Should I resign without a new job? (Reasons, pros and cons)

Updated 23 January 2023

Many believe it's better to leave a position after securing a new role, but sometimes you might have valid reasons to quit your job without one. Resigning without another job may be a practical decision or a move that helps you take care of your wellbeing. Learning about the pros and cons of this decision may help you decide what to do next. In this article, we help you answer 'Should I resign without a new job?', explore the pros and cons of making this decision and share additional tips you may use to secure a new job in less time.

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When you may ask yourself, 'Should I resign without a new job?'

'Should I resign without a new job?' is a valid question that may help you learn more about yourself, set new goals and adjust your career development plan. Here are some situations in which you may consider quitting a job without another one:

You want a career break

Taking a career break may be the answer if you're experiencing signs of burnout or simply want to rediscover your goals and aspirations. Spending a few months on leave gives you a new perspective on life, especially if you've spent the last years or decades working full-time. It's also a great opportunity to invest in your skill set and return to work with higher professional qualifications.

Related: How to prepare for a career break (with tips and guidance)

Your job search requires a lot of time and effort

When you want to enter a highly competitive field, you may increase your chances by submitting your CV to more companies. In some instances, this may involve submitting to dozens or hundreds of open job positions. If you're certain that leaving your current role is inevitable and you want to do this at any cost, resigning without a new job may be a valid option. This way, you may allocate more time to your job search and fully concentrate on preparing for job interviews to make a great first impression on recruiters.

Related: 7 ways to organise a job search (with additional tips)

You want to start a business

When running a business is your goal, there may never be the right time to quit your full-time job. Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and dedication. Many aspiring entrepreneurs start building their companies by working in the evenings. If you've done the same and you're starting to see that your efforts are paying off, it might be time to leave your employer and concentrate on promoting your products and services full-time.

Related: How to start a business in 10 straightforward steps

You're protecting your physical or mental health

If your current job is really demanding and keeps challenging your physical and mental health, resigning without a new job may help you protect your body and mind. Try giving yourself some time to relax before you find a new job. For example, you may spend a few weeks travelling or with family.

Related: How to take time off work for stress reasons (plus tips)

You want to prepare for a career change

If you've decided to change careers, create a list of steps you want to take to make that transition. For example, you may want to return to school or undergo professional training to improve your qualifications. If your current role gets in the way because it requires you to be at the office during lecture hours, it might be a sign that quitting your job without a new one is the right option.

Related: How to make a career change at 35 (with reasons and steps)

You're relocating

When moving to another city or country, it's good to give yourself time to adjust to a new environment. Relocating is a great opportunity to meet new friends, visit new places and expand your outlook on life. If you find that moving to a new place is likely to be more beneficial than staying where you are, consider resigning even if you've not yet secured a new job.

Related: Essential job relocation tips to help you move effectively

You expect the company to terminate your employment

If you expect your employer to terminate your employment, you may consider leaving before your manager communicates bad news to you. This way, you get the opportunity to leave your current role on your terms. Making this decision may be beneficial while you're applying for a new job, as you may demonstrate to potential employers that you're a more dependable candidate who's not afraid to take risks when they're likely to pay off.

Pros of resigning without securing a new role

Resigning without a new job might be a good idea if you work in a negative working environment or no longer want to pursue your current career path. Here are some advantages of this decision:

  • Leaving a negative working environment: If your current job environment seems negative, leaving may help you redefine your expectations and find a company that cares about your satisfaction. No matter how negative the atmosphere was, make sure to leave on good terms, as you never know when you're about to meet your colleagues again.

  • Freedom and flexibility: When you resign, you have more time to prepare your job applications. It also makes your schedule more flexible, which means you may react to job interview invitations quickly to show your interest in new positions.

  • More family time: If you're someone who spent the last few years working full-time, quitting may help you spend more time with your friends or family. If you have enough funds to finance a few months of unemployment, resigning allows you to invest in your personal relationships.

Related: How to resign from a job: a step-by-step guide with tips

Cons of resigning without securing a new role

Quitting a job without securing a new role may be challenging. Despite its various benefits, you may experience the disadvantages of this decision, including:

  • Lack of money: Quitting a job without a new one requires that you have enough savings to support yourself until you find a new position. Before finalising this decision, ensure you have enough savings to last at least three months, but six is desirable.

  • Long job hunt: Even if you're a highly qualified candidate with great references, finding a new job may take longer than expected, making you feel worried or stressed. To avoid that, ensure you have enough resources and know how to self-motivate.

  • High risk: Resigning without securing a new role may be too risky sometimes, for example, when you have a mortgage to finance your family home. To determine if it's the right decision, you may discuss the idea with your partner and ensure they have the resources to support you if something goes wrong.

Related: How to hand in your resignation letter (with tips)

Tips for finding a new job

Once you make the final step and quit your job, it's time to focus on finding a new role or building your own business. Here are some tips that may help you along the way:

Create a detailed career plan

Creating a detailed career plan allows you to rethink your aspirations and decide what you want to accomplish. The plan works like a business plan, allowing you to analyse your motivation and create a vision for your future. If you're struggling to develop a career plan, consider contacting a career coach or adviser.

Related: A guide to planning a career (with benefits, tips and steps)

Know your strengths

When you know your strengths, you may appear more self-aware to potential employers. It also helps during recruitment, as you may answer interviewers' questions in a way that demonstrates your confidence. To determine your professional talents, think about your career accomplishments and which of your personal traits helped you achieve success in the past.

Related: Interview question: 'What are your strengths and weaknesses?'

Find inspiration and motivation within

When you have the ability to find motivation within yourself, it's easier for you to overcome any obstacles that you may encounter during your job search. To self-motivate, create a vision of the future you want to accomplish. Then, use your career plan to develop a realistic development and growth schedule. After accomplishing even small goals, remember to reward yourself to maintain your motivation.

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