t Quit Your Job Without a Plan

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Leaving your job is never easy; even if you have another job lined up you are always scared that things might not turn out as you expect them to. There’s always that fear of the unknown, and the stress of new beginnings to take into account. No one wants to feel unsafe, and quitting what we know can always make us feel anxious.

See Also: 5 Benefits of Quitting your Job to Travel

Things are worse when you leave your job without having another job waiting for you, the stress is magnified tenfold and the fear of not making your rent and bills can make even the calmest of people feel panicky.

The Counter-Argument

However, lots of people say that if you start feeling dispirited in your current job and the only way out is leaving, then you should leave even if you don’t know where tomorrow will take you.

The people who are supporting this argument say that the time in between jobs can truly be fruitful as it can help you get some clarity and give you time to think about your next move. Without feeling the pressure of starting over, you can really think about what you want next for your career. Rushing into another work doesn’t grant you this luxury, while it also deprives you of the time to prepare for bigger and better things.

The Reality

The obvious problem here is that most of us can’t afford to spend time without working. Most of us have trouble making ends meet on a monthly basis, let alone having to go for an indefinite amount of time without getting paid. This issue is a pragmatic one; rents and bills can’t be put on hold just because we need to redefine our career path.

Getting up and leaving your work means that you don’t know when the next paycheck will come and this can also impact your mindset negatively. Job searching and soul-searching require that you be in an optimistic mood, but if you are stressing over money, then you won’t be able to put yourself in the mindset for a successful job hunt.

Why You Need a Plan

The reason why you need a plan is not just because you won’t be able to afford living otherwise –although admittedly this should be the number one reason- it’s also to do with the fact that most people find that job searching can drag on a lot.

This can be un-motivating and it can also make you self-conscious about your abilities; something which you definitely do not need when you are looking for a job. It can also make you regret the decision to leave your job, and it can even make you go back crawling to your old job begging them to take you back.

What You Can Do

Of course no one is saying that you should stay at a job you hate out of fear. You should definitely move on, but you should first put together a game plan and then quit your job.

So, if you are in a job that’s making you feel miserable take some time to think why this job is making you miserable. If it’s something that can be remedied without quitting then put your best efforts forward and make the change happen. If on the other hand the reason you are miserable is that particular workplace, then start searching for other companies in the industry. Do some research, read comments and reviews on the internet –never do your research at work- and send your resume even if they don’t have any vacancies. Because of your expertise there’s a good chance that they are going to want you anyway.

If the problem is that you find your career unfulfilling, consider switching careers. Of course this will need more careful planning, and it will definitely need more time, so don’t make the leap without being certain of where it’s going to take you. Take some time to really think about what you want to be doing and what you hope to gain out of your career. Decide which career option speaks more to you and decide if you can really get a job in that industry. It’s always a good idea to educate yourself a little bit when you are switching careers so consider signing up for a course or a seminar.

Don’t haste yourself into taking action immediately; take your time to think this through and to do everything you can do to minimise the time you’ll be out of a job.

Although we are often told that we should take risks in our lives, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan your steps ahead of time. It is your life after all, and you should be careful of making mistakes from which there’s no turning back.

What do you think? Should people take such big risks? Share with us in the comment section below.

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