Man stressed at work with laptop on head

Should You Quit Before or After Finding a New Job?

We’ve always been told, "don't quit your job until you have a new one!" We've heard it a hundred times and know things are never as simple as just walking out of your job one day because you’ve had enough. If you’re unhappy at work you may be able to conduct an under-the-radar job search fitting interviews and applications into your lunch breaks and evenings but sometimes this just isn’t an option.

There are risks involved with quitting your job before securing a new one. There are however a number of exceptions and the truth is that the decision is a highly subjective and personal one.

Man stressed at work laptop on head and elbows on the desk

The risks of quitting before

Whether financial, professional or emotional there are certainly risks. 

  • It could be a while before you find a new job and it can be harder depending or your industry or role. ​You need to consider whether you have sufficient financial resources to last you for a month, 3 months, or longer?

  • Psychologically, being out of work for a long time can be hard and lead to underperformance in applications, interviews or make you settle for a job that may be a poor fit

  • Although not all of them, many hiring managers don’t like to see significant gaps between jobs. It’s important you can explain any gaps well without it appearing as a negative part of your career history. Alternatively, can you show that you took advantage of the gap for professional growth? 

Does a gap in your CV indicate you’re a flaky candidate? Or does it show someone with integrity wanting to find their perfect opportunity to contribute, grow and develop?

But I really need to quit…

Of course, there are times when things become intolerable and leaving is the only option; the work environment and culture is toxic, you’re privy to unethical or illegal practices or the job becomes all-consuming. These situations can affect your physical and mental health and often the risks of staying start to mount and those associated with leaving don’t look too bad.

Related Blog Article - Employee experience... why does it matter?

Man stressed at work head in handsLuckily, times are changing and gaps in your CV are becoming more acceptable to hiring managers. Greater emphases on office culture, employee wellbeing and engagement have left companies more sympathetic to candidates who have quit their jobs in search of something better.

Does a gap in your CV indicate you’re a flaky candidate? Or does it show someone with integrity wanting to find their perfect opportunity to contribute, grow and develop?

How it can work in your favour

If you have considered the above and have the resources / support to positively structure your time in between jobs then quitting can be beneficial.

  • You can really apply yourself to applying. Whereas you might have been ‘sort-of’ looking in the evenings and worried about searching job boards in your office, you can now dedicate yourself to your search treating it like a job

  • You now have the time to develop yourself and learn. Use this time to take an online course which will increase your professional tool kit and help you in your application

  • With no time constraints you’re now available to meet recruiters, attend interviews and importantly, start immediately. A lot of companies like this and flexibility with your start date means they won’t have to bring in additional resource to cover workloads

Only you can know for sure what the best decision is but if you’d like advice on your options then get in touch with our expert team!

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