5 Things to Consider Before Quitting Your Day Job

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You’ve had enough with your job and are two steps from walking out and never coming back! Besides, you always wanted to ‘be your own boss’ and this might be the step you need to get those entrepreneurial juices flowing, right?

Have you ever felt like that before? I’ve had jobs in the past where I’ve felt like quitting was the best solution to the problem. When you’re frustrated with your day job, it’s easy to think that life would be better if you just had the freedom to do what you want. Who wouldn’t want to make money with their passion?

But quitting your job to pursue your passion isn’t a decision that should be made on a whim or even in a week. It takes careful thought and time to weigh the pros and cons. So before you hand in your two weeks’ notice, take note of these considerations.

1. Have you given careful thought to and planned for the change?

Give an honest answer to these questions. If you’re able to put your reasons down on paper, it’ll help you to overcome irrational decisions (like quitting your job after one frustrating day at work).

  • Why do you want to change jobs?
  • What are the risks when quitting and starting a new job?
  • Would you do your dream job for free?

So how much time should you spend thinking through the consequences of quitting your job to pursue your passion? It depends, but I would recommend taking a few months to a year thinking about the consequences to your budget before you quit. If you’re still passionate about the change after six months to a year, you’re on your way to making an informed decision.

2. Have you hustled your dream job?

How do you know that you’ll love your new venture if you’re not already working your passion every night and weekend that you can? You know that something is important to you when you can wake up early every weekday before your day job so that you can put a few hours into your passion.

When you come home from work, does your dream of working your passion keep you energized to the point of working a few more hours every night? If not, then I’d suggest that you revisit the first set of questions and take some more time before quitting your day job.

3. Have you talked to someone else already doing it?

I think that one of the best ways to learn is through others’ mistakes and successes. Sure, trial and error are inevitable parts of being an entrepreneur, but there’s wisdom in seeking council from someone who has already done what you’re trying to do.

Connect with someone in the field you’re passionate about and ask them what they like or dislike about their job. Find out about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

4. Do you have support from your friends and family?

If your spouse is supportive of the change and your family backs your decision, your confidence level to make the change will inevitably be higher.

The exciting prospects of starting a business should never cause you to neglect the responsibility you have to take care of your family. Make a strong effort to keep your family first during the change and to be sensitive to their concerns about the uncertainty of changing jobs.

5. Is your emergency fund healthy?

This point is crucial. I would hope that you have your dream job lined up or have a steady flow of income from your passion to replace your current income. But the reality is that even though you may have all these things lined up, emergencies can (and will) happen. I would be most comfortable in having an emergency fund to cover six months to a year’s worth of expenses before I commit to quitting my job to pursue a passion full-time.

Sometimes the biggest risk is not taking one. If you’re looking to make that jump into a new line of work that you’re passionate about, I think that’s awesome! It’s just critical that you’re honest with yourself and really have worked through the points mentioned above.

Have you ever quit your job to pursue your passion full-time? What advice would you give to someone considering it? For those with questions about quitting your job, what concerns do you have about it? Leave a comment!

Photo by John-Morgan

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14 Comments
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  1. My passion is to write novels full time, but until my novel starts selling big time, and I build up my non-existent emergency fund, I can’t quit my day job. I’m blessed to be debt free, but was unemployed for 2 years before landing this job 6 months ago.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this post, it was just what I needed to hear! I go to office that I absolutly hate doing (12 years), but it provides all of my families needs. Today and for the past week, I have felt as though I couldn’t take anymore and I wanted to just walk out and do “something” different (anything). But I was praying and I ask God to show me loud and clear what HE wanted me to do today. And then I read this AWESOME post and realized I’m not in a position to quit… yet! I need to plan ahead.

    Thanks again, I feel a some what better… besides I was starting to like the thought of not working for my boss lol! ;)

    • Thanks for commenting Andrea – it’s encouraging to hear how the article helped you think it through :)

  3. Nice tips Tim.

    I think it’s helpful to know what you’d do for free. The things you do in your off-time – after work and on the weekends – is a good place to look.

    Since I love to read books, that’s what I do in my spare time, and I’ve started blogging about what I’m learning.

    I’ll think of monetizing later down the line, when I’ve built up the traffic. But knowing that Bob’s doing it now proves that it can be done!

  4. These are 5 good points and follow closely the advice of Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad). I think a lot of entrepreneurs can get ahead of themselves before considering these points and shoot themselves in the foot before their second incomes are develeped enough.

    • I listened to Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad talk on TV once. It seemed to me that his means of income were lecturing and the sale of his book about how to become rich. I’m a writer too, and like artists, most of us can’t depend on that talent for steady income.
      I home educated our 2 sons, then God led me to be a substitute in a child care, which while sometimes needed, goes against my personal belief that parents ought to parent their own children. Compromises are made. I’ve encouraged our boys to “job shop smart” and that happiness is a choice. I’ve also said that if you hate your job for a day, get over it. It’ll be better some days than others. If you hate your job for a month solid, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere, but where there are people (yourself included), there are problems. I choose to be a blessing to the kids and the staff even if I don’t agree with the way child care is done., and to be a positive in a negative situation. If I get gloomy, I need to choose to change, for everyone’s sake including my own.

      It’s a marvel to hear four-year-olds talk about how they went on a cruise for their birthdays (yet their child care fees aren’t enough to cover a cruise for me, if i desired one), while I am excited by the challenge of stretching dollars so that my husband and I can keep up with the rent and enjoy the occasional visit to some local treat. We wade in a creek and talk and enjoy creation, and all it costs is the gas to get there.. Well worth the investment! : )

  5. For those who are in a relationship and considering quitting their job, I suggest doing a trial of living off one income because it can definitely be rough cutting your income down.

  6. It took my husband a year for us to adjust before I quit to stay home with the kids, a lot of paying off debt and saving as well as getting house essentials checked. Even though I am not moving into a paying job, this was for sure my dream- being there for my kids and husband 100%!

  7. Having sufficient capital and talking to people in the industry which one is look at is so important. They say that having an insufficient amount of capital is one of the most common causes of small business bankruptcy. Also, if one can talk to someone in the industry then it is much less likely they would quite their with realistic expectations of what their new career will bring [in terms of time, money, effort required].

  8. Hey Will,

    Yes, I read Jon’s book and thought it was great. I reviewed the book and wanted to put my spin on what someone would do before quitting their day job. I’d definitely recommend Jon’s book to someone thinking about a change!

    Tim

    • Yoninah

      Thanks for this great post! Just wondering which book it is that you mentioned? Can’t find the name from the comments…

  9. I had to laugh when I opened this email. Today is my last day at my day job. I am leaving to teach part time at the college, which has always been my dream. Although my income will be much less then what I bring home with my current job, my husband has been so supportive of me and my dream. We worked out the budget together to make it work for us.

  10. Taylor

    Hi there!
    I would like, one day. The thinking that I have to do my work now for 20 years of my life just makes me sick. I do have lots of problems regarding my works and I don’t put my heart into it either. I just hope that I manage to be persevered in collecting enough savings so that I can pursue my dream of having a cafe. In God’s will, please pray for me, friends.

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