Quitting a Job Without a Notice Letter: The Pros and Cons
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
It’s no secret that many jobs can become incredibly frustrating or even hazardous to one’s health and mental wellbeing.
Chances are you’ve had at least one job during your career where you just wanted a way, wherever you could find it.
And thanks to dramatic portrayals of quitting scenes in movies and television, the idea of just walking out can start to seem pretty appealing.
At least in theory, it just seems so simple and so easy. But as someone who has a history of quitting a job without a notice letter, I’ve decided to list out some of the pros and cons of this method.
In case you’re curious as to whether the pros outweigh the cons, it really depends on the details of your specific situation. It depends on how bad the job is and how poorly you’ve been coping with it.
It also depends on the size and depth of your financial safety net. To put it simply, walking out of a bad job is not a decision to be made lightly, even if it may seem like the easiest possible exit.
And the consequences of your decision will last long after you walk out the door.
You may also want to reference this article on factors to consider when you want to quit.
Ok, let’s start with the more enjoyable part of the conversation: what are the positive aspects of quitting a job without any kind of prior notice?
This is your chance to steep yourself in the fantasy of just getting up from your desk one day and heading home, never to return.
Enjoy it while it lasts, because eventually, we’ll come back around to why you shouldn’t do this, except in the most dire situations.
Free as a Bird
There are few feelings more exhilarating than suddenly shedding the chains of a bad job and launching yourself into a world of possibility and also unemployment.
Working a job, any job, involves surrendering a certain amount of power to others, or to a group of people.
You’re sacrificing much of your time, your thoughts, and your efforts to a cause that you may or may not actually believe in.
Quitting without notice is a fast fix, and an easy way to regain a sense of agency in your life.
Immediate Psychological Relief
I’ve been asked many times about the exact moment when I knew that I needed to leave a certain job.
It is indeed important to love your job.
And in my personal experience, that moment is when you realize that a job has a monopoly on your time and your thoughts, even when you’re not actually at your place of work.
It can be mentally exhausting to try to cope with a job that you truly hate. Removing yourself from a harmful situation can be an immediate source of relief for your mind.
Far too often we disregard the importance of maintaining mental health. And if you find yourself in a situation where a job is making you absolutely miserable and you can hardly think of anything else, then you may want to consider a fast exit.
Quitting without a notice letter is a common occurrence among many of us who have little to no patience when it comes to waiting for things to improve.
Walking out of a job certainly does offer instant gratification, but let’s take a look at another situation where instant gratification is not such a great idea.
When eating at a restaurant, would you rather have terrible food as soon as you sat down or high-quality food that took a bit longer to prepare?
That’s what I thought.
A Chance for a Seminal Quitting Scene
If you’ve never seen the Tom Hanks movie Joe Versus the Volcano before, it’s worth watching just for the famous quitting scene.
Hanks stands up for himself for the first time in many years, admitting that his job has made his life terrible for years and years.
You too could have your own satisfying quitting scene, but it will come at a very real cost, which we will now explore in detail.
Sorry to disappoint, but there are indeed many negative consequences of quitting your current job without providing your boss with any kind of notice.
We’d like to make it clear that if you hate your job you should still work toward finding an alternate place of employment, but we recommend taking your time to make things easier for yourself in the long run.
Perhaps the most obvious effect of quitting without a notice letter is that you’ll be burning bridges with just about everyone who works with you currently, especially when it comes to your manager or supervisor.
And while you may not need to return to this company in the future, you’ll likely need some positive references from your old jobs when searching for a new one.
If you leave without a formal goodbye, then your former co-workers are not likely to say positive things about you to other companies that call up asking for a reference.
Increasing the Workload of Your Co-Workers
If your place of work is busy on a regular basis, then leaving the job without giving the company a chance to find a replacement could mean that your co-workers will have to pick up the slack, working long hours as a result.
Even if there are a few people at work you don’t like very much, there are probably a few that you do like. You don’t want to cause them any unnecessary stress or a larger workload.
Immediate Unemployment and Financial Insecurity
Perhaps the most negative effect of quitting a job without putting in notice is that you’ll be throwing yourself on the mercy of the job market.
For anyone who has had to look for a job in the past, you know exactly how difficult it can be to find a new job that pays well and that you enjoy.
Even if you have enough savings to last you several months, you’re still not guaranteed to find a lucrative new job in that amount of time.
But you’ll still have to pay your rent and your bills without interruption.