What happened when you quit your job with nothing new lined up?
February 1, 2012 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Did you quit your job with nothing new lined up? How did it work out for you? And what do you wish you'd done differently, in retrospect?

I hate my job and have wanted to quit nearly every day for months.

I have 20 months of expenses saved in the bank, considerably more in my retirement accounts, and a spouse whose income I can rely on. I even have a part-time side gig lined up that will bring in about a third of what I'd like to earn to feel comfortable. But I keep showing up each day because of my fear of the unknown, of venturing into unemployment, of floundering for years as the economy struggles to get its footing. My professional misery is so great at this point that it's intruding on every aspect of my life, however. I need to quit.

So, I need to get past my fear of the unknown and get a better feel for others' experiences. How did it work out for you? What can I learn from your experiences? How should I approach this whole process?
posted by croutonsupafreak to Work & Money (36 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
You might find that going without a paycheck is even less fun than your current job, as you go through your savings.l

If it was me, I would redouble my job search, whilst remaining employed.
posted by Danf at 1:33 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Many places seem to prefer to hire a currently employed individual. I cannot comprehend why, but it's been my experience, so it may be prudent to start your job hunt while still employed full-time in your field.
posted by oblio_one at 1:33 PM on February 1, 2012 [6 favorites]

Many places seem to prefer to hire a currently employed individual. I cannot comprehend why, but it's been my experience, so it may be prudent to start your job hunt while still employed full-time in your field.

Yup. Sad but true fact of this recession seems to be that the longer you are unemployed, the less attractive you are as an applicant.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: hey i left my job with nothing lined up. except that i'm applying to grad schools and that's a more practical venue to go from nothing-to-something versus going from nothing-to-job.

having lots of savings will make this much much much less stressful for you- really that's the biggest thing holding back most people from doing this sort of thing, having to worry about mortgages and stuff. I also have some savings and it's a huge relief (although I have more debt heading my way than savings, but that's another story)

go for it- when you leave you'll have time to reflect on what you were doing and what you really want to do. what i thought this was during even my last month on the job (something similar-ish to what I was doing) has dramatically changed since leaving. it's hard to get perspective on what you want until you stopping doing something else, much as we'd want to believe otherwise.

better now when you're in these great supportive circumstances than later when you have nothing, which a lot of people still successfully do! good luck :)
posted by saraindc at 1:37 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I quit my job in April 2009, with nothing lined up. I had had my fill, and then some.

On the other hand, I had a rather large sum in the bank that had been earmarked for much-needed flat repairs. I decided that the flat could continue to rot and crumble and that instead that money would be my travel, chill, take time out and figure something else out fund.

I started seriously looking for work in October 2010. I did five weeks of temporary shit as a Census Collector in April/May last year. I became a trainee train driver in July. I am now as happy in my work as I have ever been. That is to say, I am happy in my work. That has never happened to me before. I am 52. Things can happen. Life can change. Do it. But do it on your own funds. Do not live off your spouse. That way lies trouble.
posted by Decani at 1:41 PM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I've been applying for jobs for more than a year, with no success. My time on this earth is short - as are all our lives - and I'm not willing to sacrifice another year to misery.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:57 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I did that in August. And we moved to our favorite place in the world. I'm back in school learning something that I really enjoy. My life is so much happier and more peaceful now. Our standard of living has, admittedly, decreased, but our quality of life is awesome!
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:02 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would try harder in your job search instead of thinking of quitting before finding work, regardless of how much you hate your current job. Once you leave, they don't care about you (they probably don't care about you now, but they're giving you steady income). You shouldn't feel ok spending your savings, risk not having a job for years because you hate this job temporarily. I would spend your savings on a course or two that'll help you get your next job, and enter those skills on your resume so you can get a better job. Don't think about depending on your SO's income, especially for an unknown period of time in this economy.

Good luck and hang in there.
posted by icollectpurses at 2:06 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: Okay, you've got that 20 months' worth of expenses covered, plus the parttime job will stretch it even farther --- all to the good. Polish up your resume now, and start sending it out; hang on to the current godawful job as long as you can stand it, but be ready to tell them you're outta there. (The current economy isn't very good for jobseekers, but your mental health is important.)

I once quit a job after seventeen years: came home in tears again one Friday, typed up my resignation on Saturday, thought it over some more on Sunday, and handed it in, effective that afternoon, on Monday. I truly believe that that job had me on the brink of a nervous breakdown, and though I woke up broke and unemployed on Tuesday, I felt so FREE it was amazing. I understand how scary leaving is: the job may be lousy, but it IS security.

One last thing: when you do decide to resign, go classy --- for your resignation, leave it at a simple "Please accept my resignation, effective (date). Thank you." After all, you'll want references from them, and starting a flame war with them doesn't do YOU any good.
posted by easily confused at 2:07 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did this, although my circumstances are decidedly different from yours as I quit my job and moved countries. However, I moved back to the US with nothing lined up, and if I could do it again I would have spent a lot more time before moving back understanding what my goals were and putting feelers out there so that I'd have a new job lined up on my return. Unemployment is a scary place even when you do it by choice.

With perspective, I would ask myself: What do you really want out of this? Do you want time to write the novel in your head? Do you want time just to relax and get refreshed? (There is nothing wrong with that.) Do you want to start a new business? Whatever it is, use your time wisely and make sure that you keep networking and being in touch with people in the industry that you find yourself in later.
posted by so much modern time at 2:11 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have 20 months of expenses saved in the bank, considerably more in my retirement accounts, and a spouse whose income I can rely on. I even have a part-time side gig lined up that will bring in about a third of what I'd like to earn to feel comfortable.

You'll be more than fine. When my boss starting harassing me and having others harass me because I had the gall to ask for a bonus I had been promised, I straight-up quit. Had no savings, no spouse, no family in the state, and couldn't get unemployment because I resigned. It was scary but staying in a damaging situation like that would have been worse. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and stand up for yourself. Do it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:23 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did this once. I had only a 3-month emergency fund and no spouse, no retirement fund to fall back on.

The intervening period was one of the most stressful times in my life. Watching the dollars dwindle day after day... I took a temporary job unloading rolls of chickenwire off tractor trailers. I donated plasma for money. I joined a construction crew as a trash-hauler. I took a job at the plasma center.

Finally, after I was living off my last credit card and getting collections phone calls hourly, I found a decent job and started to dig myself out.

I absolutely would not endorse your plan. Please start your search while employed. Let your dissatisfaction motivate you to look super-hard. It really sucks going to a job you hate every day, but remember, it's not forever.
posted by honkeoki at 2:24 PM on February 1, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Oh and as for "it's easier to find a job when you have a job" - yes and no.

You have more bargaining power and maybe look more attractive to some employers. However I am doing this right now and it's incredibly stressful to try to deal with keeping one job while interviewing for others- driving across town, making up excuses of where I'm going, etc. In many ways it was easier when interviewing was the only thing I had to do.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:25 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did so in July of 2010 after this with five months of expenses in the emergency fund and a wife whose income I could rely on. Now I work for the White House. So that worked out. May you be as fortunate.
posted by waldo at 2:27 PM on February 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I even have a part-time side gig lined up that will bring in about a third of what I'd like to earn to feel comfortable

If you quit your current job, you'll likely have the time to expand this part-time gig into something that provides closer to full-time salary, unless there isn't enough market demand for it (or hours available if it's not freelancing).

Plus using this part-time gig on your resume means that you won't appear unemployed to prospective new employers, so it's a win-win.
posted by trivia genius at 2:31 PM on February 1, 2012

Response by poster: I'd like to note that, "I did this and it was awful for the following harrowing reasons," is a great answer to my question, but, "Don't do this you fool!" does not answer my question at all.

I've already answered the "should I do this foolish thing?" question for myself, and I did not post that question to metafilter today. After nearly two years of unhappiness, a year of seeking work elsewhere, and more than five months of sending out multiple resumes per week, I am doing it.

My question asks what happened to other people who've made this choice.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:39 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I wouldn't do it unless you know you're going to be able to handle all that unstructured free time. I did this several years ago figuring I'd take a little time off, move, then look for a job; instead, I fell into a depression (not my first) because of the isolation, lack of structure, and lack of reinforcement involved in being at home alone all the time. Needless to say, my situation was different from yours, but you should consider of how being at home all day by yourself may affect you. Are you self-motivated and productive when you have time off or do you find yourself slowing down to a stop? How will you feel about yourself when you don't have your work identity any more, when you aren't contributing your present paycheck to the household? For me, work is an important source of self-esteem and sense of purpose, and it's really difficult for me to function well without it. Say it takes another six months or year to find another position; will you able to keep going psychologically all that time without a job?

I'm in your present situation as well, and the only thing that stops me from quitting is knowing what happened to me last time.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 2:50 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I did this a few times and I'm going to keep the examples separate because I had different goals each time.

There were at least 2 occasions (2 different jobs) that just made me miserable. For one of the jobs, I walked out after a few days. For the second job, I completed the entire academic year (horrible job that was a wall of misery) but I did not renew the contract and did not start looking for a job until my salary ended.

How did these experiences work out? I did not have much saved up (beyond a few months) and that was a source of anxiety, so I did find part-time filler jobs for the intermediate time period until I found the next job. I also set my sights on new job that I thought would be a better fit; this meant networking, doing informational interviews, but in the end I did get the jobs that I wanted even though I switched into new fields. The new jobs were 10X better than the previous jobs.

What do I wish that I had done differently? To be honest, this way of doing things worked best for me (I was miserable->quit job->no $ means get motivated to find jobs that are a better fit. I do wish that I had not been as stressed in those few months until I got the job because it all worked out. However, in my head I had internal conversations about poverty, never becoming employed again, etc. (I don't know if I would have been able to control that, though).Still, if you threw me back in time, I would still have walked out of those jobs.

There was another time I walked away from a job but this example is separate because the rationale/motivation was different. I actually liked aspects of my last job/liked my boss/liked my coworkers... but I wanted to work for myself (and I was tired of a workplace, too, but the main goal was to work for myself). So it was my goal to walk away with no job lined up (but to have clients/projects).

To actually leave that job I needed some encouragement. One person in particular pointed out to me that "we are more afraid of the unknown than the (name of horrible company we worked for before)." He also mentioned that if I stayed at my comfy place of employment, with a weekly paycheck, there was no way that I was going to be motivated to find clients or do extra work. So I finally just quit, although I had a few months savings and one potential client lined up. After these experiences,my philosophy is that if something is bad and needs to change...burn down the bridge so that you can't go back (for me=quitting) and the only way to go is then forward or in some other direction.

How did it work out? Worked out well for me and I will never go back (you can email me for details on this if you want, but ...I'm much,much happier and created the work life that I want). There is still stress, but it is a different kind of stress.

What do I wish that I had done differently? Perhaps saved a bit more? It was stressful because that first client took a while to pay me.There is an anony ask metafilter question about getting clients to pay-- that was me...

I will say that there was "get out of the frying pan" motivation to leave those jobs with nothing lined up --but I did immediately implement a plan to get somewhere else. The not having very much money (or very little money with part-time jobs) and no other backup plan motivated me to get to the next point.I would do this all over again even though it was scary (to me) at times.I really do think that I learned something from these experiences too...I feel comfortable changing fields if I have to, doing info interviews, and interviewing;I would not have learned this unless I took these leaps into new job x without another job to fall back on.

OP it seems like you have a lot of emergency savings plus a part-time job already? Why are you still there?Do you have another goal (dream job Y)? Feel free to memail me. I don't see why a person should stay in the box and I would not stay in a job if it cost mental/physical health.

posted by Wolfster at 2:52 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: Did you quit your job with nothing new lined up?

Yes, I've actually done this twice and am still alive to tell the tale(s). The first time, I was very unhappy in my job and wanted to use my clients as part of my network for finding another job. It would have been seriously unethical for me to do that any other way. I spent about six hours every day researching and contacting potential employers. (As it turned out, one of my former coworkers connected me up with my next employer.)

The second time, I was in a situation more similar to yours in that I had some outside work lined up and ongoing. That was my "seed" client for starting my own consulting practice which is still ongoing 20 years later. The early days were a bit scary (especially since I was single and had a mortgage to pay), but it really helped to have a business-savvy friend who helped me with designing my marketing plan, reality-testing my ideas, and talking me down off the occasional ledge.

If you're looking to join the ranks of us self-employed folks, you really are well positioned for it since you already have a client. If that's the route you want to take, then direct your attention during your waning days of employment to designing your business, creating a business plan (even if it's just half-assed, you need to know that you can support yourself at whatever you do without working too many hours), and sourcing more clients. That way, when you walk out the door for the last time, you've got a jump on getting things rolling forward.
posted by DrGail at 2:55 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: About a year ago, I quit my lousy miserable job with nothing lined up. It was awesome.

I mean, not every minute, but very minute WAS better than being at the bad job, and even when I worried that I might run out of money and have to couch surf with friends or move back in with my folks, it was never in doubt that quitting was right for me.

After 6 months, I found a job that is basically my match made in heaven. It makes the whole story even more perfect but even without it, leavin was right. If you're miserable, don't sell more of your time to the thing that makes you miserable.

While I was unemployed, I traveled cheaply to visit friends far away, spent a lot of time fucjing around outside, slept in, answered only to myself. It was great. Do it!

Btw, everyone talks about how you can't get hired if you're unemployed. I've never found a job while employed, myself. So ymmv, as always.
posted by rosa at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You have 20 months of expenses saved up and you will have a part-time job which means you will not be unemployed when you are looking for full-time work.

Life is too short to hate what you're doing.
posted by fromageball at 3:56 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: You'll probably be fine. I've done this twice, with no ill effects. Both times because I hated my job, although only one of those two times was it making me miserable. I don't know how easy it is to find work for your field, but in my field it's pretty easy, and I pretty much knew both times that I was pretty darn hireable, so I wasn't really worried and I could pretty much apply only to jobs that I knew I would take. Both times I took some time off before really starting to look.

You sound like you have a bit of hustle yourself, with the part-time gig and the savings in the bank, so it sounds like you'll be fine. I'd say step back for a month or two, recollect yourself, have some fun, and then throw yourself into job searching full time.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 4:46 PM on February 1, 2012

I have 20 months of expenses saved in the bank, considerably more in my retirement accounts, and a spouse whose income I can rely on. I even have a part-time side gig lined up that will bring in about a third of what I'd like to earn to feel comfortable. But I keep showing up each day because of my fear of the unknown, of venturing into unemployment, of floundering for years as the economy struggles to get its footing. My professional misery is so great at this point that it's intruding on every aspect of my life, however. I need to quit.

Dude. Go for it. You are as ready as you'll ever be and you won't starve. You will find a new job with the dedication you'll gain from not hating your life.

No job is worth hating your life. No job at all.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 4:59 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did this, but it was even worse - I had no job lined up, no real savings beyond a month or two, no one I could lean on in any way, no where I could go if I didn't find something else. I could not take another day of this job. I really, really couldn't. Walking out the door I honestly had no regrets, but by the time I got home my stomach was churning with anxiety. And excitement. Even though I had been applying for jobs since about the second month into that one and getting no bites whatsoever, I had gained a skill-set I was hopeful could at least parlay into some temp work - so I changed my targeted job search around to fit my most recent experience.

I got lucky; I got another job about two weeks later. It was supposed to be a temp position but they kept me on (dragging their feet about hiring me permanently) for a few months and I ended up landing the best job I've had yet, in terms of compensation and personal development, and here I am.

I think what you should do is pretty much keep-on with the keepin-on once you quit - keep applying, keep tweaking your resume, see if you can find part time or contracting work in your desired field, et cetera. If I'd had savings and/or a part time gig I would have quit my old job sooner and might have tried harder to figure out exactly what my "dream job" is - as such, I didn't have the luxury to be picky but you know what? Still not a damn regret.
posted by sm1tten at 5:08 PM on February 1, 2012

Did you quit your job with nothing new lined up? What do you wish you'd done differently, in retrospect?

Had something new lined up.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:30 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've done this more often than I'd like to admit, and it's worked out for me well about half the time.

Two times I left the country and moved back with no job. The first time was in 2002, in the middle of the tech bust. After a totally disastrous attempt to make it in San Francisco and many months of unemployment, I took a crappy temp position with the state. I ran up my credit cards pretty bad while I was out of work, and it took me about five years to pay them off.

The second time I had more savings, really worked my contacts before returning, talked to recruiters, and got a great job within a month.

I've also moved to NYC with nothing lined up, and was hired in literally a week and a half (but I work in an uniquely in-demand field). I had loads of savings, though, and again I went full-out before I left -- setting up informational interviews and getting in touch with contacts.

Most recently I quit an absolutely horrible job (before Christmas!) because I was an emotional wreck and working crazy hours that made it impossible to job hunt. I had about five months' savings and found a long-term contract position within a few weeks. I actually wish I had taken a little longer to explore and volunteer, but I didn't feel like I had the luxury.

Regardless of the situation, it's always very scary to leave, but it seems like you have an amazing financial safety net. Actually, with that kind of cushion, you could take time to travel, explore new industries, master new skills. Sounds pretty good to me.

My only advice would be to get your COBRA squared away if you're not covered by your spouse's plan, make sure you know who you can count on for references, and then just take a breather for a few weeks.
posted by lunalaguna at 5:32 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: > Did you quit your job with nothing new lined up? How did it work out for you?

I quit my job this past April because I decided I didn't want to follow that career path. I didn't exactly have a job lined up; I joined an early start-up where we all just had equity. Still no money, yet, but the work is fun and exactly what I want to do as a career!

> And what do you wish you'd done differently, in retrospect?

Looked a little better into the health insurance situation. I live in Massachusetts so I knew I'd be covered, but it turned out I had to go one month without insurance in order to transition from the COBRA benefits for my work's exorbitant plan to an individual plan from the Massachusetts private health insurance market thing.
posted by losvedir at 5:53 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: Listen to this podcast: The upside of quitting. The money shot is this exchange:
DUBNER: For those who do a good job, talk to me about how they prepare for it, and maybe how what they do we could all learn from a little bit.

VENKATESH: The first thing is you’ve got to pull that Band-Aid off, and do it quickly. And the ones that are really successful in leaving a trade in which they thought that they were going to be doing for a long time, or that they had prepared for, poured a lot of hours in, you know, when they make that decision quickly, they do pretty well. I think this idea of not looking back, I know it’s a clichéd expression, but so many of the people that are able to move on, just go forward.
I completely agree on this point and can testify to the truth of this. I quit my job last month with nothing lined up. It's scary. I moved back to an expensive city and I'm leaking money like a sieve. But if not now, when? Life is short, the only thing to do is move forward. I am taking a leap of faith that I'll be fine.

Only advice I have is to lean on people. They want to help you. I have been very fortunate to get a lot of support from my former colleagues, people in my local professional association, relatives, old friends, etc. I spoke at a professional event. I've cold called folks from linkedin. I've set up lunches with old colleagues and new connections. It makes a difference.

With your level of preparation, the idea of quitting is probably scarier than the actual act. Look forward. That's all there is to it. Close your eyes and jump.
posted by crazycanuck at 5:57 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I have quite my job, twice, with no new gigs lined up. It was fantastic, so much that I want to do it again. I wasn't scared at all, but maybe I was just young and stupid. At the time, I was married, with enough money in the bank to pay my expenses. I traveled, did part-time work, went back to school, rode my bicycle a LOT, and eventually got full-time work when I decided it was time to be an earner again.

Now we are all supposed to be scared about the prospect of not having a job. I say, if you have part-time work, and a spouse to help support you, give yourself a set period of time before you give notice. Say, 60 or 90 days. During that time, put together a plan. And contigency plans. Ramp up the job search, hard, and when your set period of time is up, hand in your resignation. I bet you will feel lighter than you ever thought possible.

Good luck!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:04 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did this twice - both times it worked out OK for me.

In June of 2001 I quit my job, sold my house and all my possessions in Massachusetts and started the trek west. I made it to San Francisco (my goal for the previous ten years) on September 7, 2001 with about $6000 cash and no job. The following Tuesday was September 11 and any companies still hiring in SF after the dotcom bubble burst quickly launched hiring freezes. I totally lucked out in that a friend of mine who is the director of a non-profit had just received a 2-year grant for a computer specialist for her organization. The pay was low, but I kept my head above water. This was a stroke of luck that may not actually happen to you.

In 2008, I had just inherited about 65K and was laid off on December 30th. I contracted for a couple months and then convinced my ex- - who was working in a soul-sucking job - that we should both quit our jobs and go to Australia for a month. After I came back, in August 2009, I had planned to go into business sewing. I spent a lot of time trying to get that off the ground, but it never happened and, as I neared the end of the money I had set aside for my business endeavor, I decided I had to go back to work. I got a temp job that turned into a full-time job that I still have today.

So, IMO it depends on how quickly you can recover if you need to - I'm not sure about the job market in your field. If you set yourself a hard limit on how much of your savings you're willing to commit to your time of unemployment, that can be really helpful. Also, try to use your part-time gig - or another PT job - to supplement your savings. Remembering that you still have earning power can be really helpful.

Really, if the hardest thing right now is just the quitting itself, just do it. Think about the huge weight that will be lifted off your shoulders if you do. If job-misery is affecting every aspect of your life you'll be discovering new benefits to not-being-at-that-!@##$$%^-job ALL THE TIME. Make a big plan for what you're going to do when you've quit that you can't do now - plan a trip for a month, take a class that only meets during the day, train for a marathon, anything. Set a small goal like that and you'll have that to look forward to until and after you quit.

Best of luck!
posted by bendy at 9:19 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did this once in 2009. I had some savings and my situation at work was extremely difficult for me emotionally. It ended up taking me a year to find other work, during which I made a little change working for the KGB phone service and had a paper route, which barely kept me afloat (I live at home, which covers my basic needs, but I have bills on top of that). I repeatedly had people tell me I'd made a mistake by walking away from the job without having something else lined up (they still do), but the situation was completely intolerable for me, and I decided that leaving was what I had to do, no matter what the consequences. My worst possible outcome was pretty much what ended up coming to pass, but I don't know that I would do anything differently.

If I could do anything differently, I would have tried to find someone at the job where I'd been who could help me work through the situation I'd been in so I could stay. A career therapist might have been helpful.
posted by koucha at 10:32 PM on February 1, 2012

Best answer: I did this, though I'm not really comfortable sharing all the gory details. I'd make sure your partner is really, truly on board with it. I thought my ex was -- he even encouraged me to quit. But then I couldn't find another job, and the stress of that on both myself and on him was one of the things that ended up contributing to the demise of that relationship.

Of course there were other factors. And I doubt I would change anything if I could, but it can certainly have an unexpected and profound impact on your life's direction. Being jobless, even if your spouse can support you both, can really stress a relationship, sometimes in quite unexpected ways.
posted by Arethusa at 2:21 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: I have done this several times. Once I quit a coffeeshop job just to go on a road trip with a friend. It was a fine decision and I had a great time...but when I came back I found myself, uh, looking for coffeeshop jobs again, so it didn't really move me to any new place in life, plus I had to go through the hassle of trying to get hired somewhere all over again.

One thing I would suggest you think about is how you will structure your time when you are free from this job. Being unemployed can be tough for lots of reasons, and a lot of people struggle with the nebulous unstructured days. Maybe get a very specific plan together for what you will do after you quit--rest for a few weeks then jump into creative pursuits? Travel? Take a class to learn some new skills? You need to be not just excited about NOT having to do Job You Hate anymore, but also excited about GETTING a chance to do X, Y, Z instead.
posted by aka burlap at 9:31 AM on February 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for sharing your personal experiences - both inspiring and terrifying. Just gave notice today.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:41 AM on February 6, 2012

Good luck --- I hope you land the job of your dreams!
posted by easily confused at 9:05 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: An update, five months after my last day at the old job: I'm a self-employed freelancer making a small but acceptable living, and having the happiest summer of my adult life.

It turns out that spending 12 years at four prominent employers in my field, volunteering for professional groups for about half that time, and maintaining relationships with colleagues even after you no longer work with them is a great strategy for developing references and getting referrals. I had to draw on my savings for three months because of the slow pace at which my clients pay me, but now the payments are coming in. So far I have not had to pitch a single project or step outside my comfort zone -- work has come to me.

I've still got a lot to learn about being an LLC, managing my time and finances, getting on top of my tax situation, and pitching my ideas so I can do more challenging and complex projects. Good thing I love learning. And more than ever, I love my life and my career, as well.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:30 PM on August 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

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