‘You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.’ - Oprah Winfrey
A few weeks ago the first real signs of financial panic since I quit my office job 4 months ago started to set in.
The renewal notice for the TV License turned up.
The gas and electricity bills turned up.
I had to buy a hideously expensive train ticket to get home to see my family for Christmas.
My monthly travel card ran out.
Oh maaaan, it was totally time to start earning some mooooooo-lah!
My wish list for paid work was pretty basic…
-part time (so I’d still have time for all my other fun projects)
-NOT at a desk in an office which I knew would have me poking my eyes out within seconds
A friend suggested front of house work in a theatre, so I turned to the Archangel Google for help.
I searched ‘Front of house theatre jobs London’ and up popped the Tricycle in Kilburn. They were recruiting. Yee-hah!
I emailed through my application.
A week and a 20 minute chat with manager Andy later, I had a job.
Hang on just a lickety-split of a second…
How did that happen?
Isn’t it one of the greatest faux pas of all time to leave a job without another to go to? Won’t employers think you’re a totally unemployable loser who couldn’t stick you last job out? Won’t they think you’re uncommitted, unreliable and an all round waste of space?
Maybe. Or they might just love the fact that you’re taking control of your life.
The covering email I sent through with my theatre application actually said this…
‘A quick note on my application – I quit my corporate office job in August this year to pursue a life I was really excited about. Since then I have designed and developed a blog to track my adventures, done some travelling and volunteering and most recently did a short acting course. I loved it so much I signed up to a 16 week part time course starting in January 2013 and am currently looking for part time work in a fun and friendly environment which will fit in around my other commitments. I am a highly motivated, bright, positive and hard working individual and would love the opportunity to work with you.’
I’m not suggesting that everyone who is fed up to the back teeth of their current job should quit right now without a plan in place. BUT, if that’s what you’d actually love to do and the only thing stopping you is that myth about how no one will employ you ever again, I sincerely believe THIS…
When you’re inspired, motivated and excited about what you’re doing with your life, the people you meet (including potential employers) can feel that too.
And they won’t care if you tell them you quit your job because it was making you miserable and now you’re diving head first into living a life you want – they’ll wonder instead how on earth they can do the same thing!
6 months ago I believed that having a gap in your CV was the equivalent of committing career suicide. I believed that it would be difficult or impossible to find more work if I quit without another job already lined up.
Now the only thing I believe is that everything I believed before was a pile of doggy doo doo.
OF COURSE there are some employers out there who would look at my CV, shake their heads in disgust and never let me through the door for an interview. Then again, I doubt I would ever want to work with those people…
Have you ever quit a job without another one to go to? How did it work out? Are you contemplating it but worried it’ll all go pear-shaped? Looking forward to your thoughts and comments below!