What to Consider When Changing Jobs with No Savings 

If you’re in the position to be able to choose changing jobs right now, you’re already in a fortunate position. However, even in times without a pandemic and skyrocketing unemployment rates, changing jobs can be tricky—especially if you don’t have any savings. 

It is very difficult to perfectly segue from one job to another with no “lag time” in between in which you aren’t earning any money. Before you apply for jobs online (or give notice to your employer!) make sure you take a few steps to ready yourself financially.

Prepping for a Job Change with Limited Resources

Even if you do manage to get a job that starts immediately after your current one ends, it will probably be a few weeks before you bring home a paycheck. That’s fine if you have savings to tide you over. If you don’t, it’s important to start saving now. That means creating a budget if you don’t have one or reworking it if you do and it doesn’t currently allow for savings. 

If you simply can’t lower your expenses in order to save, it might be time to pick up a side hustle on a temporary basis. Delivery companies are hiring en masse at the moment, and these types of gigs can allow you to sock away all of your earnings to help with a smoother transition.

For most people, there are also expenses that can be cut. If your current role has transitioned you to working remotely, you should be able to redirect funds previously spent on gas, car maintenance, or public transportation into savings. Entertainment, such as streaming services, can be temporarily stopped in order to save. 

Since most people don’t actually have and abide by a budget, creating this template is a first step for saving money now and in the future.

Don’t Bite the Hand that Currently Feeds You

Work environments have become even more stressful in recent months for a lot of people. There are many reasons you may be considering a job change, but it’s important to keep your current income source until you have another option secured. 

This can be challenging if, for example, you’re in a position where you really need your current employer’s recommendation for future jobs. This might be the case if you’ve been with your current employer for several years, have little to no experience beyond this employer, or if you have a very niche role.

It’s also critical that your current employer doesn’t mistakenly find out you’re looking by spotting you perusing online job sites or by finding your resume left on the company printer. It’s often these small oversights that alert your employer. It’s not against the rules to look for another job, and there are ways to search for a job without alerting your boss, but it probably does go against your employer’s policy of not undertaking personal tasks on company time (or hardware). Reserve your job searching for when you’re off the clock and avoid using company devices.

Consider Worst-Case Scenarios

What happens if you do lose your current job before finding a new one—or if the work environment becomes so toxic that your health will suffer if you don’t quit? It depends, but you certainly want to create safety nets for yourself. 

“Losing your job” can include being fired or being laid off, and only the latter qualifies for unemployment benefits. This technicality might be able to be negotiated in your exit interview, and for those with no savings, it’s very important to negotiate for being laid off if you can.

Changing jobs is always stressful and exciting, but especially in these times. Save what you can right now to help ease tensions and ensure a smoother future in your new role.