You’ve made the tough decision to start looking for a new career. The big question is should you quit your job before finding a new one?

When it comes to your next career move, most people will wait until they have secured a new job before handing their notice in with their current employer. And in most cases, this is definitely the best thing to do. However, there are occasional situations where its ok to leave your current employer before you start your new job search.….

When you don’t know what you want to do.

Leaving your job first can give you the time you need to properly explore the market and the available career options that are out there, as well as giving you time to complete any training courses if needed.

When you’re suffering from stress and anxiety relating to your current job.

When you’re unhappy at work, you can occasionally make rash decisions. This could result in you applying for, and accepting a new job purely out of desperation, rather than if it’s your perfect career move. By taking yourself out of a toxic work environment, you are giving yourself the space to think clearly and make the RIGHT decisions for you and your career.

When you are financially stable and able to support yourself.

Leaving your job without having another to go to can be risky. It could possibly take you longer to find a new role, so having the financial stability to fully support yourself whilst being unemployed, is vitally important. If you can financially support yourself for 3-6 months, then why not allow yourself the time to free your mind and carefully consider your next career move.


There are also some very valid reasons why you SHOULD NOT leave your job without one to go to….

When you are financially insecure.

DO NOT leave yourself in financial difficultly, as there are NO guarantees when a new job will come up when you are looking for your next career move. So, if money is tight, I would advise that you stay where you are until a better opportunity comes along.

If your job gives you time and space to think clearly.

Some people are fortunate enough to work in low pressure jobs that do not affect their mental health, so if you are not under any stress at work, you are potentially in a strong position to be able to think clearly about your job search, whilst remaining employed.

When you already know what you want to do.

If you have your new career already mapped out, then all you need to do is wait for the right opportunity to come along and apply. Wait for the offer and hand your notice in with your current employer.

If you decide to leave your job without one to go to, you will need to explain this to your line manager. Its best to be as honest as possible so that you do not burn any bridges with them.

Once you are out of work, the gap before you find your next opportunity should really not exceed 12 months as you would be, by definition, “long-term unemployed”.

Most employers will understand if you have been out of work for around 3 months as long as you can explain why you chose this, and what you have been doing during this time to be proactive.

Many employers can attach a stigma to candidates who leave their job before they secure a new one, and they may worry that this was done on a whim and were not proactive in restarting your career.

They want candidates who are career-driven and able to make responsible decisions. You should explain to them that in leaving your previous role, that this was a tactical move in the next steps of your career, and then show them what you have been doing since to demonstrate your drive and passion for their role.

For more advice on how we can help you with your job search, please click here.