EarnCareers

4 Things You Should Do Before Quitting Your Job

Sophia Surrett  |  January 10, 2022

Congrats, you’re making a move! Here’s a look at some of the smaller housekeeping tasks you need to perform before quitting your job.

If all the good New Year + fresh start juju in the world couldn’t convince you that there was still room to improve your working life, then chances are you’re considering quitting. Making a change is never easy, but sometimes it is necessary. (And let’s be honest, when we heard that job changers were getting an average salary bump of 23%, that made even the happiest workers amongst us think twice.) 

But of course quitting can be hard — even if you hate your job. You’ve got the anxieties of talking to your boss, saying goodbyes to your coworkers, and needing to prove yourself all over again in a new role… but sometimes it’s the absolute best decision we can make. At least one in four people quit their job in 2021, and the trend is expected to continue into 2022. The truth is, even with remote onboarding and lots of new COVID-inspired job weirdnesses these days, the transfer process doesn’t have to be as scary as you might think… And HerMoney is here to help!

1. Start By Asking Yourself the Hard Questions 

Deciding to leave your job is a big decision. And when making a big decision, you have to get real with yourself, so you’ll know for sure if you’re ready. Ask yourself the following questions, and see if you have an immediate answer for them: 

Am I ready to make a big change in my life? 

Am I willing to start over somewhere new? 

Don’t panic if you don’t have the answers top of mind… But do break out your journal and see what your gut is really telling you after you noodle it for a while. A little research and planning will get you right where you need to go, explainsMoney-Saving Expert Andrea Woroch. For example, she advises to first make sure your emotions are in check. Maybe your boss has been through a rough patch lately and has been taking things out on you. Is there a way that you could perhaps move departments, or change bosses without having to quit your job completely? If you love the company you work for, it’s worth considering. 

Also, make sure you take time to consider your financial situation thoroughly before quitting. We always advise finding a new job before quitting your old one, but sometimes that’s not always possible. In any case, make sure you have a financial plan in place that will ensure your needs are taken care of, and that when you do make a move to your next (exciting!) gig, it will be because you’re eager for your next challenge, not because you’re pressed for cash. 

2. Create a Plan With a Safety Net

If your pandemic hobby has now turned into a full-time gig, congrats! You largely have your plan for the future in place — keep doing what you’re doing, just make it bigger and better. But what about your financial safety net, in terms of savings? You need to know how much you need to save before you can quit, or assess whether you might need to stay a little longer at your job so you can save, or maybe sign up for a side hustle for a few months. Saving an extra cushion to use between jobs can save you stress and time to find footing in your new way of life. Founder of Corporate Escape Artist, Caroline Castrillon, says it is more important to wait and find the right opportunity rather than jumping into a role that you’ll find yourself unhappy with months later. 

3. Use Those Benefits While You Can 

Leaving a job often means leaving benefits behind — specifically, if you’ve already paid your deductible for the year on doctor’s visits and your appointments are basically “free,” then it makes sense to schedule as many necessary appointments as you can before you quit. So, if it’s been a while since you went to see your dentist or dermatologist, for example, then make those appointments asap. And when you visit, make sure you apply your Health Savings Account (HSA) funds to these costs as well as any funds you may have in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) says Woroch.

4. Don’t Leave Your Retirement Funds Behind

  If you’ve never left a job where you’ve been accumulating funds for retirement, it can be pretty intimidating to feel like you’re “walking away from” your 401(k). But heads up: You aren’t leaving your hard earned money behind — those funds that you’ve contributed are yours, and when you leave, you can take them with you, and either roll them into another 401(k) or into an IRA of your choosing. Some employment contracts specify that you must remain employed for a number of years in order to become “fully vested” in your retirement account, which means that you won’t have the ability to walk away with the funds that the company contributed on your behalf until you’ve worked there for, say, five years. But that’s just the company match we’re talking about — any money that you put in from your salary is yours forever. Before you roll over your 401k to a self-directed IRA or brokerage account, make sure you speak with a financial professional — if you don’t roll over the 401k correctly, there’s a chance you could get hit with early withdrawal penalties or taxes.

READ MORE: 

SUBSCRIBE: Sign up for our free weekly newsletter. Subscribe to HerMoney to get the latest money news and tips!

Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. Posts may contain references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.

Next Article: