Career management

The peril of quitting without a job

Recently one of my colleagues tendered his resignation letter. I do not know his actual reason for resigning but apparently he was unhappy that he was overlooked for promotion, so I supposed he quit to register his unhappiness. As he resigned in an abrupt manner, I can only postulate that he has not found a new job. He is 40 this year, a bachelor and held only executive positions throughout his career. He does not have management experience nor post-graduate qualifications.

Career suicide
I am no HR expert, but I think my ex-colleague just committed a career suicide. Quitting at the age of 40 is a bad, bad career move. Even though he is single, with no family commitments, given his age, he may not be able to find jobs that pay him similar salary.

This is because firstly, his bargaining power during salary negotiation for his new job will be greatly reduced as his prospective employer will know that he has no income.

Secondly, quitting without a job will surely not go down well with his prospective employer who may wonder if he has character issues. In this day and age, organizations look for employees who are team players and can fit into their organizational culture.


In this respect, I think my ex-colleague will have a hard time justifying his move to his prospective employer during interview.

Thirdly, even though unemployment rate is still low in Singapore, finding a job that fits his experience, expected salaries and qualification may not be easy. This is especially so in Singapore where there are just too many foreigners and PRs fighting for similar position. Most of them have similar qualifications and experiences but command lower salaries.

Quit for the right reason
People quit for various reasons. Some quit because of their bosses, some quit because they were unable to fit into the organization, some quit because of the pay.

Whatever the reason is, it is important to secure a job first before quitting. Unless of course if you are planning to be an entrepreneur. You do yourself a huge disservice if you resigned without a job. There would surely be a lot of questions asked, not only by prospective employers, but also by family and friends.

Most of the time would be spent answering questions by the others rather than focusing on the job search. Morale will be hurt and I suspect my ex-colleague will have problem finding his next job without suffering huge pay cut. I should know because I had similar encounter but albeit, at a much younger age.

I resigned from my first job when I was in my mid-twenties. I had worked for the company for one year and just could not take the job stress any more. So I quit without a job. Back then, I was lucky to be able to find another job in two months because I was still young, had a degree and the economy was doing well then. Given my colleague’s situation, I don’t think he will be so lucky.

I am sharing the above because I do not want my readers to go through similar experience. In life, there are always ups and downs. This is especially so in our careers. We must be able to recover from career setbacks and stand up on our own from the point where we fell. Changing jobs is not a bad thing. In fact, if you do it for the right reasons, such as career progression and better pay, it can be beneficial to your wealth journey.

Remember, we can have many jobs in our life but only one career. But always make sure you move for the right reason. Quitting without a job is just pure flawed career move.

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Magically yours,

SG Wealth Builder

2 thoughts on “The peril of quitting without a job

  • Hi there! Great write up. I stumbled upon your blog as I was thinking of quitting without a job. You mentioned that you resigned without a job offer in hand, in your mid-twenties. I am 25 to be exact. And female. I’m thinking of going on a work sabbatical, just jet off to foreign lands for a few months to half a year and then come back and look for a job.

    Dangerous move?

  • I strongly encourage you to go on a work sabbatical and live in overseas for a few years. The life exposure and experience gained would be invaluable. And you can only do so when you are young. After 30 years old, it is not possible for you to do so as you would want to settle down and set up your own family already. Furthermore, in your thirties, you might be peaking in your career, how to take a work sabbatical? So do it now when you can!

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