It’s been on everyone’s lips lately: the Great Resignation. Statistics indicate that this is much more of an issue in the United States while, in Canada, the rate at which people are quitting their jobs hasn’t increased significantly since before the pandemic — yet. Among those who did quit their jobs, Statistics Canada’s labour stats for 2021 show that going to school and retirement were the main reasons. Job dissatisfaction has been a big factor, too. So what about you? Do you want to make a change? And, more importantly, if you do, can you afford to quit your job?
See also: What to do if you hate your job.
Before you quit: be realistic about your career options
If staying in your current job is no longer feasible, the first question to ask is, “How much money do I need to stop working?” Then think carefully about life after quitting. How will you survive? Will it be easy to find a new job in the field you want, with your experience and qualifications? Or if you want to focus on building a business, how long until it can realistically start turning a profit? Even influencers don’t start making money overnight: many of the richest YouTubers started their social media careers back in the olden days when MySpace and Vine were a thing.
Before you quit: work out how much money you’ll need
How much savings do you need before quitting your job? To work this out, first look at how much money you are spending right now. If you scale down, how much money will you need to survive comfortably? A good budgeting app can help you track your expenses and see what you can cut. Once you know how much money you’ll need each month, multiply that by the number of months you expect to be without an income — realistically, this could be anywhere between three months and over a year — to get an idea of how much you’ll need to have in the bank. Then add a good amount of “and then some” for emergencies or you may find yourself having to take on a part-time gig to pay that unexpected vet bill or car repair bill.
See also: 10 best apps that make budgeting easier.
Before you quit: how long will your final paycheque last?
Contrary to the popular narrative of people quitting because “nobody wants to work anymore”, many people quit their jobs because they have a new one lined up. However, maybe instead of getting paid every two weeks, you’ll now get paid once a month. Maybe pay day will move from the 15th of every month to once at the end of the month. Be sure of exactly when you’ll get paid and that you have enough to see you through until then. Also, consider the expenses associated with starting the new job: for instance, do the must-have items in your work wardrobe fit with the corporate culture and dress code at the new job or do you need to go clothes shopping?
Before you quit: look into your taxes and benefits
Being in-between jobs doesn’t mean you don’t need to think about taxes. You’ll still have to file your tax return. Getting your tax ducks in a row will help you find out if you’re eligible for benefits like the GST/HST tax credit that can make living with no job a little less stressful.
Also, remember that rage-quitting will most likely mean losing your employment insurance. In order to still qualify for employment insurance benefits after what Employment and Social Development Canada calls “voluntarily leaving” your job, you have to be able to prove that there was no alternative. When you reached the point of asking, “should I quit my job?” you looked for solutions to the problem that has made you want to quit in the first place, to no avail. There are different circumstances that would justify quitting your job as the only reasonable solution. These include sexual harassment, discrimination and dangerous or illegal working conditions.
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