7 Things to Consider before Quitting Your Job ...

With a tough economy in our midst, there are several things to consider before quitting your job. When your boss calls every morning at 5am and your coworkers can’t cut the gossip, it’s tempting to hand in a resignation letter and run. But any potential future boss would cringe if you spend the next year propped in front of a television set. Here are 7 vital things to consider before quitting your job –because when you’ve covered your bases, quitting will be regret-free!

1. How Will You Pay Rent?

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One of the most important things to consider before quitting your job is a four-letter word: rent. Since a huge chunk of your paycheck probably goes to The Man (a.k.a. your landlord), you’ll need to figure out how to pay up. Without a steady job, it can be tough –but it’s not impossible. For example, if you take on a roommate, you can cut your living costs in half. After quitting my job, I moved in with my fiancée, who is currently employed. She takes care of the rent while I pay for necessities like food and tidy up the house.

2. How Will You Earn Money?

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Don’t be fooled: If you quit your job, you’re going to have to cut back on vacations, shopping trips, and eating out. But you don’t have to eat ramen noodles every night until you find another steady opportunity. There are countless alternative ways to make money, so get creative! After I quit my job, I increased my hours at freelance writing gigs. I started scouring the Web for paid internships –and scored one. These temporary gigs will help you keep your bank account from hitting rock bottom.

3. Have You Made Good Connections?

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If not, now’s the time to start! Try your very best not to leave your current place of employment without securing a letter of recommendation. If you believe that your boss is hellbent on making your life/career a nightmare, ask a coworker or HR manager. Most potential future employers ask for at least two references, so if you won’t get them at your current job, look to the past. Have you done favors for previous employers (working late hours, walking their dog, etc.)? Was there a supervisor who thought you had that spark? More likely than not, they’ll agree to sing your praises when an employer comes calling.

4. Do You Have Student Loans?

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If you’re a recent (or not-so-recent) college graduate, there’s a good chance you’ve been paying off student loans. Before quitting your job, call your loan provider and negotiate a new payback rate. If you’ve been making your payments on-time, your provider is more likely to be understanding of your new situation.

5. Do You Have Savings?

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No matter how many odd jobs you take on, you’ll feel seriously stressed all the time if you don’t have any savings (and no, $50 doesn’t count!). If you haven’t been putting money away, give serious thought to sitting tight at your job until you have a few thousand dollars in the bank. Cut costs by eating out less, posting ads for a roommate, and searching for weekend gigs.

6. Are You Social Media Savvy?

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A couple of years ago, I would have never believed that recruiters would contact me over Facebook and LinkedIn. Believe it or not, social media has helped me obtain two jobs since graduating college. A professional-looking, fully updated LinkedIn profile will show recruiters that you mean business, upping your chances of being called in for an interview. Just be careful: Set your Facebook posts to private (especially if they’re less-than-flattering) and keep your LinkedIn as professional as possible (no skimpy outfit for that display photo).

7. Are You Driven?

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Sure, you get things done at your current 9 to 5, but would you make the commitment to look for a new job and take on temporary gigs? When you’re applying to jobs from the comfort of your own living room, it can get tempting to surf the Web and check Facebook every five seconds. But if you’re 100 percent devoted to finding your dream job (or at least a better job), you aren’t getting any younger!

These are 7 top things to consider before quitting your job. Which tips will you follow? Do you have your own advice to add?

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