Has anyone left a job without a new one to go to?

(125 Posts)
JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 13:49:59

I started another thread on this in chat but had no responses...

I have decided it is time to leave my current company after 8 years. I have a 6-month notice period and I'm tempted to hand in my notice without another job to go to. I'm fortunate that I have some financial security and am confident that I could get another job relatively quickly. (I would also be looking to 'downsize' career-wise and can temp in office jobs in the meantime.) I might also be placed on garden leave once I handed in my notice?

Has anybody done this and (a) regretted it (b) it worked out?

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Mon 03-Feb-14 14:06:47

(B) I have done it for the better. I quit an awful sales job.

I handed in my notice, lied to my flat mates that I did have another job starting in a couple of months time and worked really hard at finding another job. I did succeed, nice low level but full-of-opportunities job.

It was a big and a small gamble. Big because I had no real safety net apart from calling parents and returning home overseas, and a small one because I did not have a family to support.

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 14:23:59

I'm so tempted to do it...

I feel I can't give the headspace to looking for a new job while I'm in this one.

Lazybones12 Mon 03-Feb-14 14:27:00

Watching this as I'm in the same situation myself without the financial comfort black net though confused

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 14:34:42

What's your notice period Lazy? I really don't want to touch my savings and I'm hoping that my 6-month notice period in current role would be enough to find a good temporary contract to start me off.

And the reason for my financial 'safety net' is that my mum passed away last September. So I feel that it's a good time to make a life change, it's the only chance I'll ever have to be in such a fortunate position.

I'm 46 - not exactly decrepit but I wouldn't want to make any big career changes much later in life.

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 14:39:44

I'm going to update my CV and speak to some agencies this week to see what they think my chances would be at getting a steady source of reasonably well-paid temporary work. I've got some good recruitment contacts through work.

Perhaps you could do the same to get an idea of the market in your line of work?

I would also be giving up a company car and phone but I can't stay in this job just for the money, it's so far away from the job I came to do and it's driving me bonkers.

Both my BiL's have done this. And from your title I was going to say don't do it. look for a job, then quit BUT your notice period is really long (people turn their noses up at my 3 months), and you have savings behind you.
Is it worth having a look through the adverts, and seeing how much stuff there is about? I also think your plan of tarting up the CV, and then seeing what the recruitment agents think is a good one.
Normally I'd say don't do it, but I think you have a very valid set of reasons to enable you to do it, and should just go for it.

Stripytop Mon 03-Feb-14 14:53:08

I did it 12 yrs ago with only 2 wk notice period. Hated my job so much I was prepared to eat beans till I found a new one. Found Another job within a few weeks and am still there. Would def do it again as that job was making me physically ill and stressed.

I would say do it, particularly if you get garden leave. You can apply all your energies to looking for your next post.

Good luck!

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Mon 03-Feb-14 14:53:27

I know someone who did this because she was so desperately unhappy in her job - it doesn't sound as though it's as bad as that?

She and I chatted about it and discussed whether she felt that having no money, being on JSA, possibly having to move back to parents (whom she liked, but lived somewhere she didn't want to be), completely different social life, very few friends nearby - whether all of that seemed less daunting than continuing to go to work. She decided all of that sounded positively brilliant if it meant she didn't have to be in that work environment. It was making her ill. She left and got a different job after a couple of weeks on JSA and then some temping.

Hoppinggreen Mon 03-Feb-14 14:57:36

Yes I did, I was in Sales and knew I could get another job. I had recruitment companies calling me regularly but I couldn't go for interviews without lying about where I was going.
Apparently I was " spotted" somewhere I shouldn't have been , actually it's more likely someone had grassed me up so I told my boss straight that I was looking for another job and gave in my notice.
We had no children and my OH early enough to support is both anyway, a few people who interviewed me apparently found it strange and one fed back that he thought it sounded very dodgy so wasn't going to offer me a job.
I did get several offers though and a new job pretty quickly

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 14:59:56

Well this is great feedback, thanks. (Perhaps I should also post in AIBU to really kick up some heated responses?!)

On paper, my current job is well-paid, great bonus and benefits, flexible hours with minimum involvement from my manager. But I've got zero motivation at the moment as the organisation and role has moved in completely the opposite direction to when I joined 8 years ago and I really don't enjoy it at all.

I thought people would say I was mad to consider leaving in the current climate.

It's not all about the money though - is it?

Stripy Did you have any problems giving reasons for leaving your last job?

hootloop Mon 03-Feb-14 15:01:22

DH did it, without even giving notice just walked out one day.
It took him about 8 months to find another job maybe slightly longer but I was working full time and we had no children so could easily cover all our expenses.
The job he found actually turned in to a career rather than the job he walked out of so it turned out for the best.

MistressDeeCee Mon 03-Feb-14 15:05:23

I walked out of my job in 2003. Well paid Housing Management position but I hated the job, and the organisation. Couldnt stand going to work, it was as if I lived for weekends only. After a really trying day and listening to manager moaning on & on about trivia, I just got up and walked out whilst she was in mid-sentence. I remember whilst she was speaking, thinking ' I cant do this for years & years on end'. Im self-employed now doing something completely different that I love..wasnt easy to get it off the ground at all, and I did some temp work in between. But its so much better than being in a job that didnt inspire or motivate me.

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 15:06:25

I know someone who did this because she was so desperately unhappy in her job

I wouldn't say I was desperately unhappy but it's not fulfilling me in any way career-wise and I'm in no doubt that I want to leave. And personally I can't concentrate or be in the right headspace to look for a new job whilst doing this one, even though it would be relatively easy for me to 'disappear' to interviews etc. Also, I can't imagine a 6 month notice period to a potential new employer is attractive.

There's no question of me being able to move town for almost 3 years and I have no family to move back to or partner to support me.

However, in 3 years (when youngest son is 18) I want to make another life change and move back to where I'm originally from.

Stripytop Mon 03-Feb-14 15:07:11

No, the gap was small and the new job was a change of direction. I was fairly honest in the interview and said the last job had been a career blip and didn't really give me a chance to use my skills and quals to their full extent, which was true.

Didn't mention the effect it had had on my health though.

Also, I made sure I left my old job on good terms, just in case.

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 15:09:31

Thanks for the further replies, not one reason given so far why I shouldn't do it...

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Mon 03-Feb-14 15:12:06

I did it. There have been some tough times, but I've never once regretted leaving a job I hated so much.

With a notice period of 6 months I'd say you'd still have a while before you could look for something else though, do companies hold jobs open for people for 6 months?

moobaloo Mon 03-Feb-14 15:13:12

Yes I did, not because I was desperately unhappy but because I was bored and needed to find something new.

I only did it because I knew I could cope for a couple of months with no income as I have no debts and car insurance etc. was all paid up for the year so no significant direct debits going out. Not much cash in the bank but enough to last me a couple of months if I wasn't driving a lot and spending it all

I ended up with 2 part time jobs after 1 week of being unemployed, and I did a part time course which was interesting.

Then I fell pregnant! Oops! No maternity package - will only receive MA from government - but am looking forward to stopping work for a while and then working part time again and am considering starting my own business next year!

I'm glad I did it smile

Seminyak Mon 03-Feb-14 15:16:28

I did it. You only get one life!!!

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 15:19:05

Marvellous Regarding notice period, I'd be hoping/expecting that they wouldn't make me work that. Isn't it standard practice to put people on garden leave as they wouldn't want me here for another 6 months gathering information I could then take to a competitor?

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Mon 03-Feb-14 15:21:24

I don't know, I had to work every second of my three month notice period.

JeanSeberg Mon 03-Feb-14 15:24:07

Well of course if that's what's required, that's what I'll have to do. I just can't see it happening because of the information that I have access to in this company.

I agree with your point that there wouldn't seem to be many employers who would wait 6 months for me to start a new role.

PowderMum Mon 03-Feb-14 15:25:48

I did it last summer, I had 3 months notice to give and timed it so I finished at the same time as my DC were breaking up for the summer. I was totally disillusioned with my role and what it had become, the stress was immense and affecting my health, which wasn't good anyway. I used the time through to Christmas to sort out my health and refocus.
I had a safety net of savings and a DP who earns enough to support the family so I only started job hunt ill this January. I was in a senior position and I'm now looking for similar or a less stressful job in a different industry. I'm 45 and I want a career change.

tribpot Mon 03-Feb-14 15:27:25

I'm doing it right now grin (leaving, that is, not giving you a reason why you shouldn't).

I resigned end of Sept after 8 years and worked my full notice period, leaving in December. Literally within half an hour of resigning I had a phone call from a friend whose consultancy was recruiting; he didn't want to approach me until he knew I had definitely resigned as his firm has done a lot of work with my (now ex) organisation over the years and they wouldn't want to appear to poach.

A friend/ex-colleague did something similar for the same reasons as you, JeanSeberg - his dad had died and he had some money. Not having dc he followed his dream and went out to the States for as long as his money/visa would hold out. His story upon return gave me nightmares (hundreds of applications, few interviews) but my experience has not been like that, although admittedly I still don't actually have a formal job offer smile

I knew my best chance of finding work was by tapping up mates/working my network. Things didn't work out with my friend who contacted me on the day I resigned, as the firm decided they needed a lot more flexibility about travel than I could offer. We've left it such that if a piece of work comes in that they can't resource and think I might do, I have an option to go for it.

I had one 'proper' interview that a recruitment agency approached me about, I think I might have been offered that if I hadn't declined second interview.

And I contacted someone to ask for an introduction to another place and he said 'oh hang on, we want you' - that was basically it. Just waiting for the recruitment wheels to turn (agonisingly slowly) but a job I feel really positive about awaits me there. I've also been approached about another piece of short-term work and, ironically, a contract for the very person who caused me to hand my notice in in the first place (not pursuing that one!)

It was much easier to job hunt with being openly on notice, no need to invent reasons for absence to cover up for interviews. I think a number of places I contacted would have been hesitant to have had the discussion if they didn't know I had already resigned; my friend who went to the States said in his experience once you're actually out of work you become somewhat 'tainted' with failure - I haven't found that but I have been using my network so people already know me. I suspect it would be a different story on the open market.

And I have to say, being away from a toxic job has been absolutely bloody brilliant. After years of feeling ground down by how little my organisation valued me, it's been fantastic to have people basically courting me with offers. Having time in the house and just to get my head on straight again has been brilliant.

If I could afford it, I would take a six month break for sure. I've done it before when contracting but can't afford it now (will consider it if I end up contracting for much of the year). I would write yourself a list of who you think you could approach about work (I barely got a quarter of the way through mine, so am holding the rest in reserve) and then go for it.

Be brave! smile

tribpot Mon 03-Feb-14 15:29:53

Btw I should say I am the breadwinner in my family; a change in financial circumstance also gave me a bit of breathing space to make this decision.

I do know of someone who was placed on six months' gardening leave (he works in the gambling industry) and my brother (car manufacture) was marched off site the very day he resigned. So it does happen, depends a bit on your industry. How have they handled other resignations?

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