Senior Editor Tanisha A. Sykes says leaving a job before you find the next one could be a set up for failure.
Question: I have more than enough savings to cover me for the next three plus months. I want to quit my current job. I really don't want to be there anymore. Is it still smarter to wait until I have a new job first?
Answer: In my opinion, it's always smarter to wait until you have another job before you quit the one you have. Mostly because it gives you leverage to negotiate a better compensation package, it makes the employer hungrier to bring you aboard, and it makes you appear more valuable. That's the career expert in me speaking. The personal finance expert in me says that you need a whole lot more than three months' worth of salary to cover your expenses while you are unemployed. According to the Department of Labor, Black workers are not only disproportionately more likely than whites or Hispanics to experience long-term unemployment, they are less likely than whites to benefit from unemployment insurance. Bottom line: Don't quit your job before you get another one. Here's an alternative to quitting:
*Look for other opportunities within the company. It could be that you need to chart your course in a different direction within the company. Start asking if there are new opportunities or training programs for you to explore.
*Take on freelance opportunities. This is a smart way to expand your network, build your brand and earn more money. It's also a wise move when you are looking to branch out. Do great work and your name will be at the top of the list when the right opportunity comes along.
*Save more money. If you're really that unhappy, save at least 12 months of expenses so that you give yourself some time to really look for the right job for you. Quitting is easy to do in the heat of the moment, but it's wiser to step back and strategize your next move. Good luck!