Disclaimer: The statements made in this post are the opinion of the author. They should not be viewed as financial advice. Please consult with a financial specialist before making any financial decisions.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive commission at no extra cost to you for your purchase.*
So let me first start by saying that I have not permanently quit working, in fact I recently found another job. But I didn’t have a job lined up when I quit. So how was I able to quit without a job lined up?
It was simple, I followed the principles outlined in this blog.
How I Was able to Quit My Job
To be able to quit your job you need to have strong financial footing. Quiting your job with no money in the bank and no way to provide for yourself and your family is a terrible idea.
Here’s how I prepared to quit.
First: Track My Spending
By tracking my spending I was able to identify where I was overspending and consciously avoid those expenses. I also realized that I was not making enough money to cover my expenses.
By following this step I was able to see what I needed to do to prepare myself to quit. I knew I needed to make more money and have less expenses to be able to quit.
Second: Raise My Income.
Since I was already living a pretty frugal lifestyle, I decided that I would increase my income instead of decrease my expenses. What you choose to do will depend on your situation.
I started a side hustle (more than one actually) to increase my income. This allowed me to cover my expenses and put some money in the bank. If I was careful.
Third: I Didn’t Inflate My Lifestyle
I didn’t allow lifestyle creep to eat up all of my increased income. Remember that lifestyle creep is the number one thing that causes people to live paycheck to paycheck. If you live exactly as you have been and increase your income, then you will have more money.
By avoiding lifestyle creep I was able to increase the gap between how much I spent and how much I earned. This meant I actually had savings.
Fourth: Build an emergency fund.
By saving the extra money I was making I was able to build a 2 month emergency fund. Now generally you will want more in your bank than that, but I really wanted to quit so I could take a new opportunity. This two months gave me the confidence I needed to quit before I had a new job lined up.
The emergency fund is the key to being able to quit your job until you find a new one. Also called a financially runway, it gives you the space you need to fail without bills becoming impossible to handle.
Fifth: Have a Back Up Plan
While I was confident that I would find another job in my field, it was a little scary as my two month runway was getting tight. Fortunately, I still had income coming in from my side hustle.
If my job searched was unsuccessful I knew that I could dive into my side hustle full time to pay the bills. Even if your back up plan is a different job, make sure you have backup plans in place before you quit your job. Like a side hustle, or income form investments from stocks or real estate. This will be an additional safety net to catch you when things don’t go according to plan.
How Quitting Your Job Is Helpful
Quitting can be a scary thing. And we seem to think that once you get a job you have to stick with it. While that may have been the case 50 years ago, the world is a much different place today.
There are many benefits to changing jobs
First: Get a Pay Increase
While it isn’t guaranteed that switching jobs will increase your pay, on average you can expect a larger pay increase from changing jobs than you can from staying put.
I don’t get to negotiate my salary much as a teacher, but I did get a pay increase by moving to a new district after quitting my job. This can be an even more effective tactic for someone working a corporate job.
Second: Choose the Job You Want
By taking on a new job you aren’t stuck in the culture of your current job or your job description box. You are able to try new things or apply for positions that you think better suit you. Don’t get stuck somewhere if you don’t like your job.
I was able to move from a classroom teaching position to a more one on one teaching role which I think will fit my skills and needs better. You can find a better job that suits your needs.
Third: Get New Skills
No job is exactly the same. Every time you change positions you will have to learn something new. Having new skills is vital to increasing your value and then increasing your pay.
By changing my role I’m now able to focus on the skills that will help individuals more than groups. If I choose, I could apply this skill to high level tutoring or online teaching later. Having more skills is very important to continued growth.
Don’t Be Afraid to Quit
There are a lot of reasons that quitting can be quite scary. But if you know that you need to quit you will make it work.
Remember that when you are given the option to sink or swim you will find a way to swim.
You can do this.
Why do you want to quit your job? What makes quitting so scary? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Subscribe below for exclusive content and to have each post delivered directly to your inbox.
Find a list of all the definitions used on this blog here.
Side Hustle: An additional job that you do in addition to your full-time employment. Examples include moonlighting as a waitress, driving for a ride sharing app, or starting a side business.
Lifestyle Creep: Also called Life Style Inflation, it means that you increase your expenses exactly as much as your income increases (if not more), this is usually gradual or unnoticeable with each small raise and it gets people into debt or at least living paycheck to paycheck.
Emergency Fund: Money set aside to be used in emergencies only. When you use money from your emergency fund you will need to replenish it as soon as you can.
Financially Runway: Cash in the bank, or easily accessible, that you can use to pay the bills while you try to get a new job, start a business, or build passive income.