May 23, 2015

5 Things to Nail Down before Quitting Your Job.

LaurMG via Wikimedia

By some accounts, I had a dream job.

Just a few years out of college, I was working as a copywriter for a major fashion company. I earned a sizeable salary, had excellent benefits and loved what I did; writing, that is. I also loved fashion, or so I thought. I got to work with amazingly talented individuals and brilliant creative minds. I got to hang out with models and scored sweet discounts on designer clothing. What more could I want?

A sense of purpose.

It was not just that I wasn’t doing anything good for the world—the more I learned about fast fashion, the more I realized that I was actually promoting something I did not believe in.

Though I had always refused to write about leather and fur, these products were simply passed off to other writers. I began to feel like I was selling out, instead of selling clothing. I had the naive notion that high-end designer clothing must be made more ethically than their inexpensive counterparts. The clothes cost a fortune, they must be worth it. Not quite.

Many designers still use sweatshop labor and environmentally draining practices.

I didn’t believe in what I was doing, and to top it off, I felt overworked. As one of the fastest writers, I was able to cover nearly twice the product as my peers, but there was no additional benefit to me for this. As someone who believes fiercely in fairness, that just didn’t fly with me. I knew I was worth more and I had to leave. I didn’t have another job lined up at the time, but I knew it would be okay.

I ended up working from home and now have a new job that pays less, but means so much more. I still get to write every day and couldn’t be happier. Though it was difficult at first, I was able to succeed thanks to the following five tips and a lot of hard work.

1. Save Money.

This may be the most important tip. If we can, we should have at least six months worth of expenses saved up. It can take time to find a new job if we don’t already have one lined up. Quitting can be difficult on its own and the last thing we need is to be worried about money. Rent, food, bills, insurance and emergency money should all be covered by our savings. When I left my job, I was lucky to have saved enough to pay over nine months worth of living expenses. Experts sometimes suggest having a year’s worth of expenses covered.

2. Weigh The Pros & Cons.

Leaving a job should be planned in advance. In most cases, it should not happen in response to an argument or a single event. We need time to think about why we want to leave, how we will be benefiting, and what we will be losing. If we risk losing our home or will not be able to care for our family, we might want to wait until we have something else lined up. There are many things to consider before leaving and many compromises that may need to be made. We need to decide what is most important to us—stability, happiness, peace, purpose or money.

3. Leave Gracefully.

Even if we hate our boss, we should work hard until the day we leave and burn no bridges. We should always try to give two weeks notice and the simplest explanation possible as to why we’re leaving. We want to be polite rather than place blame. Trust me, I know it can be hard but we want to be the ones taking the high road. Don’t bash the company in the exit interview and be sure to ask for a recommendation. When we’re about to quit, it can also be a great time to ask for what we want. If we’re already willing to give it all up, why not ask for a raise or more flexible hours?

4. Refresh Your Resume.

Before we ever give our two weeks notice, we should be prepared for what lies ahead: the hunt for a new job. We should update our resume accordingly and create a range of cover letters for various positions and situations. Looking for a new job is a job in itself. We must devote a significant amount of time and effort to the process. Consider learning a new skill, network with everyone and apply to new jobs daily.

5. Relax.

We’ve saved our money and are sure of our decision. We’re on a path to a better place. The road may be rocky but we are confident in our stride. No regrets.



Relephant Read:

10 More Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!


Author: Kristen Koennemann

Editor: Renee Jahnke

Photo: LaurMG via Wikimedia

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