I've been working for my current employer for over 1.5 years. This is my first role as a UX/UI guy, previously I was a developer.

Recently, our team structure and the way we handle new work has changed and I find myself doing a lot of grunt work which I don't enjoy. Further, the team lead, the guy with the skills I look up to has changed focus and isn't really a part of our work, day-to-day. There are other issues as well.

I'm fairly fed up with the work I'm doing, and I can feel that this frustration is starting to show, both in my quality of work and my attitude towards my co-workers.

I've been thinking about leaving and starting to take on contract roles. They are more dynamic, more lucrative and I can have a little holiday between working hard on projects. I'm OK with the uncertainty.

My questions:

Do I leave now without a job to go to, before I poison my reputation thanks to belligerence after being worn down by work I simply don't enjoy?

If I do this, I plan to have a week or so off, finish a freelance job I have, then look for contract work.

But, will this be career suicide because I will have left a company without another role to go to?

I have money saved so I'm fine on that front.

The alternative is putting up with it until I can get a contract role. I can feel my soul getting slowly crushed and its making me angry.

Please give me some advice. I mean the best. I don't want to put my current employer through pain, they're hardworking professionals who don't need more stress.

  • hello, consider editing the question to make it better fit site topics laid out in help center. In particular, this guidance may help to learn what is expected of questions here. Good luck! – gnat Oct 16 '14 at 7:43
  • You should some days sick leave from job to find a new job and then resign. Also keep in mind the savings will last for some time only. – cartina Oct 16 '14 at 7:44
  • Hi @gnat the intention of my question is to see if I'm doing my resume & career damage by leaving a job with no job to go to. I have suggested positive outcomes and phrasing. Perhaps you could be more specific as to where you feel my question could be 'read as a rant'? Happy to edit & clarify if you feel I can still ask the question with a different frame. – nasty pasty Oct 16 '14 at 7:58
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    I don't think consultants have to worry about career gaps as much as full-time employees from a hiring perspective. It's usually the income gap that is the most concern and you don't have that problem. – user8365 Oct 16 '14 at 17:50
  • I think most people start feeling like you do about most jobs somewhere between the 1.5 and 3 year marks. You could look at this as a valuable opportunity to learn how to get past that mark without leaving or getting fired. – Amy Blankenship Oct 16 '14 at 19:34

No, its not career suicide.

You have worked 1.5 year, which is long enough so that it wont look bad on a resume. Your reasons for quitting would be a change in responsibilities, change in team structure. Basically you feel that you are no longer improving your skills and knowledge and this is an excellent reason for quitting.

What it could be, though, is financial suicide. But only you can determine that. How long will it take to find a new job? Whats the worst case? How long can you go without a job? What happens if you end up without a job twice as long as your worst case scenario? Will that mean you have to sell your house? Have an honest look at your financial situation before quitting. Finding a new job always takes longer than expected. Best case scenario means you get an interview the day after you quit. But it will stille take time to go from that to a job offer. Assume it could ake atleast a three weeks between first interview until a contract is written. They will probably want you to start in the beginning of a month aswell, so you could be looking at two months in a good scenario.

If I was in your situation, and I have been, I would prioritize your job search. Make sure you spend atleat an hour a day searching all websites and linkedin for possible jobs. Get references. Write an awesome resume. Make sure you apply to everything that seems even remotely relevant. Even if the job you apply for is something you wouldn't consider, it could lead to other oppurtunities. Quite often a company has an ad for a certain position, but if they like you they could find another position that would suit you better.


But, will this be career suicide because I will have left a company without another role to go to?

I have money saved so I'm fine on that front.

No, it's not career suicide. It's not even that unusual - many people make this same choice.

On the other hand, it's not a choice I usually recommend.

Leaving without another gig in place means you may put yourself under pressure to get another job. You may have some money saved now, but what if it takes you a year to find a job you really want? (That's exactly what happened to a friend of mine) Either you'll find yourself in a tough situation financially, or you'll exhaust much of your saved funds. In that case, you may feel pressured to accept a less-than-satisfactory job, and will find you leave that one after a short while. That can set up an unhealthy pattern of short-term jobs.

Leaving without another job waiting may also require you to answer the question of "Why did you do that?" in interviews. That can be an uncomfortable conversation, and one you are in a position to avoid. For some interviewers, it may send a signal (right or wrong) that you value work less than they would prefer.

And leaving without a job waiting may send the signal that you are willing to take the easier way out of tough situations. That's not a signal you want to send unless necessary.

I always advise my family and friends to suck it up and work hard while you are simultaneously working hard to find the next job.

Every situation is different. Your financial situation may mean you don't need to worry how long you are without a job. Your current job may be a physically unsafe situation. You may need to move due to a family situation on short notice and not have time to find the next position. Context matters.

But where possible, I'd suggest trying to work hard to find the next job, and trying to put up with some denting of your soul for a while.

Here's another take on the subject: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/ask-headhunter-ok-quit-job-finding-new-one/


If you can afford to take time off, want to take time off, and are sure you can get contract work, go ahead and take time off. But it sounds like your situation is tolerable, just not interesting. If you don't have a real desire for time off, why not just float your resume and keep your job until you get a contract? In the US demand for developers is high. Recruiters will call.

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