This is a topic that I’ve been wanting to talk about a few months ago after I took a short break from working. I didn’t want to post this up when I’m still on a break and now that I’m back to work, I thought I could share with you on how I managed to stay work-free and still living a normal life.
When I left my last employment end of January 2014, I had a clear mindset of what I want and what I wanted to do. It was suppose to be just a 3-4 months break but life was getting so comfortable and stress-free that I didn’t think I’d go back to work at all! I still browse through Jobstreet once in a while (when I remember), went for interviews and all until I really found the one job that I can see myself into. There are so many articles out there that provide a thorough guide and advise on how to quit without a job AND surviving it so I’m not going deep into that. I’m going to share with you my version of Top 5 Checklist that you’d never expect at all, until you go through it yourself. Bear in mind these are just my personal experience and everyone is different so do take this checklist with a pinch of salt.
Are you ready to live on savings?
This is THE MAIN thing you need to think of before everything else. Many people ask me how I’m able to stay unemployed for so long. The answer is saving up for rainy days. I saved up all this years! I was blessed with a job that pays good salary, good commission and I saved up 70% of what I earned. That is how I still can afford to be without a job for nearly a year, pay for my car, pay for my daily expenses, pay for all the shoppings #notsponsored and treat my parents. It’s good to have a small freelance gig on hand during your break although it doesn’t help much but at least it’s something.
I have people who told me they never save up before and they quit without figuring out the financial status because they never bother about money. Ditto if you’re born rich. But I will still said the same – go ahead if you think your saving can support you temporary.
Plan your exit, break duration & what to do next
I have to start from the beginning of all which is to plan your exit, plan your break and plan your future. You don’t just quit for the sake of quitting. You have to plan your exit in advance. I was from the sales department which means I have clients to think about, contracts to handover and commissions to collect or void. Being a sales person, I cannot just leave like that. After figuring out all the work handover process, next is to think about the pay and commission. Some company void all the sales commission as soon as you give in your resignation letter while some may take another month to pay. All this are based on the company itself so talk to your HR on all this and when the time comes, you are able to leave without the company owing you and you owing the company.
Now you can plan your break. How long you can survive without a fixed salary and what you want to do during the break. Let’s say you plan to be on a 6 months break. Think about what you want to do during the break or where to go. I wanted to just laze around the house all day everyday doing nothing and that turns out the opposite. I became even busier at home, going to events, blogging, freelancing, catching up with friends and hanging out at the mall all day long.
When you’re approaching the end of your targeted break i.e. a month before, think of where and what you want to do next and how to go about it. I failed in this badly. I didn’t want to go back to sales or the media line but out of the sudden the job opportunity in that industry is growing like a mushroom. So I took my time to rethink, searching and targeting what industry and what scope I want to get into.
Ignore all the negative people and comments
This is what I been through A LOT at the very beginning of my break. For some whatsoever unknown reasons, people just want to pressure me into getting back to work. By people I mean friends. Close friends, Facebook friends, normal friends. I have people bugging me on Facebook chat asking me if I found a job yet or when am I going back to work right after Chinese New Year every.single.day. That was February and it’s like less than a month after I quit. Hello! Of all people I didn’t expect my friends to do this to me.
I didn’t know how much all this negative people stress me and my break that I wanted to go right back to work just for the sake of shutting their mouth up. It was in May 2014 from Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream press event that I came to know the reason I want to do this because of the pressure from people around me. At the Clarins launch, they had this activity where we could go for a “face reading” and the master said that I was in no hurry to end my break but I was desperate to get a job because I was under a lot of pressure. His advise for me after that cleared my doubt and I begin to cut off negative comments and people. My advise to you is to be prepared for people who will be jealous of you not working and ignore all the negative comments but take in good advise.
“I can’t be like you”
The most misconception that I get all.the.time is being told “I can’t be like you. I have family to support”. First of all, why should you BE me? I quit without a job on hand because I want to take a short break. If you want to quit because the job doesn’t work out for you or you’re unhappy with where you are at, find a new job and then only quit. No one tells you to be like me. You don’t be somebody else. You be you, you do what you want to do. I may need a break but you may not.
Be vary of your spending
This is self explanatory. When you are not with a monthly fixed income, you will of course need to be careful of what you spend on. Before I quit, I did a small budget planning and then I set a side a budget. During this period, I write down on what have I spent on so that I can look back at the end of the month and review my spending behaviour. This is also where I failed miserably. I shop, dine and splurge A LOT during this period. Most people assumed that everything I own are sponsored. Little did they know in real life I bought what I want myself because I can and I want to. How I wish everything is sponsored!
There you have it. My Top 5 Checklist Before Taking A Short Break from the Work Force. I can go on and on about what I went through for the past 9 months of enjoying a break from work but I wouldn’t want to bored you with all the negativity so I better leave you with just five out of the norm. Most people I came across did not do a proper thinking on the money part. And when they really got out of the job then only they are stress about money. I didn’t have money issue during this 9 months period mainly because I was on a few freelance job so I wasn’t emptying up my saving than what I initially expected. However like I said at the beginning, this is just based on my own experience. Who knows maybe you can take a pinch of salt from it as a reference one day? 😉
What about you? Have you quit your job before securing a new one? What is the longest break that you’ve ever take? My longest annual leave was on Chinese New Year and even so I was working from home. This 9-months would be a record breaking for me. Am I ready to go back to work? After so many months you bet I am!