Big Life Changes – I Quit my Job Without A Plan

I quit my job without

Just before the weekend, I quit my job without a concrete plan of what I’m going to do. I still have my notice period to work, and it’s not yet been announced, but after that, I am reliant on my savings until I find another source of income. This is a strangely liberating feeling for someone as analytical as me. I haven’t been without a plan or a job since I finished university.

I am now in my mid-thirties, I’m at the early end of the millennial-scale and that may have something to do with my lack of contentment with what my family would call a standard lifestyle. So I’m now looking for a lifestyle choice to support myself. I’m intelligent, well educated, and work hard. So how am I going to go about it?

Why?

I’m sure your first question is but why Rat Race Escapee? Why would you quit your job with nothing lined up? I’ll admit, that is a question that I’ve spent a lot of time musing. Its a really scary idea – I do have a 3 month notice period while I’ll still be getting paid to figure it out, but three months isn’t very long when you’re looking at the big picture!

In my current role I’d gotten to the stage where because I always went above and beyond to deliver what was wanted, I was burning myself to satisfy other people’s expectations. While there is nothing wrong with delivering (and it makes me happy to do it), has always delivered meant the expectations kept increasing.

Having had an idea that I’d like to work for myself germinating for a while, when I found myself so stressed out that I couldn’t eat (I’m a stress eater – this one is new) and couldn’t stop crying and found myself sitting on the office floor after everyone else had left at night feeling like I was going to puke with the thought of leaving or coming back in the morning, I decided enough was enough. Strangely enough, a few days on, I’m still feeling ill with the thought of going to work, or leaving work to come home.

Reading this back, it sounds like the people I work for are horrid and unfeeling – and nothing could be further from the truth. There are two sides to every story, as we all know, and while they should have noticed sooner that I was trying to tell them this was not sustainable, I also should have tried harder to make them understand what I was going through.

How?

How am I going to achieve this you ask? Well, that’s what we’re here to figure out! At work I am a very analytical person, everything is considered with respect to the numbers and what they mean. At home I’m less so, I will use the numbers, but I will also rely on my gut, experience, and other people’s opinions a lot more than at work – so treating my home life like work should be interesting for me! Hopefully, it’ll also be a bit fewer numbers based to make for better reading for you!

How I quit my job without a plan
How I quit my job without a plan

The main elements which I currently believe are going to support the “How” of my lifestyle change:

  1. I have a savings buffer which means with no lifestyle changes at all and 0 income I can cover my normal outgoings for 5 months.
  2. I have a large personal network of people who want to see me succeed. In my experience, the majority of people you know would love to see you succeed at something that you try, particularly if its a brave choice and you’re a nice human being (by nice I mean, generally doesn’t kick animals unless they’re biting you, has a bit of personality and doesn’t go out of their way to be mean or horrid to others)
  3. I’m not afraid of hard work, in addition to the above I am a seamstress, have worked as a groom, a bartender and I’m not afraid of hard physical labour.
  4. I have a broad skill set, a well-respected education, and a number of former managers and peers who will sing my praises. I also have spent the majority of my career working in areas that will translate well to short term contracts. Areas such as:
  • Business Analysis across both technical and financial streams
  • Business Intelligence
  • Project Costing
  • Systems Thinking

Where to from here?

Having no income after my notice period is extremely scary! So I need to spend the next week or so working through my options and creating a plan, which is great news for you because as part of my research and evaluation of my next steps I’m going to be sharing my process and tools.

I laid out my full employee to entrepreneur planning in the ultimate guide to escaping the 9 to 5.

A high-level view of my current thinking is:

Money is going to be key

 I Quit my Job Without-  A Plan money is key

I need to develop a deeper understanding of my relationship with money, especially as there will be no guarantee of a steady amount trickling into my bank account on a monthly basis going forward!

  • How do I manage my expenditure so that I am satisfied with my lifestyle, can meet my financial obligations, and grow whatever lifestyle type business or businesses that I come up with to support it and replenish the pot! Things to be considered:
    • short term: I really enjoy nice food and wine or beer
    • medium-term: My family is in Canada and it’s nice to visit them
    • long term: My mortgage has 4 years left on a fixed-term deal
  • What about monetising elements of my life that can assist with generating income? Can I do this without pissing off the world? What about the sales element of this – I’ll need to stretch myself as having worked as a door to door salesperson (my least favourite job ever), I find it uncomfortable!
  • I need to understand how money and happiness are related to me.
  • What about retirement and other benefits? My current job has a very generous pension, sick pay and paid holiday
  • How do I understand my financial risks?

What is my Ideal Employment Solution?

The fun definition stage! Or an answer to the scary question I’ve been trying to avoid for the past 15 years – “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

  • What does it look like?

Where is it located? Can I really make money as a digital nomad?

  • Do I need to prioritise retraining? I’m partway through a personal training course but I’ve not been doing a lot of work on it, should it be the first thing I do?
  • How do I create balance so that I don’t burn myself out?

Conclusion

I Quit my Job Without A Plan, Am I nuts?


So many things to think about!

However, due to my systems background and change management experience, I’m going to employ some business models to assist me in breaking my planning all down into manageable chunks – after all, if you need to eat an elephant you go about it one bite at a time!

Wish me luck! Over the next period, I will be publishing my thoughts on this whole process as well as the models, techniques, and other resources that I am finding helpful throughout this journey. I feel like all of my choices to date have prepared me for this step, so onward!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, encouragement, criticisms, and questions! Please use the comments section to engage, tell me I’m crazy, make suggestions, or make queries!

14 thoughts on “Big Life Changes – I Quit my Job Without A Plan”

  1. This so inspires me! I have a great job that pays well, but I’m working for someone else and always to satisfy other people’s needs.
    I often think about doing exactly what you have done, but I’m too scared to take the risk. Reading stories like this though motivates me and makes me feel like I can do it also. It seems to me like you have thought this through, and you’re not naive about the journey ahead of you.
    I’m looking forward to following your progress. All the best to you!

    1. Hi Michel,

      Thanks for your kind words! Leaving a great job, good pay and an excellent company is super tough.

      One of the ladies at work said a similar thing yesterday, it was quite a considered process getting to the position where I could just say “I’ve had enough” to work. I’ll be laying out the tools I’ve used, including how I determined that I did have enough money to give this my full attention for a sustained period, over the next posts – hopefully you’ll find some additional inspiration.

  2. Interesting post. I don’t think you’re crazy. I guess I would be a little nervous though without an income. However, you did mention that you are not afraid of hard physical labor and that’s a plus for you since so many today seem to run from that type of work.

    I’m sure all will work out for you.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      There is often something reassuring about having hard physical labour to fall back on. When I first moved to the UK I worked outdoors for 12 hour days, 6 days a week – I don’t really want to go back to that, except maybe in the summer, but it is a great backup if I ever need a few days cash to fill in a financial hole.

      Cheers,
      Lisa

  3. I support your decision entirely! Life is what you make it, as long as you work hard and take consistent action, I’m sure you’ll achieve success. Glad to hear you’re leaving a toxic work environment behind. All the best

  4. I love this blog for this relates to me. I was just thinking about this as well. If I were to quit my job right now how much I have saved up to cover expenses until my business is up and running like I want it to be. As usual, it is usually about 6 months worth. However, the number dwindles when I want to spend it on some other expenses besides bills. Nobody knows what lies ahead when quitting a job with not another one lined up. I did it before and I was unemployed for about 6 months. I was constantly waking up early in the morning to apply for jobs then start my day of waiting and sitting on responses. I say you just hand on in there and be consistent until you find what you want to do. The road to success is around the corner.

    1. Hi Brittany,

      I really appreciate your comment. As a (soon to be) former finance professional money, or running out of money, is one of the things that scares me the most. I will be posting the tools that I’ve used to look at my finances and cashflows for the next year soon, you might find that useful too!

      Just to include a bit of risk, my car has gone for service and a safety inspection, and my house needs the full heating system replaced in the spring… fingers crossed that both of those don’t go over budget too much!

      Cheers,
      Lisa

  5. Oh my, you sound like me 3 years ago, but I am 20years older, lol… I too have a post similar to this, ‘Why I Quit my Job to Work from Home”. Best move I ever made and still working towards that dream lifestyle, but I would not go back to paid employment by choice. I may not be where I had planned on being right now but I am happier and healthier than I have ever been and loving my new lifestyle choice.

    All the best with your change of direction. DO IT!
    You only live once… No regrets!

    Cheers
    Jo

    1. Hi Jo!
      Thanks for your kind words! I truly expected to be terrified by now, but I’m really relaxed about the whole thing!

      I will pop over and have a look at your post for additional inspiration and keep this comment for when I need an extra boost.

      Cheers,
      Lisa

  6. This is quite a scary plan. I’ve taken a less direct route to favouring part-time work and then building on ideas for myself in my spare time like eBay, blogging and such because I’ve found that even when you build yourself a small business it can be quite difficult to completely guess how much money you are going to have coming in. Have to make sure to save for rough times like this Christmas was the worst time of the year for sales for me when I predicted it to be the best and built a store around that prediction (but then suddenly we had an election and there was the exit of the EU and I think a lot of people were too worried to spend much at Christmas) if I didn’t have a part-time job then this would have been quite a difficult 3 months for me. I think it’s great that you’ve been able to get out there and have the savings and that motive to make sure you achieve your targets by committing to going into to it full time through. Right now I’ve shut down my business in favour of part-time work because of fears over getting sick and what happens if I don’t sell enough in the 2 weeks out of 4 that I could be open if I was sick within a certain month (would that leave me with extra fees to pay and suddenly reduced income for my bills from eBay and work?) and because of the need to understand the situation more (I may be being silly because it might well be a good time to be open because everyone’s online) so I guess it could be good to have the drive created from that need to succeed. Good luck I wish you the best 🙂

    1. Hi Bumbles,

      Thanks for your encouragement!

      It’s always nice to have the benefit of other people’s experiences. This entrepreneurial move of mine has been a long time in coming and I may very well end up working part-time or picking up occasional short term contracts to support getting it off the ground – but it’s something that I’m willing to do.

      Thanks,
      Lisa

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