Would You Abandon Your Job During A Slow Economy?

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2008-11-0213

For those so inclined, would you leave your job at a time like this?

After going through this weekend’s personal finance readings, I found that more than ever, people are keeping a close watch on their money, with a few bewailing portfolio losses or wondering if they’re on track towards their financial goals.

It was therefore quite interesting that a couple of articles in my reading list have discussed the prospect of leaving your job and changing gears… even as the economic slowdown deepens (granted, a few of us left our jobs while the economy still had legs). You may think — now why would anyone think of doing something like this? And how can it be done? Well, the fact is that anything can be done if you’re ready and prepared for it.

This shows that regardless of the external financial forces enveloping our nation, there are folks that have worked out plans and are ready to make the necessary adjustments to live and work by their own rules and not by what the economy or what their companies dictate for them.

All this made me wonder enough to ask out loud: if need be, would you be ready to leave your job in the midst of the crisis? Or how about the more general question: how ready are you to walk away from your job at any time? As tough times unfold, the possibility that we may not have a choice on this matter is not too far from our minds, especially as companies begin cutting back.

resign, I quit
Photo from The Guardian.

Sometimes, eventualities like this force us to readjust and set ourselves towards a whole different career, work or financial path. I still continue to think of this as a time of opportunity and not as a time of strain (although these days, as I see my investments do their jig, I feel my patience being stretched thin 😉 ). Can this crisis actually be a turning point for some of us?

Copyright © 2008 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

TCByrd November 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Well, I have done just this very thing. I quit my job at a bank a month ago to return to my original field of counseling. I didn’t quit because of the financial climate, really, but it certainly has weighed on my mind. I am fortunate to have a husband with a good job, some savings and zero debt. I am looking right now and haven’t begun panicking just yet.

I have an interview tomorrow, and I may begin to panic if that doesn’t turn out well. If i do get a job in my field, I will have improved my income by double or more, so there is that.

Kate O' November 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm

I did leave my job, actually, at the end of September. The whole process took some unexpected twists and turns, but to make the story short, within a few weeks I had several offers, and I’m now in a much better place than I was before.

From my view, depending on who you are, where you are, and what you do, this isn’t necessarily the worst time to be looking.

Funny about Money November 2, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Well, actually…. This very day I made the decision that if I’m laid off, I’m retiring. I QUIT…for reals.

Back in the long-ago, I did quit a job, with a great deal less polite notice than pictured here. It had nothing to do with the economic situation and everything to do with the way employees were treated.

All other things being equal, this probably isn’t the best time to walk from a job. On the other hand, all other things are never equal. Each person has to consider her or his individual circumstances and make a tailored decision that works (we hope) in those circumstances.

BTW, if you’re thinking of bolting, check the job market. It’s surprising how many openings are out there….

Laura @ no more spending November 2, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Hi svb!

I would love to be in a position where I could quit my day job, I’m not, but I’m working on it every day 🙂

Civil Site Design Consultant November 3, 2008 at 5:02 am

Um, well, actually I did. I saw the handwriting on the wall for the company and went out on my own. So far, I’m still eating but I need to loose a few pounds anyway.

Revanche November 4, 2008 at 11:36 am

With a firm job offer in hand? Absolutely. It helps that the current company may be foundering under the surface, but when both the environment and managers are toxic, it’s well worth the effort to have saved a major emergency fund and start over.

Yes, it’s tough out there for many people, but that’s no reason to stay completely miserable if there are other opportunities elsewhere.

The Debt Helper November 6, 2008 at 4:09 am

Not everyone has the choice, some people are losing their jobs due to company bankruptcy. The way I look at it I’m fortunate to be in employment and I think that now is not the time to change jobs, unless you really have to. There is just to much uncertainty around and you cannot guarantee that the new company or organisation you will work for is any better provided from the current credit crunch.

Austin Real Estate Broker November 8, 2008 at 3:01 pm

I think I would have options at my fingertips before I would quit in this climate.

Of course if you are in an industry like health care, then this market probably isn’t affecting you since we are so undermanned in that area.

That said, if the axe is coming or you are about to leave, you should have a plan, updated resume (if you are looking for another job) or an updated business plan/financing (if you are going out on your own).

I left my job about 6 years ago to start my own real estate brokerage and I’ve never looked back, save those darned holidays when I’ve worked to make sure my clients are taken care of. The freedom was more important than the stability/safety that people perceive with a job job.

If you do leave in this kinda down market and have the capitalization to weather a year or so of down income, then this could be the perfect time to make a change. You can spend the down time getting your systems in place, establish yourself and marketing and get all the non-income producing activities completed. Then when the market does pick up, you’d be poised to take off!


deepali November 10, 2008 at 9:47 am

Yep. Already have plans to head overseas in March, giving up my job of 6 years. In my field, finding a job is not that hard – it’s a question of working the network.

fathersez December 1, 2008 at 6:07 am

There will be many who will not even realise (or perhaps a better word might be “feel”)that there is a crisis. They would be in secure jobs or businesses, and perhaps their only concern might be rising prices.

For many others, like you said, the crisis will most certainly be a turning point. I am not sure if it would be just leaving a job,though.

frugalgrad.com December 2, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I quit a job, I will make darn sure that my back-up plan will be running smoothly and support my expenses. It would be considered crazy if you quit a job without a solid plan B but only hope that your next job will be better than the old one. In this miserable economy, it’s already tough to hold on to a job, but quitting a job at this time, I don’t know if I have a courage for it.

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