Leaving Work Behind

How To Quit Your Job

Written by Tom Ewer on November 7, 2011. 17 Comments

New Year, fresh start!

I must admit – I have been rather facetious with the title of this article. I am not about to reveal some fool-proof strategy – just one simple step.

If you want to quit your job, all you need to do is serve notice.

There are many potential considerations beyond that one step, but that is the long and short of it. And it doesn’t have to be as terrifying and ominous as it sounds.

Is it a huge decision? Yes. Risky? Probably. But it doesn’t have to be the impossible action you fear will never come.

My date has been set. I will be quitting my job, effective 31st December 2011. I am actually on holiday until 11th January 2012, so my new full time career won’t be up and running until the middle of the month.

So what has led me here, and what are my plans?

Am I Prepared?

That depends upon your definition of being adequately prepared! Do I have an online income in place, ready to cover all of my outgoings? No. Do I have any form of guarantee that I will be able to earn enough to cover all of my outgoings? Nope.

So in financial terms, you could argue (rather effectively!) that I am not prepared. What I do have is savings that are equal to about 4 months worth of outgoings, and one writing job already in place. A start, if nothing more.

Why Now?

You may be wondering what the big rush is. I have certainly made a start with regards to my online income:

But surely it’s too soon – surely it’s too early to be taking the leap? Again, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with such an assertion.

But I have made a clear decision in my mind, and if I do not take action now, I will simply be treading water. My whole life currently centers on “waiting”. That is not a way to live.

Yes, the “safe” choice would be to continue to collect my secure income, nurture my savings and online income, and make the plunge when I am in a better financial situation. But sometimes you simply have to accept the risk inherent in things, and move forward.

I am not saying that everyone should do what I am doing. But I am saying that it is right for me.

What Next?

Time is key. Now that I know when I am leaving work behind, I know when I will suddenly have an enormous increase in that most precious of resources. It means that I can now start planning.

The first thing I need is a budget, and by extension, my first target. This is a step that must not be neglected. I have figured out my average monthly outgoings, and will use that as my first net income target. I am to hit that target within the first quarter of 2012, at which point, I can set a new target.

How will I achieve this?

Freelance Work

The first thing I will be doing over the next few weeks is seeing if I can source additional freelance work to start on in January. It won’t take long to get an idea of how easy it will be to source work at a level that I will be happy with it. This in turn will dictate my future plans (i.e. if I can get enough work, great. If I can’t, I will need to rethink my strategy).

Internet Marketing

This is far more a speculative income generating prospect than freelancing, but is something that I will be pursuing. I will probably aim to set an hour or two aside per day to see if I can begin to grow an income from internet marketing endeavors (e.g. niche/authority sites).

Leaving Work Behind

At some point I will need to consider how to monetize this blog. With more time on my hands, I will also have the opportunity to increase my marketing efforts and hopefully expand its reach.

Worst Case Scenario?

I am confident that I will succeed. Or to put it in more practical terms, I am confident that I will be able to hit my minimum budgeted income before I run out of money! But what if it looks like that will not be the case? Damage control will kick in. I can reduce my outgoings considerably by various means (selling my car, cancelling my satellite TV subscription, etc.) and can also look to get a part time job if necessary. I can also rent my house out and live somewhere cheaper. There are plenty of options along these lines that I have already considered.

I believe that me failing in my immediate goal is unlikely. But if I do, there are steps I can take to rescue the situation. Such an outcome doesn’t have to be considered an unmitigated disaster – it would just be a temporary downgrading of my quality of life in order to facilitate long term success and contentment. In my opinion, that is a risk well worth taking.

Having said all of that, such a course of action is certainly not for everyone. I am fortunate to not have any dependents, and as such can take risks without fear of negatively impacting upon others. My father, on the other hand, quit his job and started his business with a brand new mortgage and a baby on the way. But he recognized the risk, weighed up the odds, and took a calculated decision.

It worked out pretty well for him. It will for me too.

Watch this space!

Photo courtesy of Edinburgh Blog

This Isn't Just Another "Make Money Online" Blog.

I'm sure you've had enough of hollow promises and get-rich-quick schemes.

I don't buy into that stuff; it's never worked for me. Instead, I create profitable online businesses through nothing other than hard work and persistence.

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17 Responses to “How To Quit Your Job”

  1. Bon Crowder
    November 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I just put an appointment in my calendar for August 1 – “Put in notice that I’m going to quit my day job – effective date August 14.”

    Seems really surrealistic to put it on the calendar.

    That’s a lot of money I have to make to make up for the day-job income. And I can do it!

    How will I achieve this?
    Freelance work – blog coaching and site building
    Book sales – going to get one of my books in print by Dec 1 of this year
    Math Counseling – an endeavor with my Little Brother – a license professional counselor
    Speaking engagements – as I get on TV my speaking fee will increase


    I’m scared.

    • Tom Ewer
      November 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

      Being scared is good 🙂 if you weren’t a bit scared, I would be worried!

      Time to start laying down a plan as to (a) where you want to be to quit and (b) how you will get to where you want to be. Don’t leave it to fate.

  2. Deacon Bradley
    November 8, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Wow man, exciting news! Congrats on beginning a new phase of life!

    You’ve got a great situation with no dependents and a passion for where you’re going. I have no doubt you’ll be able to make the short term sacrifices necessary to achieve your long term goals!

    I went through something similar about a year ago when I left my job and decided to work full time on my financial coaching business. Ultimately I ended up going back to a 9 to 5 job, and at first I felt like I failed. I’ve come to realize as the months passed that I was WAY ahead of where I would’ve been if I played it safe. That just to say that there is no failing at this Tom. You may wind up someplace unexpected, but if you’re pushing your boundaries you’ll come out on top (WAY on top)!

    Stoked for your journey! Oh, and check out Ivan Bickett who’s sharing the first 90 days of his self-employment adventure via video: http://www.abetterwayofbusiness.com/90-days-to-a-smashing-success/

  3. Conni
    November 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Congrats, Tom! That’s one big step in the right direction!

    I’m actually going to quit my PR job early too…just not handling an office job so well 😉 (I think 8 months should suffice anyway) will be leaving end of January. And saying goodbye again to Germany in May.

    It’s never too early, it’s never to late. There is no absolute safe way.

  4. Heather
    November 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Best of luck to you! I quit my “safe job” in September of last year. It’s definitely an adventure, but this is where real life happens! Keep an open mind and remember that you can do whatever you put your mind to! Whenever you feel like throwing in the towel, that’s usually when some new opportunity comes around – at least, that’s what I’ve found. Those of us who are willing to venture out get tested quite a bit, but it’s a good thing! We’re no longer wishing and wondering, we’re finding what we’re capable of and what life is all about. Be well!

    • Tom Ewer
      November 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      Hello Heather,

      Thank you so much for commenting and being so encouraging! I love engaging with those who are further down the path I am walking on 🙂

      All the best,


  5. Discoden
    January 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    All the best Tom. I am somewhat surprised as to the speed of your achieving your goal of leaving work behind. Congratulations! I know there are risks involved but you are travelling an interesting chapter of your journey. For that I commend you. Here I am still where I was when I first subscribed to your blog.
    One day it hit me, I’m about to hit the big 4 – 0 (i’m turning 40 by 30 Jan) and I feel I have not achieved many of the goals I wanted to achieve before reaching 40. Other matters in life has gotten in the way and I seemed to have lost focus on many things I wanted to do. I have started many things but seems to have failed to properly complete many of them.
    This year is a new year and I intend to re-focus and will ensure to learn from my experience and be wiser with my planning and execution.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. I will indeed walk with you and will continue to draw inspiration from your blogs.

    • Tom Ewer
      January 4, 2012 at 12:50 am

      Don’t worry – I am somewhat surprised too 😉 back in May 2011, there was a part of me that thought it was a mere pipe dream. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Life has a habit of getting the way of your goals, doesn’t it? That’s why I made a point in my recent 2012 goals post of saying that goals are always subject to change.

      I wish you all the very best and look forward to hearing more about your story in the future!

  6. Dr. 'Malik Haruna King
    June 2, 2015 at 5:42 am

    Woah! This is very inspiring and scary at the same time! Anyways, I am comfortable that you did your homework properly before stepping out…and it, obviously, has paid off well!

    Congratulations. And thanks for the guide.

    Helping you live a healthy & happy life,
    Dr. ‘Malik

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