As a career coach, I get asked this question all the time and if I had to give a one word response without any other context, it would generally be “No.” In general, I do not support voluntary unemployment even for just a short time. People reach out to me for coaching most often when they are dissatisfied with their current position and most are usually very close to the end of their patience. I try to encourage most of them that they should “hang in there” until we can work together to first identify what their “perfect job” will be and then to go get that perfect job. However, I do believe that situations can arise where it is OK to quit your current job before securing a new one and I will describe some of those situations for you.
1) Where there is harassment or abuse of any kind that is not being addressed quickly and effectively by your employer – First of all, if you have been harassed or abused in any way you should seek legal counsel and notify your HR department. I am hoping some of our HR experts can comment and provide their advice on which you should do first.
2) Where your boss is openly hostile toward you, critical of you and it is clear they don’t support you, your growth and your career goals – You will probably need some help from a mentor or personal coach to come to this conclusion as many people could come to this conclusion erroneously or when there is some other problem that is not being addressed; perhaps you are not fully qualified for your current position but you may be a perfect fit for another role. The key word here is “hostile.” For instance, if your boss goes out of his/her way regularly to discredit you or to be un-supportive of you.
3) Where you know you will no longer pursue a job in your current profession and it will take all your time and energy to re-tool yourself for your new profession – Consider the case of an accountant that now “hears the calling” to become a nurse. It could take years of full-time schooling to become qualified and/or certified for a nursing career. You should have a clear plan before quitting your current job, but you don’t necessarily need to have a new job.
That’s about it. All the rest of you should find a way to make your current job work for you and your employer while you are seeking your dream position somewhere else. Most people that I coach get inspired by their job search and become more tolerant of the things they hate about their current job.
Have you decided you are going to look for a new job but you’re not sure what to do next? Send me an e-mail, let’s chat!