I Left My Job During A Recession: Here Are My Considerations

I decided to write something a little more personal today to take some time to reflect on how things have been the past few months. Five months ago, I made a decision to leave my job as a Marketing Manager in a healthcare tech company. This was in March 2023, during a time when there were massive layoffs from large tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more. 

I left for a couple of reasons. To be sure, I was incredibly blessed with an amazing and tight-knitted team. With the right mentorship, my learning was exponential and I had done things that I never thought I would be capable of during my time at the company. 

I am proud of what my team has achieved – setting the right processes, incrementally scaling the business regionally, building so many key initiatives from the ground up. Nevertheless, I felt my learning plateau in the last few months of my employment, and abrupt changes in the company’s direction left me feeling jaded, restless, and unsatisfied. 

mental health, resign from jobCredits: Unsplashed 

On the other hand, I’ve always wanted the time to start something of my own. I dreamed of having the freedom of time to enjoy the little things. For one, I wanted to test my boundaries and see if it is possible for an individual to live outside the confines of a 9-5 job, in a way that is still financially responsible.

With that, I decided to quit my job with the goal of pursuing (and sustaining) a lifestyle that no longer binds me to an office chair and a computer screen. 

Five months in, I’m writing this article thoroughly humbled, and with a bit more hindsight than before. This article outlines my considerations prior to leaving a job, and the steps I took prior to leaving. In the next article, I hope to share a little bit more about what I learned in hindsight. I hope it helps those who are in my position. 

What should you consider before leaving your job? 


1. How is your health and mental state like in your current job? 


mental health
Credits: Unsplashed 

I have met countless of people who stay in jobs that they are unhappy with, not leaving because of how fearful they are of uncertainty. 

On the other hand, I also have friends who stayed in their jobs not because they love the work that they do, but because it affords them time, space, and energy to live rich, fulfilling lives outside of work. 

Years ago, I unknowingly developed anxiety after my first full-time job. I was asked to interview high-profile people on extremely short notice and without preparation and speak in front of hundreds of people about topics that I knew next to nothing about. 

Years later, I am still dealing with the effects of this mental health issue – I dissociate in high-stress environments, have recurring insomnia, and freeze up over seemingly small issues. 

What I meant to say is that no job is worth your mental health. As a young graduate I failed to draw boundaries over what I can and cannot handle. I failed to recognise that I was in distress, and I was too late in taking myself out of the situation. Should there come a time when you face a similar issue as I do, I hope that you will take active steps to prioritise your mental and physical health before it is too late. 

2. Are there further learnings and growth opportunities in your job? 


job growth opportunities Credits: Unsplashed 

Before making the decision to leave your job in the midst of a looming recession, it is crucial to assess the potential for further learning and growth in your current position.

Consider the opportunities your current job offers in terms of skill development, professional advancement, and personal growth. 

Evaluate whether your current role allows you to acquire new knowledge and expertise that could be valuable in the job market, both during and after a recession.

Additionally, think about the company’s stability and its capacity to invest in employee development during challenging economic times.

 If your current job presents promising avenues for learning and growth, it may be worth factoring this into your decision-making process before taking the leap.

3. Do you have enough finances before you resign? 


monthly expenses
Credits: Unsplashed 

Leaving a job amid an impending recession demands a thorough evaluation of your financial standing. Assess your savings, investments, and overall financial stability before deciding to resign.

A recession can create uncertainties in the job market, making finding a new job or source of income more challenging. Having a  financial cushion to fall back on during potential periods of unemployment is essential.

Consider your monthly expenses, outstanding debts, and emergency funds. If you plan to pursue a different career path, factor in the potential time it might take to secure a new job and how that might affect your financial situation.

Here is how I assess my financial position before quitting my job:

3.1 Calculate your Monthly Expenses 


I had to first get a sense of how much I am spending on a monthly basis. It is a little more complicated as I have a resale flat to pay for. Here is my breakdown:

Category Item Monthly Expenses
Home Expenses Mortgage Loan $913
SNCC $78
Electricity Bills $150
Groceries $350
Personal Personal Expenses $400
Insurance Insurance Premiums$434
TOTAL $2,325

Prior to quitting my job, I gave my parents a fun allowance of $450 every month, totaling my overall expenses to $2,775. Now that I’ve decided to quit my job (and my parents don’t need the money at this point), I figured that I will have to find a way to sustain a monthly expense of $2,325/month to survive. 

If I am able to make that amount of money through alternative means such as part-time jobs or freelance work, I should be able to stretch my savings for a longer period of time. 

3.2 Evaluate Your Savings and Projecting How Much You Need 


Before taking the leap to leave my job, I tried making sure that my existing savings is able to cover at least 6 months to 1 year of potential unemployment. 

This means that I need a total of $27,900 in emergency savings should I be unemployed for a year. 

To break this down further, I need  $913 x 12 = $10,956 in my Central Provident Fund (CPF) account  to pay for my mortgage loan (I had about $8,000) and ~$17,000 in emergency funds, in the event that I am unable to get any form of income for a year. 

Of course, my calculations are conservative side. To take a less conservative approach, I would suggest projecting using 6 months of your expenses. 

3.3 Setting a Time Period 

For myself, I plan to be a full-time freelancer for the rest of the year (2023), before moving to
New Zealand for a year long working holiday in 2024. My goal for this year is to earn just enough to cover my monthly expenses through odd jobs and freelance work. 

I will write more about my future plans for New Zealand, and how I budget for it in future posts.

By carefully analyzing your financial positioning, you can make a more informed decision about whether leaving your current job is financially viable at this time.

4. On opportunity costs and future plans 


future plans
Credits: Unsplashed

Leaving your job during a recession involves contemplating opportunity costs and considering your long-term plans. 

Reflect on the potential impact of leaving your current position on your career trajectory. Ask yourself if your decision aligns with your long-term career goals and aspirations.

Consider whether the current job market can accommodate your desired career path or if it’s more prudent to wait for better economic conditions. 

Taking the time to carefully assess the opportunity costs and potential consequences of leaving your job will help you make a well-informed decision and avoid any regrets in the future.

Resigning from your job amidst an upcoming recession


Navigating a decision to leave your job amid a looming recession requires a comprehensive evaluation of multiple factors.

Prior to making such a significant step, it is vital to assess the presence of learning and growth opportunities in your current role and how they align with your long-term career objectives. Additionally, understanding your financial positioning and the potential risks involved is crucial, as a solid financial foundation can provide a much-needed safety net during uncertain times.

Remember, while leaving a job can present exciting possibilities, it is essential to approach the decision with caution and mindfulness of the broader economic landscape. With knowledge and thoughtful reflection, you can feel confident that you have made a decision aligned with your goals and aspirations, even in the face of economic uncertainty.

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