Many women come to me wanting to go into business so that they can quit their jobs. Some are so tired of working that they’re ready to quit without having something else to do. Most get surprised when I tell them, “You’re not ready to quit your job right now.”

Early last year, a lady I know decided to quit her job. She spoke about quitting at length to her family and friends. She was tired of working and not being appreciated by her employer. Her work hours had also increased and the demands from her job were killing her work-life balance.

I told her not to quit at this time and explained to her why I was giving this advice. I also offered to help her create a transition plan so that she could move smoothly from employment into a business.

She opted to quit and was OK for some time. A few months down the road, things changed and some of the challenges I’d cautioned her about became a reality. More than a year on, she’s now fighting depression as her life has crumbled around her.

This is not necessarily the case for everyone when you quit your job without a fallback plan. However, it does help to be aware of some interesting reactions that could come with the loss of your job.

5 Unexpected Results When You Quit Your Job

#1: Strange things happen after you give notice

Here are some things that may happen when you quit:

  • Management supports your decision: You may be pleasantly surprised when your boss or other leaders support and encourage you in a positive way. They don’t want to lose you, but they understand your decision to leave.
  • Your boss and/or colleagues shun you: You’re still working, but they avoid you like the plague! No more coffee breaks together or invitations to parties or after-work drinks.
  • People sabotage you: If you have frenemies in the office, then watch your back. The person who is leaving is always a good scapegoat and someone can take advantage of this. Your boss may also decide to give you an overload of work or start playing power games with you.
  • Jealousy rears its ugly head: Take care not to give too much information about your plans. Be aware that not everyone who’s congratulating you is happy for you. Some of your colleagues may be smiling with you and spreading lies or rumours behind your back.
  • You become the unofficial agony aunt: Don’t be surprised if people suddenly want to tell you their problems with the company once they know you’re leaving. Even people who never used to talk to you will suddenly want to be buddy-buddy with you!
  • You get a lot of well-meaning but useless ‘advice’: Friends, family, colleagues, even strangers…everyone has something to say about your situation. Also, they all have advice about what they would do. The more you listen, the more confused you get.

quit your job

#2: People forget about you

It’s hard to imagine that the people you spent lots of hours with at work can move on without you in a very short while. Some people will call or connect with you for a few months and then…silence.

No more phone calls or invitations to coffee, parties and lunches. You’re alone and it seems as if no one wants to hang out with you.

This is a blessing in disguise, painful as it may be. As days move on, you’ll weed out people whom you don’t need and remain with those who value you. Think of it as a relationship detox.

#3: The loss of income bites…painfully

Money quickly becomes a big deal when you quit your job without a fallback plan. The first few months out of work are OK if you got a good package from your employer. However, the money will soon run out if you’re not careful with your spending.

Trust me when I say that freedom doesn’t taste so good when you’re broke. The challenges of surviving without an assured income soon push many people to start looking for a job.

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#4: The free time you dreamed of becomes something you dread

All the employed people I know always complain about the lack of free time. Many wish they could have the freedom of being able to choose what to do with their time.

Now that you have so much free time, what do you do with it? How can you account for the day if you haven’t ‘worked’ in the regular sense?

This can be stressful if you’ve been a worker-bee and used to being overwhelmed and rushed for time.

#5: You feel inadequate and not useful

A few months without the security and comfort of having a job and something to do each day weigh you down. Once the euphoria of quitting dies down, then comes the question, “What do I do now?”

No matter how good your send-off package is, it’s possible to experience a sense of disbelief, regret, and loss a few months down the line.

Additionally, you can panic if you don’t get a new source of income as fast as you expected. This is when the reality of not having a job sinks in.

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Whether you leave your job willingly or not, there is an adjustment period that comes once you’re out of employment. This period can be very stressful if you’re not prepared for it.

You also take an emotional beating when people you once relied on and thought of as friends or trusted colleagues no longer want to associate with you.

In the next article, I explore when it’s OK to quit your job without a fallback plan. This will be followed by an article with tips on what you can do when you quit. These tips will help you reduce the chances of falling into depression or doubting yourself when you no longer have the position and income that came with your job.

Your turn…

Have you ever quit a job? What happened after you quit and which strategies helped you in the immediate post-employment period?

(Image credit: marcolm at Free Digital Photos)


Are you thinking of quitting your job for business?

Sometimes what someone needs is clarity before taking the leap. I can help with that. Book a Strategy Session and get clarity about your next step before you hand in the resignation letter. If a business is your true next step, I’ll help you create a transition plan so that you don’t make the same mistakes other professionals make.

    2 replies to "5 Unexpected Results When You Quit Your Job"

    • Ronni

      Gosh Carol, I feel like you were speaking directly at me! Yes its certainly not an easy ride and I have gone through each of the stages outlined above. It’s made me tougher (as if I wasn’t tough enough already), and a lot more cynical and reserved generally. What has worked for me (in part) is to appreciate the little things and schedule at least one important task each day.

      I can’t wait for the next post.

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        These challenges are real Ronni, and people are simply not prepared. Just last week alone, I got 4 calls from people in the same situation. Great that the post spoke directly to you and thanks for sharing what’s working for you. Next post coming up…

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