Should I quit my job without having another one to go to?


Quitting your job is a big decision. It's even harder when you don't have another one to go to.

Should I quit my job without having another one to go to?

We’ve all heard the advice that you should never leave a job without having another one to go to. While it certainly makes sense, it’s not always the best or easiest route.

People resign for a host of reasons and although many people imagine employers might prefer to hire someone who is currently in employment, that’s not always true. You don’t necessarily need to stay in your mining job until you find another. Here are some things to consider before resigning.

Check your finances

When you quit without another job to go to, you need to have a financial plan.  You need to budget, cut down on expenses and figure out how long you can realistically last being unemployed. Do you have savings, assets, a partner who can support you during this time? What concessions will you have to make? Could you move in with family or friends?

It’s also a good idea to see if there’s anyone you know who could hire you for the short-term, or offer you some contract work until you make your next move. Just the security of having some kind of revenue stream will help keep the wolves from the door and relieve some of the stress.

How will you cope with unemployment?

Before resigning, consider how you'll react to being unemployed. You’ll probably feel relieved to begin with, but what will happen in a week or a month – or even longer? If you’re the sort of person who thrives on structure and purpose, facing days without that can be demoralising and depressing.

You need to make sure you will be able to keep motivated while job-hunting and that you won’t fall into a heap when unemployment becomes a reality. Recruiters can sense anxiety and desperation, so if you panic and start applying for anything, they’ll know.

How will it affect your future prospects?

With budget cutbacks and redundancies affecting even the most qualified of employees these days, there isn’t as much stigma attached to being unemployed. However, some recruiters might count it against you if you a job without another lined up — it depends on the reasons you left your last job. So, just be prepared for the questions and be willing to explain your current situation.

When resigning is the best thing to do

If you believe there is something illegal or unethical going on at work, and it could reflect badly on you or harm you or your career, it may be time to pull the pin. If it’s a dangerous or toxic environment, and you feel your integrity is being compromised, then leaving may be your best option.

Likewise, if your current role is affecting your physical and mental health and your life outside of work, sometimes the best thing you can do is to walk away. The added stress and pressure of finding a replacement job while dealing with either of these scenarios could prove extremely damaging. Sometimes we all need a break to regroup and make decisions on our future.

How to plan for resigning

You should figure out how you are going to resign, who you have to inform and when. Make sure you secure several references before you quit. These could include a line manager, colleague or client if your boss isn’t appropriate in this instance.

Decide what you are going to say about why you are resigning and put that in your resignation letter. It’s important not to burn bridges, especially in industries such as mining, when word can travel. In your letter, simply thank your boss and the company for the opportunities or experience you were given. Don’t blame anyone or over-explain your reasons for leaving. Specifying a desire for a change, for example, is ample.

Give yourself time

While it can be difficult to secure a new role when you’re unemployed, it could be just the opportunity you need to concentrate on finding a fulfilling job that makes you happy. It’s certainly not the course for everyone, so take your time to figure out if this tactic is the best for you.

If you’d like to speak to a mining careers consultant, give Mining People International a call.

Stephanie O'Brien
Mining People International