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Leaving a job you can’t afford to quit can be a tough but necessary decision for your mental well-being and career growth. If you have been toying with the idea for a while, here are some practical ways to make the move as drama-free and seamless as possible.

Save up before you go

Before saying goodbye to your current job, it’s crucial to have a financial cushion by saving a portion of your income to cover basic expenses. Experts advise having at least three to six months’ worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. This safety net will relieve some financial pressure during your job transition.

Explore side hustles

Not everyone can afford to quit a job cold turkey — at least not immediately. The racial wealth gap is also a discouraging factor that holds some employees back. If you fall into that category, consider taking on a side hustle. Freelancing, part-time gigs, or even selling your craft online — these money-generating hacks can provide an additional income stream while you prepare for your exit.

Business woman analyzing data using computer while spending time in the office. Photo by Getty Images/stock photo

Network, Network, Network

Networking can seem intimidating at first, but once you work up the muscle to connect with people in your industry or field of interest, the sky’s the limit. Make an effort to attend networking events, join LinkedIn groups, and reach out to professionals for advice. Networking can lead to job opportunities you might not find through traditional job searches.

Hone your skills

Investing in your career growth is one of the best ways to increase your chances of landing a better job. In addition to networking, take online courses, earn certificates,  attend workshops, or seek mentorship to develop new skills or enhance your existing ones. Doing this is a great way to make you more marketable to potential employers.

Polish up your resume and online presence

Preparing is one of the best ways to get ready for a transition. Sprucing up your resume and LinkedIn profile is essential when planning to change jobs or elevate within your industry. Highlight your accomplishments, use clear language, and focus on transferable skills relevant to your desired role. If possible, get a second professional set of eyes to review your profile and give feedback.

Group of colleagues sitting together in the lounge of an office. Photo by Getty Images/Stock photo

Consider part-time or contract roles

Transitioning to a new job often requires a level of flexibility. Transitioning doesn’t always mean you will dive headfirst into a full-time position initially. Part-time or contract work can be a great way to bridge the gap between your old job and your next opportunity. It also offers flexibility and allows you to maintain income while exploring new options.

Be relentless

Being stuck at a job you don’t like can feel stressful enough, so if you want to change roles or companies, consider the ideas above and consult with an experienced person in your field. Also, maintaining a positive attitude and being relentless will help you overcome the negative feelings that often pop up. Rejections and setbacks are part of the journey, so keep your chin up and keep pushing forward.

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