Can I Afford to Quit My Job?
How to plan for a major break from the workforce
As the mother of an 18-month old son and full-time marketing consultant,
Between 1.5 and 2 million people quit their jobs each month, whether it's to pursue a new opportunity, start a business, or care for family members. But it's not an easy decision to make. Aside from the financial impact, workers like Sternal also often consider the effect on their overall fulfillment and lifestyle. That's one reason career and money experts recommend putting a lot of effort into preparing to quit before making any big announcements.
For Sternal, part of that preparation involves hiring a bookkeeper to review her income, expenses, child care, and taxes. "Based on my rough estimates, I might only be making
That's just the kind of planning that
Still, sometimes "people are in a place when they just want out and they don't really have a plan," says career coach
"I ask clients to talk with family or roommates or whoever they share finances with before making a big decision that's going to impact them all. Often, families are willing to take on a little financial hardship if it means getting out of a bad work situation," Simms adds.
After all, earnings are not the only measure of career success.
Based on those findings, Ladge suggests, "Don't step out all the way. Try to keep your foot in the door, even if a little bit, because that will help you maintain your skill set and keep something in that trajectory," which will increase the chances of both higher earnings and greater satisfaction later.
Indeed, career transformations often involve years of transition and fine-tuning, which is one reason Simms' clients sometimes choose to stay at jobs they don't love while plotting their next step. Simms herself worked as an actress earlier in her career, and then realized she wasn't happy. "I went through an unguided, uncertain period, and started writing about what qualities I want in my work. I knew I wanted to work with people in a coaching capacity, and to make a real difference." She started studying coaching while earning money through part-time work as she built her client base.
Sternal, the marketing consultant, is still trying to figure out what will allow her to both feel career satisfaction and be the kind of mother she wants to be. She's considering working part-time for her husband's marketing business, or maintaining some of her current clients. "What is going to make me feel satisfaction that I'm doing the right thing?" she asks. Like millions of others, Sternal is still searching for the right answer.
- How Couples Can Maximize Social Security Benefits
- 5 Factors That Could Put Your Pension at Risk
- How to Handle Awkward Money Situations
- Can I Afford to Quit My Job?
- How to Get the Salary You Want Even in This Economy
- Practical Steps Average People Can Take to Retire Early
- Are American Consumers Relapsing Into Debt Addiction?
- How to Complain to Companies and Get Results
- How to Catch up After a Retirement Savings Break
- Gen Y's $2 Million Retirement Price Tag
- Social Security: On Entitlements and Ponzi Schemes
- Reducing Debt Load Key to Financial Health
- Dipping Into Your Retirement Account to Pay for College
- Why Your Retirement May Not Be Permanent
- The 10 Most Difficult Retirement Decisions
- Retirees Increasingly Depending on Social Security
- Tougher Rules for Credit Bureaus Could Be On the Way
- Tips for Picking an Affordable Place to Retire
- One Move Could Boost Your Retirement Security
- 401(k) Withdrawal Mistakes to Avoid
- 6 Little-Known 401(k) Perks
- What's the Best Way to Save for College?
- How Do You Preserve Purchasing Power in a Tumultuous Economy?
- Steps to Financially Prepare Your Student for College
- How to Avoid Money Envy
- How to Make a Financial Comeback
- What New Inflation Formula Would Mean for Social Security Recipients
- How to Predict Your Social Security Payout
- Is Your Retirement Plan Obsolete?
- How to Strengthen Your Retirement End Game
- How to Avoid Online Shopping Scams
- Dodging the Real Estate Down-Payment Obstacle
- Will This Home Renovation Pay Off?
- Family-friendly Ways to Save Water
- 10 Reasons to Delay Retirement
- Why Celebrities Run Into Money Trouble
- What Are Your Rights When a Debt Collector Calls?
- 5 Crazy Money Ideas That Just Might Work
- Many Grocery Staples Are Getting More Expensive
- Vow Not to be a Financial Mismatch
- How to (Finally!) Agree About Money
- To Save Money Get in the Habit of Bargaining
- How to Cope With Retirement Sticker Shock
- How Can We Make 401(k) Plans More Like Pensions?
- 8 New Retirement Rules
- 6 Ways You Can Save Money by Going Green
- New Online Marketplace for Financial Advisors Stirs Up the Market
- AARP on Social Security: A Game-Changer for Entitlement Programs?
- Online Banking: Is It Safe to Bank Online?
- 10 Things You Should Know About Your IRA
- Author Maps New Phase of Life Between Middle and Old Age
- Don't Wing It with Frequent Flier Programs
- Appealing An Insurer's Denial Is Often A Good Strategy
- Midyear To-Do List: 12 Steps to Getting Your Finances on Track
- Life Insurance After 50
- Is Long-Term Care Insurance Right for You?
- Private Disability Insurance Can Cover You if Your Employer Doesn't
- Careful Planning the Key to Comfortable Retirement
- Should You Count on Social Security in Your Retirement Plan?
- How to Cope With a Forced Retirement
- How to Protect Your Corporate Benefits
- How to Retire on Social Security Alone
- Do You Have Unclaimed Property You Don't Know About?
- Solo 401K Lets Self-Employed Shelter More of Their Income
- 7 Ways to Stay Ahead of Inflation in Retirement
- Why We're More Dependent on Government Support Than Ever
- 7 Biggest Money Mistakes College Graduates Make
- Homeowner Savings Tips: What You Might Not Know
- Why Raising Social Security's Retirement Age Is a Benefit Cut For All
- How to Get Retiree Health Insurance Before 65
- Wills and Estate Planning: Peace of Mind for Your Family
- Put Yourself to the Test: Are You Fiscally Fit?
- 30 Ways to Cut Health Care Costs
- 7 Excuses for Not Saving for Retirement
- What Will Missing Mortgage Payment Do to Your Credit Score?
- Automated Retirement Plans Can Help But Watch for These Pitfalls
- How to Save for Retirement on a Low Income
- What to Do If You Cannot Pay Your Tax Bill
- High Earners Face State Tax Hikes
- 9 Ways to Pay for Retirement
- Is Your Partner a Good Money Match?
- 10 Things You Didn't Know About Social Security
- Don't Forget to Protect Your Retirement Plan From Inflation Risk
- Medical Deductions For 2010: What You Need to Know
- Look Beyond Sticker Price for a Car's True Costs
- HED Reverse Mortgages
- The Magic Numbers of Retirement Planning
- Can I Afford a Baby?
- 6 Ways to Cash In On the New Health-Care Reform Law
- The Least You Need to Know About Retirement
- Tax Changes for Health Insurance Buyers, Home Buyers and the Unemployed
- Small Changes to Get out of Debt and Save Money
- Is Your 401k Riskier Than You Think?
- 10 Places to Go Carless in Retirement
- Deducting Medical Expenses
- Public Support For Government Workers a Case of Pension Envy
- How to Spring Clean Your Personal Finances
- How to Save for Retirement Without a 401k
- What You Really Pay for at the Pump
- Converting Regular IRA to Roth: A Good Idea?
- Retirement Savers Need to Plan for the Critical Draw-Down Phase
- 9 Secrets of Retirement Happiness
- 401k Mistakes Job Hoppers Make
- Why Gen-Y Might Be Too Frugal
- How to Profit from your Hobbies and Interests
- Websites Make it Easy and Even Fun To Reach Savings Goals
- How to Evaluate College Financial Aid Options
- Find This Year's Investing Strategy in Last Year's Tax Return
- Tips for Filing Your 2010 Income Tax Return
- Bad with Money? Blame Your Parents
- The Financial Planner Relationship is a Fragile One
- 7 Reasons Why You Don't Have a Pension
- Tax Mistakes Parents Often Make
- SEC Takes Steps Toward Financial Planning Overhaul, But Issues Remain
- 5 Smart Ways to Save Money for Your Children
- Financial Advisers: Prepare for Big Tax Hikes in 2012
- How to Tweet Your Way to Retirement Goals
- The New 401k Plan: Not Just for Retirement Anymore
- How to Shop Around for the Credit Card That Suits You
- A Better Use for Your Tax Refund
Personal Finance - Can I Afford to Quit My Job?
(c) 2011 U.S. News & World Report