Whether you’ve been at your job for six months or six years, quitting is never easy. Adding to the fact that you may not have something else lined up, it can be scary. Preparing and gaining the confidence to have the conversation with your manager then actually having the conversation can be even scarier. After turning in your resignation letter the real question is, what do you do after quitting your job? The surface answers are always along the lines of “Make sure you have enough money to hold you over,” and “Be sure to leave on a great note.” People rarely mention what you should do during this time off for yourself.
I’ve had firsthand experience in this area. In March I quit what I thought was going to be my dream first job out of college. I was at the company for six months and quickly saw that it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be in any shape or form. From pettiness, nepotism and a ton of microaggressions it was time for me to get out.
Immediately after I resigned I was relieved and more at peace than I was while at my previous job. I found myself not even worried about what I was going to do next. I knew that I made the right decision for my sanity and health. Leaving a job when you may not be directly heading to another one is a brave thing to do. Whether the circumstances are relocation, career change, going back to school, or just leaving a less than ideal situation; it’s important to remember that there are different methods to make this break the best for you. Contrary to popular belief, taking a break can be a good thing!
So, you just left your job. You definitely need to EXHALE! Walking away from a job is more emotional than you may realize. It’s really important to give yourself time to work through your feelings. From my experience, it helped me to really take time to access what happened and learn from it. There is no perfect time table for doing this, but it’s really important to gain clarity on the experience before jumping to the next thing. You don’t want to carry feelings from your previous job into your next one.
If you just left a hostile or unhealthy work environment, believe it or not these are circumstances for many people who leave one position without another job in the wings. You are not alone. I learned that it is best to vent, in order to get everything out. Luckily for me I am blessed with supportive parents (they were my lifeline through this) and great friends who truly understood what I was dealing with. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, write it in a journal. One of my friends took the journaling route and after reading it she saw that she held a lot more in than she realized.
3. CHILL OUT
Take leisure time for yourself. Constantly working hard will take a toll on anyone. During this break, it’s important to take time for YOU. This doesn’t always mean spending a large amount of money, it can be something simple that you may not have had the time to do. For me, part of my chilling out included trying all of the different restaurants and boutiques in the city that I wanted to before but literally didn’t have the time or energy to because of my work schedule.
4. PLAN TO SECURE THE BAG
After you’ve rejuvenated yourself and gained clarity, it’s time to figure out your next move. Take this time to decide exactly what you want to do. You may decide that you want to take the entrepreneurial route or that you want to move into another industry. During this time I decided to write the vision and make it plain. I wrote down the exact job in the exact industry that I wanted to attain. It’s important to set a goal so you can properly execute your plan. Another way to secure the bag is to tweak your resume. Make sure that you add all of your responsibilities and accomplishments from your previous job. It never hurts to be prepared. My mom always told me when destiny meets opportunity the preparation ALWAYS pays off, and she didn’t lie.
5. FIND SOMETHING TO KEEP YOU PRODUCTIVE
Your days are free, so that means you can Netflix and chill. NO! During this time it’s important to keep a similar routine. I woke up everyday at 7:00 a.m. and stayed productive. Keeping your mind and body sharp is key to making sure you aren’t letting yourself go. Believe it or not, you may end up busier than you were at your previous job, as was the case for me.
Since I had more free time I was able to finally embark on different ventures that I was too stressed out to pursue before. For me this included creating The Let Out a bi-weekly podcast with two of my friends, beginning the process of creating my own business, providing freelance social media consulting, as well as writing for this amazing platform. I did this all while meeting and befriending new people. Now don’t take this to mean that productivity means doing many things, it means doing the things that bring you joy and can help you grow in your skill set.
6. BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING
Patience is a virtue. Leaving a job can be similar to leaving a relationship. It’s important not to rush into a rebound job just to say you have one. Take the time to adequately decide what you want in a career. It takes time to find the right fit and just because it doesn’t happen instantaneously, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Don’t worry, settle or rush to find your next job. Life is too short for us to just work a job to stay alive. Life is meant to be enjoyed. No one said that you can’t find something you enjoy doing and get paid for it. Remember what is for you will find you.
IMAGES: VIA GIPHY