I mentioned in my last post that I left a lucrative marketing job without another job lined up, or a real plan. I only knew that I needed a change, and that I was unlikely to follow the corporate route again.
In the months before I gave my notice, I scoured the Internet for reassurance, reading blog post after blog post in search of proof that others who had also left good-paying jobs did not end up shivering in a damp and dusty corner of their parent’s basement, surviving on ramen noodles and weak tea.
I Googled every combination of “quit my job” and “no job after 50” and “am I crazy” and “without a backup plan” I could think of, wasting hours of my life and reading every post intently (and in some cases, more than once).
It turns out that many, many people leave perfectly good jobs for no other reason than not wanting to die of boredom or exhaustion, or to not miss the opportunity to challenge themselves by going totally against the norm. By doing something different.
Many of these confident risk-takers were younger, millenials or Gen Z’ers with more flexibility and an innate talent for all things digital, but a good number were in the same boat as I am: early fifties, with a wealth of experience, a healthy network of contacts, some savings and a desire to work – and work well – for many more years.
It was wonderful to read about people who, facing similar employment ennui, stood up (literally or figuratively) and exclaimed in a rousing nod to Peter Finch’s character in Network – “I am mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore!” (This I hope was done figuratively, and with an indoor voice, so no bridges were burned). They all seemed to be happy, well-adjusted, financially sound and very, very pleased to have made the decision to quit.
Still, it was a momentous decision, and one that took me several months to make. I weighed the options, asked friends and family for input, assessed my finances and then – finally – gave my notice in early August. The relief was palpable, and immediate, as if a leaded vest had been lifted from my shoulders, and I knew that I had made the right decision.
If you are poised on the precipice of making a similar choice, and need the same reassurance that I did, here is a list of some of sites and posts to check out. This is but a small slice of the volumes of information available, so do some research, as I did, to find the posts that have meaning for you:
- Signs It is Time to Quit Your Job
- 7 Signs It is Time for You to Leave Your Job
- How to Quit Your Job Without a Plan B and Find Happiness
- Ten Honest Insights from Quitting My Job with No Plan
- My Life Fell into Place After I Quit My Job with No Backup Plan
- Why Quitting Your Job Without a Backup Plan Can Help Your Career
So – take a deep breath, consider your options carefully, and leap, if your finances will allow it. The uncertainty will energize you, and take you in a totally unexpected direction, if you let it.