We’ve likely all been there at least once in our careers, where we fantasize about making a spectacular scene, walking away from the job, never to return, on to greener pastures where new opportunities welcome us with open arms and never look back. I have read many a blog where this was the big bang of starting a new and successful career - and that you should be brave, trust in yourself and do it NOW. And for some, this has undoubtedly proven successful.
However, for many the euphoria of newfound freedom fades as reality hits: the bills start adding up and the demand wasn’t quite what they thought it would be. Weeks can turn into months and a sense of desperation can set in – not necessarily a good mental spot to be in when negotiating that new role. Burned bridges limit chances of returning to the old job, and in some industries (such as creative) it can be a very small village indeed.
So. Getting to the point; don’t 'rage quit' your job until you’ve talked to your recruiter. They’ll be able to put things in perspective and give you some market information as well as some advice. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ask them, and I’d love you to add your ideas or experiences below - as this is by no means a comprehensive list!
How long could I survive without regular work?
Are you a free agent or are you tied down? Feeding kids/ mortgage/ rent will mean you’ll need to draw down on your savings for a while. Even if you walk straight into another job interview the next day - that might be at least 4 weeks away from closing, and the first payday weeks after that. Do your sums.
Will I be in a stronger position to negotiate a new role if I am already in an existing job?
In most cases, I would say yes. Being in an existing job gives you more leverage as it could communicate to the employer that you’re in no hurry, but looking for the right role. In that time you might even be able to develop new skills making you more marketable.
What is the current market like for my skills, and is now a good time to be out job hunting without one?
Certainly, the time of year comes into play – this will vary across different businesses and your recruiter will be able to give you some insights here. If there aren’t permanent roles in abundance, would you look at a contract or freelance opportunities? Granted, not all types of work have this flexibility, but in some situations, this provides breathing space to transition to the next role.
Why am I really quitting – am I jumping in or jumping out?
Our director Jacqui wrote about this very topic here
My two cents:
Every personal situation is unique, and there is a myriad of variables - there is no 'one size fits all' approach, which is why I urge a conversation with your recruiter. However, I will say this in closing:
Always leave a job on the best possible terms, and leave the door open for the future if you can. Even if you have no intention of ever returning to that business or even that industry, always be professional - and you can start your next adventure with your head held high.