How To Quit Your Job (The Right Way)

The Great Obsession for most people, when it comes to working online, is being able to quit your job.

Along with getting sober and getting in shape, quitting my job is one of the most amazing life changes I ever made.

But quitting your job the right way is harder than it sounds. And if you do it wrong you’ll doom yourself to an endless pattern of quitting, struggling and then searching for a new job again.

But if you do it right, you can do exactly what I did. Quit your job one time and leave the rat race behind forever.

How Most People Quit

When most people quit their job they do something like this.

  1. Decide they don’t like their job anymore
  2. Quit their job that day
  3. Try to find another way to make money
  4. Fail and look for another job

Sound familiar? This is a recipe for total disaster.

Here’s some advice: You should never quit your job without a plan for what you’re going to do next.

And having a plan doesn’t mean you think of something you “might” want to do and then try to do it after you quit.

You need to have another job lined up, or a profitable business idea already in operation before you quit. That way when you quit your job you can survive.

If you don’t have your new thing in place yet, your best bet is to stay in your cubicle and earn a paycheck until you do.

Now, me telling you to keep your day job might sound contradictory to the general theme of this website. (You know, “F#CK SOCIETY, SCREW THE NORM, QUIT YOUR JOB, SELL ALL YOUR STUFF, LET’S START A CULT, BLAH BLAH BLAH”)

But if you quit your job without a plan (as most people do) there’s a damn good chance you’ll be broke and looking for a new paycheck in less than 2 weeks. And that’s not the goal.

The goal is to quit one time… forever, right?

To do that you have to quit your job the right way.

How To Quit Your Job And Survive

I quit my job seven years ago and never went back. That’s because when I did it, I had a plan.

Telling my boss “I quit” was the final step of a 12-16 month process. During that process I saved every dollar I made. I also had $2000-$3000/month coming in from affiliate campaigns.

I planned it out. And it worked.

Here Are Some Tips

If you’re considering quitting your day job, here are a few things that I recommend. These are all based on my personal experience.

I’m going to use affiliate marketing as the example. But you can change that word to “painting portraits” or “inventing a teleportation device” or whatever it is you really want to do.

  1. Write out your plan. This is a powerful step that most people leave out. Writing down your plan forces you to think it all the way through. Write down exactly what you want to do. Write down the dollar amount you want to make per year. Write down the steps that you’ll need to take to get there. Put the steps into to-do lists. Start doing them.
  2. Save all your money. It is insane to quit your job if you have no money saved. I recommend saving AT LEAST six months worth of living expenses before you go out on your own. Add up your monthly rent, food and all your bills and multiply it by six (or twelve) and start saving money until you hit that goal. Stop going out for dinner and don’t you dare buy a pair of new shoes. All your money sits in the bank until you hit your number.
  3. Work nights/weekends. Do your 9–5 gig during the day and your affiliate marketing stuff at night and on weekends. Don’t take days off – you should be working on your job or your campaigns at all times. If you start to feel burnt out, try using a Second Morning.
  4. Do your campaigns at work. As your campaigns begin to take shape, start working on them all day at work. Let your day job pay you to work on your campaigns. Morality check: Most office workers shop online and check Facebook all day. At least you’re doing something worthwhile.
  5. Do A Trial Run. When you feel ready, take a week’s vacation from work and use it to work full time as an affiliate marketer. See how much more work you can do and how much more money you can make when you have all day to do it. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you do finally quit.

The Exit Strategy

If your trial run goes well. You can start planning your exit strategy.

A proper exit strategy means turning in your two weeks notice, finishing up all your work and leaving on good terms.

Remember, if things go wrong and your big idea fails. There’s a chance you’ll be going back to these same people and asking for your old job again. At the very least you’re going to need to use them as a reference.

And if their last memory of you is “Screw this place! I’m leaving!!!” Things are going to suck for you.

Play it cool. It’s always best to leave on good terms.

I’ll Leave You With This…

Quitting your day job is awesome. It’s the best thing I ever did. But if you quit your job without a plan, you can doom yourself to an endless cycle of quitting, going broke and looking for a new job again.

If you want to quit your job and survive, you need to come up with a plan first. Then, when the time is right, make a smooth exit that allows you stay gone for good.

Remember, the goal isn’t to randomly quit your job and risk everything. The goal is to come up with a smart plan that will allow you to exit the 9–5 rat race one time and NEVER return.

That my friend, is the name of the game.

// Want more? Watch the video below…

  • Prakash Madavan

    Great Article Malan! Its still a long way for me to quit my day job & do AM full time. I already have first 4 points in place, Haven’t thought about the “Trial Run”. That’s a good tip. This goes straight away in my “Course of action” list.

    Keep them coming, Cheers Mate.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      cool Prakash, good luck getting there

  • Zach

    Great timing, something I’m looking to do in next 4-6weeks. Thanks, Malan.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      nice! it’s one of the most common questions i get – so I figured it’d be a relevant post for a lot of people

  • http://joegaines.com/ Joe

    Great advice! I did it the wrong way 5 years ago and I’m still struggling with the repercussions…

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah man, most people do it wrong and then bounce around between entrepreneurship and 9-5 for the rest of their lives.

  • Zourkas

    Yes you stated it right! In my opinion the most important thing is to save money into your bank account that can feed you for at least 6 months if you lose your job. This is the first thing you do. Then yes,create a plan and work on it day in and day out until you hit gold. However it’s critical to understand that most businesses fail so don’t even dare to quit your job unless you’ve started seeing money coming to you from your part time business.

    Thanks Malan!

    Zourkas

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah Zourkas – you’ve got to be able to eat haha

  • Ben

    Great article. I think most people should have 6 to 12 months saved up regardless of whether or not they plan on quitting. Its always good to have a fuck you fund so that you can have a little bit more choice on what you work on. Saving a solid % will always give you options you dont have if you spend every dollar that comes in. I’ve seen a lot of affiliate “make it” and go “hood rich”, spending money on bottles/cars/etc and have had to go back to the life. A lot of these guys made enough money to retire permanently but instead spent their freedom away.

    Solid financial foundations dont need to be exclusive with quitting a job. These are habits that you’ll need to have to successfully stay in business. (saving/investing for the future, planning/managing cash flow, paying corporate/individual taxes, time/resource management). As with everything nothing is guaranteed, if you can generate value, you’ll capture the most of that value if you own the organization as opposed to being an employee in it.

    Its not what you make its what you keep.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah man, having so F you money in the bank is never a bad idea.

  • Mark

    Either this is a sign after I’ve been hoping for one or your read my comment from 3 days ago on an article. I was planning to quit this Monday, I have money saved up but have no business plan started yet. The issue with me is I need a break physically and mentally from the 9-5. I can’t take it…even though everyone I know thinks I’m crazy for quitting my job as an engineer after only 2 years of work.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey mark, i don’t remember if I read your comment before posting this or not (i do that from time to time). but good luck if/when you quit.

      • Adam Mitchell

        I’m in your shoes now Mark, Engineer of only a year looking to get myself the hell out of working 9-5 and more…
        Moneys not in my pocket yet but will be, Thanks for your process to GTFO Malan, Only just found you today but i resonate with your stories very much.

        Time to get on with it! See you in a future buddy!