Why Not To Quit the Job without another Job Offer in Hand?

The conventional wisdom says – having a crappy job is better than having no job at all, especially when the unemployment rate is getting higher. But keeping that aside, what to do if your boss is driving you crazy or the working hours are ridiculous? What if you cannot deal with your co-worker anymore or are not comfortable with the work environment? You want to quit your job even when you don’t have another job offer in hand, but that’s not what your career counselor would advise.

job offer in hand

I agree that it gets a lot easier to job hunt for the perfect position when you don’t have to deal with a full-time job at the same time. But, considering the soaring unemployment rate, risking a stable job is not a wise thing to do. Also, I don’t think you can survive without a paycheck unless you are still staying with your parents.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t quit your current job without another job offer in hand:

Employers might discriminate on the basis of employment status

There are employers/hiring managers who don’t prefer hiring someone who is unemployed. If I would be responsible for recruitment of any company, I won’t mind hiring not only unemployed candidates but also fired candidates. It’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of employment status in many towns, but people do that all the time. Due to this reason, you don’t want to risk your chances of getting hired even when you deserve the job.

Answering “May I know your reason for quitting without another job lined up?”

When you are unemployed, you will surely be asked the above-mentioned question in the interview. You need to have a solid reason that sounds reasonable. It should not be something that includes badmouthing your former employer. You cannot get away with any answer unless you have a solid reason that goes something like:

  • “I had a baby and I wanted to stay with her for the first year”
  • “I moved across the country due to some family reasons.”

It would be a problem if you and your former boss didn’t end on good terms

If your boss is a jerk, obviously you don’t want him to act as your reference for your next job. Suppose you are interviewing while you are still employed, then you can tell your interviewer not to contact your current boss as he doesn’t know about your job search yet. This would be perfectly fine if you are still employed and most of the hiring managers would respect that. However, if you are currently unemployed, you don’t get this option. If you would still insist the hiring manager not to contact your previous boss, it would be a red flag.

Answering “What have you been doing since you ended your last position?”

You don’t have to answer this horrible question if you are still employed. If you are asked this question, be prepared with a good reason for having that career gap. You cannot say you were taking online courses on Coursera unless you really were and know about things that are covered in the course.

Having a job offer in hand is always recommended before giving two weeks’ notice to your current employer.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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