Why shouldn't I resign when I haven't secured another job?

2017-11-14 18:43:48

Most conventional wisdom states that, when switching jobs, you should keep your current job until you have a new job offer. However, I find that I would really like to leave sooner rather than later, and enjoy (as I am under no financial pressure) a break between jobs.

Some of my reasons to leave early are as follows:

I'm finding it difficult to interview & technical screen and "put my best foot forward" in my job search process while I am still working at my current employer. In particular, some of my potential employers would require me to relocate (which I would be happy to do), but I find it awkward to take holiday hours to do an in person interview with them. (See also: Is it considered acceptable to take vacation time for job searching?).

Even if I am not able to find a job quickly, my field allows for contract / freelancing work, which I have entertained, since I prefer to be my own boss as well. (Future question: how do I transition from a salaried job to contr

  • Some of the reasons why conventional wisdom says, 'No, don't quit your job until you have another one lined up':

    Job searches can take a LONG time, often many months or even years. That's a long time to be out of work with no income and no active experience. (And a side project might or might not convince them it is continuing experience.)

    People who are employed look better to employers. So it's easier to get a job if you have a job. (Which doesn't always make sense, especially in light of the next point.)

    You have more leverage in salary negotiations if you're employed. If you're low-balled for a job, you have to be able to walk away from it, and if you're starting to need money, it's a lot harder to walk.

    If you're in the US and some other locations, you're often not eligible for unemployment benefits if you left the job (unless it was for some terrible working conditions).

    If you walk away from a job, you'll be asked about it in the job interview, and your answer can count

    2017-11-14 19:17:04
  • The accepted wisdom is that no, you should never quit your job without securing a new one except in the most extreme of circumstances. e.g. serious harassment, extreme stress affecting your health, etc. I doubt many people would advise you to quit your job simply because you find it awkward to interview whilst still employed!

    But of course, everyone's circumstances are different. It's nice that you have a financial buffer against being out of work, but is it wise to use up some of that buffer in a non-emergency situation? I wouldn't do it myself.

    As for your side question: of course you should feel OK. Holidays, annual leave, etc., there are entirely for you to do with as you wish. Whether you spend them interviewing for better jobs, or drinking cocktails on the beach in Barbados, that's nobody's business but your own.

    If you're leaving your teammates in the lurch by taking time off without giving an amount of warning that is deemed acceptable in your workplace, that's a differen

    2017-11-14 19:43:25
  • You may not have to, if break between jobs is what it's about.

    I have really enjoyed my tho months break between jobs. I have sought for a new job, got offer, went through the process and than have negotiated a mutually acceptable date (two months after my notice period ended) on the contract. Only then I gave my notice.

    Hope this works for you, too.


    May be highly dependant on your locale, I took this break between two jobs in the middle of Europe.

    After signing the contract, my new employer wrote that I can start whenever I want prior to the date on contract, should I reconsider break my plans.

    2017-11-14 19:44:49
  • People have answered about why the accepted wisdom is good, and they are valid points but you also asked

    What are some other potential benefits to leaving early?

    If you are lucky enough to not to have to worry financially and you are fairly confident that you can freelance if need be, I think taking some time off for a break is a great idea.


    1. R&R

    Job searches can be hard work, especially if you have a demanding job. Taking some time to yourself can be great for you, it can give you some time to decompress and evaluate what you want to do next.

    2. Travel

    Related to R&R but there are some trips that can't be easily done while working where you get a limited amount of holiday time. Long trips and experiencing other cultures can also be great for you personally, giving you a fresh perspective on your life.

    3. Training

    There may be some skills that you would like to learn or brush up on, this can be hard when you are working full time. You can spend time on a formal

    2017-11-14 19:47:14
  • It's great if you are that awesome that you can get a job at the snap of your fingers. The advice is more for people who want to err on the side of financial caution.

    The advice is mostly to protect people financially, since job hunts drag on, companies hiring can be unreliable or have plans change. It prevents someone from being in a position where, having already left their previous job, if the rest of the world does not view a candidate in the awesome, shining light that they see themselves, they wind up accepting a job that is not at all what they wanted, because they need to re-start the income stream ASAP. Or they don't even have that choice and get into financial trouble that can take months or years to unwind.

    In a best of both worlds scenario, if you want to take a break, you can always have your written, signed, accepted job offer with a starting date pushed back another week or two beyond the length of your notice period.

    Ultimately, if you are that top-notch and in

    2017-11-14 19:48:26