You’re burned out at your job. Your productivity has dropped. It feels as if you are in a toxic environment with supervisors who don’t show you any respect or consideration. These negative emotions pile up until one day — you rage quit.
With today’s strong job market, it can be more tempting than ever to walk out of your current employment situation without a plan in place. While there can be some harsh financial ramifications to rage quitting, there are ways to mitigate the damage.
Create a Budget and Make a Plan
“As satisfying as living out your rage-quitting fantasy must be, that relief is quickly replaced with dread as it dawns on you the comfort of a steady paycheck is a thing of the past,” said Brad Cummins, owner of InsuranceGeek.com. “The first step is to take stock of your finances and estimate how far your final paycheck will go. Then, where possible, cut back spending on subscription services and anything that’s not crucial until you find another source of income; you’ll be surprised how those $8.99’s add up!”
Once you’ve cut your living expenses down to the minimum for the time being, determine where the money you need will come from. Ideally, you’ll have some emergency savings you can tap into that won’t negatively affect your retirement savings or other investments.
“Try to stay away from using your credit cards to survive if you rage quit your job,” added Wade Schlosser, CEO and Founder of Solvable. “There are almost always better solutions.”
Schlosser recommends considering a home equity loan, since interest rates are so low right now. “You may be able to tap into money to live on AND lower your mortgage payments at the same time, which is a win-win,” he advised.
Opt In for Child Tax Credit Monthly
As you consider ways to bring in money to make ends meet, make sure you’re opted in to receive the child care tax credit on a monthly basis if you have children under 17. Those who qualify for the credit receive $300 a month for each child under 6 years old and $250 for each child over 6 through December 2021.
If you opted out of receiving the payments monthly, you can opt in at any time for the remaining payments. If your income prior to quitting your job did not qualify you for the payments, you can report a change in your income through the IRS portal to see if you qualify now.
Consider Taking on Side Gigs
Both Schlosser and Cummins recommend freelance work or side gigs as a way to make ends meet while you look for another job in your field.
“Signing up for a freelance service such as Fiverr could be a viable option to keep a steady flow of cash coming in,” Cummins said, “Even part-time remote freelancing gigs outside of your expertise, such as being a transcriptionist or virtual assistant, can earn up to $14 an hour,” he continued, noting that finding a side hustle should be a priority to avoid dipping into credit cards or your 401K.
By taking on a variety of side hustles, you may even discover hidden talents or find a new field that sparks your passion and reignites your love for working. You may also discover you love the independence of freelancing and decide you don’t want to return to a full-time job.
Schlosser reminded people to be wary of their tax situation if they take on freelance work or start a business. “Remember to put away money for taxes and don’t touch it — otherwise you could get a rude awakening from Uncle Sam,” he noted. “I also recommend that anyone doing freelance work speak with a tax accountant that specializes in working with 1099 contractors or small businesses. Freelancers often have many deductible expenses, including business supplies and travel, that they don’t realize can reduce their taxable income, which lowers their tax bill.”
Decide on Your Next Career Steps
Before you dust off your resume and start putting out feelers for another job in the same field you just quit, decide if it was that specific working environment or your career, in general, that caused so much rage.
The FlexJobs’ 10th Annual Survey revealed that 68% of workers polled would consider changing careers. If you are looking at quitting as an opportunity to change your career path, you’re certainly not alone.
“If you’ve felt a strong urge to quit the majority of your previous jobs, you may want to dig in deeper to determine why those work situations elicited such strong, negative feelings,” said Toni Frana, career coach and team lead at FlexJobs and Remote.co.
Then, outline exactly what you’re looking for in a career or a new position. The FlexJobs survey revealed that 56% of people want to change careers to find a better work-life balance, while 49% are seeking a more meaningful or fulfilling career.
Whether you decide to stay in your current field or change careers, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for that tough interview question, “Why did you leave your last job?”
“When you begin interviewing for your next position following your departure, getting the explanation right is key,” Frana stated.
“It’s helpful to practice in front of a mirror to get any emotional responses out of your system. Your answer should remain as brief and as neutral as possible and avoid placing blame on anyone or bad-mouthing your former manager or employer. Getting into the nitty-gritty details of why you’re leaving, no matter how negatively you still feel about your prior job or your time with the company, isn’t a good idea. In most cases, it will send up red flags to a potential employer and leave them with a less than stellar first impression of you.”
Also, she warns, avoid posting anything negative about your job or former employer on social media. “Doing so can backfire in a way that might be difficult to come back from and could earn you a bad reputation that follows you into future job situations.”
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Last updated: September 17, 2021