Should you quit your job


After the last two years, you might now want to take a break from your job and career. This will allow you to focus on something more personal or to take a break for your health. It’s common knowledge that the best time to quit your job is when you’ve got another one to go to. However, should you quit your job without another one to go to?

Quitting your job can be a positive move as long as you’re both personally and financially prepared. If you’re just about to resign from your position then you’ll need to know the following. This is because it will help you when you start your job search and are ready to re-enter the workforce.


If you quit your current position without a job offer or a plan, it will be too easy to Netflix and chill. Consequently, you won’t achieve anything significant. How long will it be before you’re bored?

Before you hand your resignation letter in and walk out the door, you might want to consider timing your resignation. For example, consider planning your resignation three to six months in advance. That way, it gives you time to plan how you’re going to spend your time off. 

It will also allow you to save enough money to be financially independent and not have any concerns. Additionally, it gives you something to look forward to and to work towards.

However, if you haven’t figured how much money you’re going to need or made a plan. Then it’s probably not the right time to resign. So you might want to get those sorted before leaving.


There’s no single answer to how long it will take you to find your next role. Instead, your job search depends on a number of factors. These include; you, your job specialization and industry, the current job market, your geographic location, and many other factors outside of your control.

Unfortunately, you’ll be coming from a position of unemployment as you seek to re-enter the workforce. The latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for August 2021 (Image 1) shows an individual is unemployed for an average of 29.6 weeks.

Additionally, 24.5% of the unemployed population have been unemployed less than five weeks. Furthermore, 51.1% have been unemployed longer than 15 weeks. Consequently, it could take anywhere from five to thirty weeks before employment is found.

US Beurau
Image 1: Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment. Taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

When moving through an interview process you’ll need to factor in timelines. The job review website Glassdoor investigated hiring duration across various countries in 2017 (Image 2). 

The country with the most prolonged hiring duration of 39.6 days was Brazil. India had the shortest hiring duration of 16.1 days. Other countries to note are the United States (23.8 days) and the United Kingdom (27.8 days). 

Differences in hiring duration between countries are reflective of their labor market regulations (Image 3). For example, countries with more flexibility in hiring and firing tend to have shorter interview processes. 

In contrast, countries with less flexibility in hiring and firing tend to have longer interview processes. Understanding these hiring timelines will give you a realistic expectation of the hiring process. It will also give you a realistic expectation of how long it will take you to find your next job.

Should you quit your job without another job to go to
Image 2: Average hiring duration by country (Glassdoor)
Should you quit your job without another one
Image 3: Hiring duration correlated against flexibility in hiring (Glassdoor)


Unfortunately, there’s a lot of evidence and research that shows discrimination against the unemployed in a hiring employer’s behaviour. Anyone unemployed for longer than six months is generally regarded as long-term unemployed. 

Additionally, the longer someone us unemployed, the less likely they are to exit unemployment. More specifically, their chances of leaving decrease.

A German study by the researchers Rebien and Roth (2018) highlighted discrimination against unemployed candidates. They documented that only 14% of German firms hired unemployed candidates regardless of their unemployment duration. 

They also found that 34% of German firms accepted applications if candidates were unemployed less than 12 months. However, Sony Ericsson went a step further in 2011. They actively excluded jobless candidates on their job adverts by posting that they would not consider them.

It’s not all bad news. A 2019 study by Krug et al. showed that those who are unemployed and feel the stigma of unemployment are more motivated and put more effort into their job search than those who don’t feel the stigma of unemployment.

Consequently, those who place a high value on being employed are more motivated in their job search. This increases their chances of leaving unemployment.

As a recruiter, I’m constantly reviewing and screening resumes. I always have questions if there is an unexplained gap, break, or that the person is unemployed. Typically, I will ask; why did you leave your last role? And, what have you been doing with your time since? 

It would help if you had your answer to these questions prepared. You’ll want to leave no doubt in the recruiter or hiring manager’s mind because you don’t want them to make up their reasons for why you’ve had a break or left your last role and missed out on an opportunity.


Setting a goal and a timeline for getting back into employment links to having a plan. It’s essential to set a goal and get specific regarding the exact job that you want next. Get clear on your salary expectations and benefits, type of organisation or company, team culture and environment, and anything else necessary. Ensure you write it down and put it somewhere you will see it every day.

When you’re on the job search, you rarely get a day off. So ensure that you’re spending time with friends and family and exercising as you work towards employment.


Deciding to leave your role without another one to go to can be a positive move. Taking the opportunity to refresh, focus on other activities and replan your career can be an invigorating move. It can also be just what you need. 

Take time to plan your exit strategy from your current employer. Additionally, plan how you’re going to spend your time and how much money you’ll need. It will allow you to make the most of the opportunity. It’s not often in life you get the chance to take an extended break from the workforce. 

When you’re ready to re-enter the employment market, you might begin your job search earlier than you expect. If you plan to take 2 – 3 months off, you can expect another 1 – 6 months (worst case) off. Consequently, that time off you were enjoying so much could turn into a frustrating, long-term holiday.

Additionally, coming from a place of unemployment may place you at a disadvantage. This is as you’ll be competing with candidates who are currently employed. Therefore, it’s essential to set a goal of when you want to back in employment. 

Focus on your job search to increase your chances of landing that next opportunity. Finally, don’t forget it’s not all about the job search. You still need to spend time with friends, family and exercise to keep you fresh while searching for your next role.

I hope this helps you in your decision of if you should quit your job without another one to go to. 


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