Quit With A Parachute, Not Another J.O.B.

1710344327I know this statistic is bandied about again and again, but it’s apt so I’m going to share it anyway: 80% of adults HATE what they do for a living.

Often, that’s because they’ve came to the conclusion that it’s really a J.O.B.; a position that leaves them Just Over Broke.

This post is dedicated to all you 80%-ers.

If you’re one of the 20%, Good for You!!!! Read anyway, and then share this post with the friends who don’t fall into that category yet!

For a portion of the 80%, this may mean moving on with no time to spare. And since it was requested that I write about how I left a position without something else in place, I thought this would be a good time to cover that topic.

First and foremost…

It’s a Personal Decision To Leave

Deciding to leave is hard enough without everyone else telling you how to do it. Personally, I find that your exit strategy depends on a couple of key elements: your current financial commitments, and why you are choosing to leave.

When I decided it was time to leave Classic, my motivations were largely to get away from an awful environment. The people at the top were shady, and for years promised me a promotion that never came. I was under-appreciated and completely burnt out after working 12-hour-minimum days for years without a real vacation.

There was no hope of entering another workplace and being successful and happy without first resting and rejuvenating. I couldn’t even decide what I’d really want to do, let alone what aspects of work-life were important to me.

1. Evaluate the Landscape

So I started looking at what had to be covered for me to leave. I had to be able to meet my break even so that I could survive; things like Rent, Food, Bills all had to keep getting paid whether I had a job or not.

Then I looked at what I had, the savings I built up over time, and how long that would last. I was fortunate to be in a position where I could live a few months without a job and be fine. Not that anyone thought this made my decision smart.

2. Determine the Needs

I also looked at myself. I needed time to recuperate. To find passion in life. To heal. The reality was that, unless I took a real break, my health wasn’t going to hold up and I wasn’t going to keep any job I walked into.

Also important, I looked at my career history and what I have to offer. I decided how long it would take me to find a job (it turns out I seriously over-estimated this number), and what I was willing to do if I didn’t make the deadline.

3. Make a Plan

To prepare myself, I put all the above together to make a plan. It looked something like this:

  • Including credit cards, I could survive financially for about 6 months.
  • 3-4 Months would be dedicated to not working.
    • I was going to take time to find passion in life again.
    • My focus was to take care of my health, and get back to a good place.
    • I needed to travel somewhere.
  • I would find a job within a month, but have a 2 month cushion.
    • If that didn’t work out, I’d waitress or bar tend until I found the job I wanted.

Of course, everyone told me I was crazy to not A) find something before I left, or B) at least start looking immediately because “in this economy, you could go for years without finding a job.”

4. Trust in The Outcome

I didn’t care what they said because I knew that wasn’t going to be me.

In my heart, I knew that everything would work out one way or another. I’d probably learn something in the process, but, most importantly, I would always have what I needed. 

In my case, after enjoying myself and playing around with a business idea, I was ready to rejoin the workforce in about 3.5 months. I applied to 3 jobs, interviewed with one company, and was offered the position.

I learned that I am not great with busy work (which I kind of knew), and that I prefer to do something that is mentally creative. I started to miss sales and management, and realized I liked the fields themselves, just not my previous company.

A month into my new job, one of the other two companies called and offered me a position actually in my field for higher pay (I was working a support role instead of sales at the time). I made the change and that turned out to be a stepping stone to my current position.

The Options

Just because I quit and didn’t truly work for almost four months doesn’t mean that’s the best plan for you. Or even the best plan for me in the future. It was just the right fit at the right time.

Perhaps you don’t have the financial base I did and aren’t ready for another career position. Cool! Go get a temp job – wait tables, cater-water, bar tend, drive a cab, whatever! Do something that’s going to let you relax and have down time, but still meets your needs!

And maybe a career move is the right step for you! My last two moves were just that, no big break between them.

So what move is right for you?

4 thoughts on “Quit With A Parachute, Not Another J.O.B.

  1. Jes, hearing that you were able to quit with no backup plan and trust the outcome gives me faith in my decision to do the same thing. Last week I gave my employer notice that I’ll be leaving in a month, and I have nothing else lined up. To be candid, I’m not in a big hurry to find something either. Like you, I feel like I need a few weeks just to recuperate and feel okay about life again.

    Inspiring stuff, thanks for sharing.

  2. I love you that the passion that you found (career-wise) was not something super off the beaten path. That’s not to say that finding your passion in doing something like owning your business isn’t a good thing. It’s great! But it’s definitely encouraging to see that there are jobs out there that are within the 9-5 “system” that people can be passionate about. Thank you for sharing :]

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