If you Google “should you quit your day job to follow your dreams,” an endless amount of articles mapping out every reason why you should will populate, because many people hate their jobs and dream about a different career.
Unfortunately, quitting your job just because you don’t like it or want to pursue another profession is a terrible idea. After all, your current job is helping you pay the bills, and one thing that will make your situation worse is … well, not having enough money to pay your bills because you decided to quit your job without securing a financial replacement. Not to mention, not everyone is able to return to a job or profession once they leave.
We aren’t saying you should never quit your day job to follow your dreams. In fact, the below scenarios are ideal times to quit your job and write that book you’ve always wanted to write or open that dream car dealership with your family.
When you replace your income
Quitting your job and “figuring it all out” once you’re jobless is a bad career path. It will also bring on added pressure and stress you were hoping following your passion (you know, the thing you quit your job for) would eliminate.
However, if you replace your current income before you quit, you will take the pressure off of succeeding from a financial standpoint. Thirty percent of people are constantly stressed out about money. While you might still worry about your finances in some capacity, your passion shouldn’t bring on stress, pressure, and anxiety because you no longer have an income. The point of following your dreams was to bring on fulfillment and a better life, not the opposite.
Of course, if you’re already rich, then you’re the exception to this rule and you will always have money (as long as you manage it properly).
When you have a new job lined up
Whether you’re going from one job to the next, or your side hustle turns into a sustainable full-time income, it’s plausible you will quit your day job for your dream job. Not only that, but a new job can lead to an increase in pay (according to Forbes, “The average raise an employee receives for leaving is between a 10% to 20% increase in salary”).
While that percentage might change based on workers changing industries and not just companies, it’s possible to get a raise just from switching jobs. Likewise, it’s a good idea to pursue your passions when you have the ability to leave a job you hate for the one you will love.
Secure the new job first, or turn your passion into a money-making machine, and then leave your dead-end job.
If you have to go back to school or pursue something else full-time
There are degrees, programs, internships, etc., that require your full-time effort and attention. You might not be able to attend your classes when you have to work during the day. Likewise, your 9-5 internship or medical school program could replace your 9-5 office job.
Of course, there are countless people who can even keep their jobs and go back to school thanks to accredited online and continuing education degree programs.
You can’t be in two different places at once, so you might leave your job to go back to school and pursue your passions that way.
While the scenarios above might sound obvious to some, there continue to be people who quit their jobs before they’re prepared financially. You might hate your current work duties, but having zero income and no means to pay your bills is only going to create bigger problems. You have to go beyond making a plan by actually having something set up and then take action. It’s OK to quit your job—we just encourage you to have a plan in place before you do.