Q&A: What to Say When You Quit Without Another Job?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many professionals try to leave their jobs only when they have a new job planned, but there are times when you may need to leave a role without having another job opportunity. If you quit gracefully, leaving a job before securing a new job may not affect your employment prospects. Resigning from a job gracefully can help you convince managers to hire you even after a substantial break from employment. In this article, we provide a few reasons for quitting without another job and explore example answers you can give during a job interview to explain this situation.

What to say when you quit without another job?

The answer to “What to say when you quit without another job?” depends upon your reason for leaving. Providing legitimate reasons for leaving your previous job can help you convince hiring managers to hire you for a suitable job. Here are a few examples of what you can say depending upon the reason for quitting the job:

Studying for a career change

Sometimes people may seek a career change to renew their interest in their professional life. When you change careers, you may require additional skills and qualifications. Leaving a job because you want to enrol in a course or degree programme can be a reason for leaving the workforce without a job. This can reduce your workload and help you gain skills faster. If you left your job because you want to work in some other field, you can say:

“I left my previous job without searching for another because I enrolled in an MBA degree. I'm confident that my previous engineering skills combined with management studies can be helpful when guiding clients to market their products and services innovatively.”

Related: Tips from a Recruiter: How to Stand Out When Changing Careers

Leaving because of under-utilisation of skills

If you're regularly upskilling yourself but your job responsibilities remain the same, it can be a valid reason to leave the job without finding one that matches your skills. Finding jobs that are complex and different from your current role can take time. So, during your interview, emphasise that you want to grow professionally. If you left a job because the company is under-utilising your skills, you can say:

“While I loved working in my previous role, I have mastered many finance-related skills. After completing the chartered financial analyst (CFA) course, I now want to utilise my skills in equity valuation, something which I couldn't pursue in my previous job. I look forward to the challenges that a valuation analyst position provides.”

Related: Top Eight Reasons for Leaving a Job (With Example Answers)

Leaving because of organisational restructure

It's common for companies to lay off employees when they work through downsizing, acquisitions and mergers. Often, organisational restructuring may occur because of a company's inability to make desirable profits. Finding a job immediately after this process can be challenging. When you leave the organisation because of organisational restructuring, you can say:

“I'm proud of my learning and experience at my previous job. I left the company because of organisational restructuring and I'm eager to bring my experience and skills to the new position.”

Related: How to Deal With the Stress of Losing Your Job

Starting a new business

While many people prefer to grow their business slowly, others may prefer to dedicate their full time to making the new venture a success. If you plan to run your venture and dedicate full time to it, resigning from a job can help you fulfil your dreams. It's a good reason to leave a job without finding another one because your day job may not allow you to focus on growing a new business. When starting a new business, you can say:

“While I was happy in my previous role, I left the company to pursue my passion for developing robots that can make life easier for new parents. As the company was developing, it required my complete attention. Now, after five years of successful running it, I'm exploring my passion for writing and actively looking for freelance writing opportunities.”

Needing a break

People often take a break from employment to consider their options and think about different ways to lead their lives. If you want to change industries, take up volunteer work or spend time with family, you can take a break from employment. Leaving your job and assessing yourself can help you understand what you want from life. When leaving a job because you need a break, you can say:

“For the past one year, I enjoyed my position at my previous company, but the sudden merger with another company changed the work environment. I was no longer finding the work fulfilling and wasn't enjoying the work. So, I took a break from employment and spend time with my family members.”

Protecting your mental health

If you feel stressed out in your current role or start questioning your abilities, leaving a job before finding another one can be an excellent decision. Apart from ensuring physical well-being, maintaining proper mental health is essential for performing as expected. It's a wise decision to take care of your mental health by leaving your employment and finding opportunities when you're ready. When leaving a job because you want to protect your mental health, you can say:

“The company underwent a merger and streamlined its processes and departments. The change in management brought a cultural shift in the work environment, and I found it difficult to cope with work pressure and new policies. It affected my mental condition, so I left my job and focused on my mental well-being. I'm happy and satisfied with my contribution to the marketing department.”

Reducing your travelling time

Long travelling time can affect your emotional and physical health. A long commute to work can affect your productivity. If your office is far away from your home, leaving a job without one can be a practical decision. During an interview, you can explain this reason by saying:

“In my previous job, I travelled two hours daily to reach my office. It was difficult to leave the organisation because of the positive relationship, but to spend more time with my family, I want to work closer to home."

Focussing on your physical health

Health challenges can make you leave your job without finding another one. If you feel you need to take some time to focus on your health, leaving may be in your best interest. Protecting your physical health can help you complete all job-related duties without facing any challenges. If you leave a job to focus on your physical health, you can say:

“My previous job required me to lift heavy loads that were affecting my physical health. So, to focus on my physical well-being, I took a break from employment for five to six months.”

Moving to another country or city

Typically, you may look for a new job before relocating to another country or city, but chances are you may not find a desirable job. Often, it becomes challenging to attend interviews and complete joining formalities when you stay far away from the place. In such situations, leaving your job before finding a new one can be a practical decision. When moving to a different relocation, you can say:

“My spouse had an urgent transfer to Hong Kong. I had to shift with him immediately to take care of my three-year-old son. Also, my previous job didn't provide a remote working facility, which made me leave my job.”

Protecting your safety

There are laws in place to protect employees in the workplace. You may reach out to a manager or HR professional to discuss specific situations, but there may be certain situations where you feel unsafe. If this occurs, looking for a new job can be an intelligent decision to make. When leaving a job because you want to protect yourself, you can say:

“While I enjoyed working in my previous organisation, I experienced a situation involving my personal safety at work. I spoke about this with my manager, but the issue remained. Although I left the job to ensure my safety, I'm eager to use the skills I learned there in the new position.”

Is it good to resign without a new job?

You can resign from a job without finding a new one. While many employees prefer to find a job before leaving their existing one, it may be impractical in some circumstances. Resigning from a job without finding a new job can be a positive move if you prepare yourself mentally and financially. Before leaving your job, it's essential to weigh the potential benefits and risks. Some benefits are:

  • You have more time to find a job.

  • You have a flexible schedule to change your calendar even at the last minute.

  • You can enhance your skill set by learning a new skill or completing a certification.

Some potential risks are:

  • You lose income and benefits.

  • Your employment gap increases on your resume.

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