If you're unhappy at work, feeling like there has got to be something more, or have been working on a side hustle for the last year or so, you may be at the point where you feel like it's time to move on from your current job. But how do you do it? Whether you are planning on quitting your job to work for yourself, start a business, go back to school, or simply change career fields, you may end up staying right where you are - happy or not - because the task of making the big change seems daunting. There are a lot of unknowns outside your current situation and that makes your current situation feel safe. Safe is nice. Safe can also be a dream killer. So, as a way to help you make your decision - stay or go - today I am giving you tips that I used, or wish I had used, when I quit my job. Hopefully these tips will take some of the fear out of leaving and make your decision feel a bit safer. (Read about my journey in posts here, here, here, and here)
Tip #1: Have a timeline
As romantic as it may sound to have a revelation one day and walk up to your boss to let them know you are quitting - it's not realistic. I knew I would be leaving my job well before I gave my notice. Now, my situation may be a bit different than yours because I had wanted to leave my job for awhile, but the fear of doing it was holding me there. I then painted myself into a corner by accepting opportunities that would conflict with my current work schedule so that I would have to eventually quit. This helped me come up with my timeline - which was relatively short - 100 days. So, I knew 100 days in advance that I would be leaving my job and I had 100 days to plan, prepare, and tell a few people so that I would be held accountable. I also had 100 days to really let the idea of quitting my job set in and I knew more and more as time went by that it was the right move. Of course there will always be some fear, but if your timeline is whittling away and you are still VERY unsure if you're making the right move, or the plans you are trying to make are not working out, it may be sign that it ISN'T the right move. In my experience, having a timeline will help give you clarity either way.
Tip #2: Have someone to hold you accountable
So, you have your timeline and find yourself one month away from quit day. Because there will still be some fear, this is when I would recommend finding a couple people you really trust (not people you work with) and tell them your plan. Let them know you are leaving your job to follow your dreams etc. Hopefully they will be supportive, but ultimately, now you have spoken this into the universe, you have told people your plans, you will be held accountable with following through. Again, for me, this was another affirming step, but if you say it out loud and then break down into tears or have a panic attack - maybe it's not the right move.
Tip #3: Save money and start living on a Budget
I'm not going to lie to you. If you're quitting your job to work for yourself, run a business, go back to school or even change careers (you may end up in an entry level position compared to where you are) you are likely looking a big reduction in income. You need to prepare for this. I personally used my 100 days to seriously pay off my credit card debt, save some money (not nearly enough) and start living on a more strict budget. I could probably do an entire post on ways to save money/budget, but here are just a few tips:
- Use coupons and Grocery Rebate apps - My favourites are PC Plus and Checkout 51. I've been mailed 2 cheques already from Checkout 51 from buying items that I would have purchased anyways and often the same deals that Checkout 51 offers have coupon offers as well, so you're saving twice!!!
- Make grocery lists and stick to them
- Clean out your closets and storage areas and sell unwanted items on Kijiji - it feels like Free Money!
Tip #4: Schedule your first 2 weeks off the job
This tip is more for those who are going to be working for themselves. Make a schedule and routine for your first 2 weeks after you quit. Have to-do lists planned out, plan what time you'll be waking up, what your work hours will be, what days you will take off etc. I found it incredibly helpful to stay on a routine after leaving my job and instead of sleeping in on the first Monday of my new life, I set my alarm for 7:30am and hit the ground running. I even made a list of things I could do if I found myself with too much down time (home projects, tasks I didn't have time for when I was working out of the home etc) but I honestly haven't made a dent in that list because my days have flown by and filled themselves mostly with productivity. I still plan my weeks out and set my alarm at least 3 days per week as I thrive on structure and routine.
So, those are my tips! I would love to hear from you if you have left your job or are planning to quit your job. Did I miss any great tips? Did any of these tips help you out? Thanks so much for following along on this journey!