Did you quit a job without a backup plan? What happened after that?
Yes, I did that for the first and last time in my life, over a decade ago. I had some jobs in between then and now, but at present, I don’t feel the need to be employed by anybody. I didn’t have any backup plan when I had quit, though, and I did hit the ground pretty hard as a result. The series of incidents that happened afterward led me to where I am and what I do today.
I had a job I hated, despite being passionate about the actual industry (marketing). But this company, something was wrong with it, or at least the branch I was involved in. I was helping no one, not providing any value to the world, and my boss was happy to tell me that his business’s shortcomings were my fault. Then I got laid off despite being in the top tier of employees there.
This may sound dramatic, but it’s what happens when you ignore the warning signs of company culture. I did well and was brought into higher levels by my hiring manager, but there was a miscommunication, and I found out later, after being promoted a few times, that my manager’s boss hadn’t wanted to hire me in the first place, but someone else, and had a chip on their shoulder about it, even years later. I don’t know why the guy didn’t just put his foot down and stop me from getting hired after all, but some people are just like that.
This was why I got far more work suddenly put on my desk than others on the same level, and why I was paired up with lower-level, low-quality co-workers who needed to be babysat in order to do their job right. It was basically to get the most bang for their buck on hiring me, and if I couldn’t handle the stress, I’d quit on my own.
Imagine working at a restaurant as a dishwasher, getting promoted up to the chef, but still having to wash dishes in the middle of dinner service. That’s the best metaphor I have for my experience. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure how to feel when I got laid off. I couldn’t deny there was a relief, because I had been hating coming in to work every day. But I had this pre-programmed feeling in my head, that I learned in school, from authority figures, etc. that being laid off, fired, etc. was bad.
As I had no backup plan, I went into a depression. Having been secure in my future, I didn’t have enough bank balance to survive long without a new source of income, which was the main stressor. I foolishly didn’t see the warning signs that my days at the company were numbered, that my angry boss was trying to psychologically push me into quitting. That also made me feel less intelligent, and wonder how I didn’t see it coming.
It’s a harsh reality that internal problems and challenges in life do not politely announce themselves to you. In my case, insecurities, problems, and depression came silently. I woke up one morning and just knew that I had them. I had always considered myself more mentally healthy and in control than other people, so having to admit that I was depressed was a big shock.
Afterward, I approached many businesses that once offered me well-paying jobs, and when I had the opportunity to come back to the place that laid me off, I quit for good. To my bad luck, none of those other businesses would do an interview at that time, and honestly, I was nervous about stepping into another business like that. Months passed. My bank balance was draining fast. Finally, I made my mind to do something that had no direct connection to my past experience in marketing. I would start something new, from the bottom. It was then, I rediscovered 4 Hour Work Week (4HWW).
One of my roommates in college had told me about 4HWW years ago. I had a chance to interact with him while hunting for jobs. He was into online entrepreneurship and suggested that I become an entrepreneur by following 4HWW. He told me that given my current workplace experience, I was actually more qualified than the average person who got into the online entrepreneur field. On his advice, I followed 4HWW and abandoned my accounts on job hunting sites. After a week or two passed, I got more involved and started seeing some actual results. Within the first month, I was making money. Not much, but I knew I could scale it up, which I did.
If you’re not familiar with 4HWW, it is one of the oldest; perhaps the biggest books on making money online. That book proved to be a life-changer for me like it did for others. Soon, I began to implement the principles learned from that book, not just for career stuff, but other related areas, like time management. As a result, my life got better, and I made up my mind to be a job provider instead of being a job seeker, and at present, I am successful in that. That’s what happened after I got laid off and then quit my job without a backup plan.
In conclusion, I would say one should never quit a job without a backup plan unless forced by special circumstances. Do not assume luck is on your side. However, one should be always prepared for the worst. For anyone who is planning to quit a job or has already quit, I have penned down a post: I’m Ready to Quit My Job YESTERDAY, How Do I Do It?
Please feel free to reply to me if you would like to discuss more on any of the points mentioned in this answer.