2-Week Plan to Leave Your 9-5 Job: Strategies & Tips for a Quick Exit

Leave Your 9-5 Job


  • Identify your reasons for wanting to leave your job and what you’re moving towards.
  • Ensure your finances are in order, with a focus on savings, budgeting, and emergency funds.
  • Acquire new, marketable skills to increase your value in the job market or for starting a business.
  • Handle your resignation professionally, including writing a proper resignation letter.
  • Utilize your network to secure new opportunities and pave the way for your next career move.

Are you feeling stuck in the 9-5 grind, dreaming of a life where you call the shots? You’re not alone. Many professionals yearn for the freedom to pursue their passions, but the thought of leaving a stable job can be daunting. However, with a strategic plan, you can make a quick and smooth transition. Let’s dive into a 2-week plan that can set you on the path to a more fulfilling career.

Day 1-2: Soul Searching and Decision Making

Reflect on Your Reasons for Leaving

Before making any hasty decisions, it’s crucial to understand why you want to leave your job. Is it the lack of growth opportunities, the desire for more flexibility, or perhaps the pursuit of a long-held passion? Knowing your ‘why’ will fuel your determination and guide your next steps.

Ensure You Have a Clear Direction Post-Exit

Leaving your job without a plan is like setting sail without a compass. What’s your destination? Whether it’s another job, freelance work, or starting your own business, having a clear direction will help you navigate the waters ahead.

Day 3-4: Financial Planning

Assessing Your Savings and Budget Needs

Money matters. Before you hand in your notice, assess your financial health. How much have you saved? Can your savings cover your expenses for the next few months? This is the time to budget wisely and trim any unnecessary expenses.

Emergency Funds and Income Streams

It’s wise to have an emergency fund in place, ideally enough to cover three to six months of living expenses. Besides that, consider if there are any quick income streams you can set up to bridge the gap while you transition. This could be freelance work, part-time gigs, or even selling items you no longer need.

Day 5-6: Gaining Marketable Skills

Identifying key skills for your next venture

What skills are in demand in your industry, or in the field you’re aiming to enter? Now is the time to upskill. There are plenty of online courses and resources that can help you learn quickly. Focus on skills that will make you a valuable asset in your new career.

Fast-Track Learning Resources

If you’re determined to pick up new skills, there are countless resources at your fingertips. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses on everything from coding to project management. And most importantly, many of these can be completed in a matter of weeks, perfect for your quick exit timeline.

Remember, the goal is not to become an expert overnight but to build a strong enough foundation that can be communicated to future employers or clients. Therefore, choose courses with practical assignments that result in a tangible portfolio you can showcase.

It’s not just about the hard skills, though. Soft skills like communication, leadership, and time management are universally valued and can significantly boost your employability or business success. Look for resources that offer certifications or badges that you can add to your LinkedIn profile or resume to demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning.

Day 7-8: The Professional Goodbye

Once you’ve equipped yourself with new skills and ensured your financial safety net is in place, it’s time to say goodbye to your current job. But how you leave matters just as much as why you’re leaving. A graceful exit can keep doors open for future opportunities and maintain professional relationships.

Crafting Your Resignation Letter

Writing a resignation letter can be a daunting task, but it’s a necessary step in leaving your job. Keep it concise, professional, and positive. Express gratitude for the opportunities you’ve been given, and if possible, offer to help with the transition process. Remember, this letter will likely be part of your employment file and could be referred to by future employers.

Here’s a simple template to get you started:

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I am writing to formally resign from my position at [Company Name], effective two weeks from today, [Your Last Day]. I have enjoyed working here and am grateful for the opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.

Thank you for your support and understanding. I am willing to assist in the transition period to ensure a smooth handover of my responsibilities.

[Your Name]

Navigating the Final Conversations

After submitting your resignation letter, be prepared for a conversation with your manager. Stay calm and focused on your reasons for leaving. If asked for feedback, be honest but diplomatic, focusing on your future goals rather than past grievances.

Day 9-10: Networking and Opportunities

Networking is a powerful tool in any career transition. Reach out to contacts in your industry, attend networking events, and update your LinkedIn profile. Let people know you’re on the lookout for new opportunities, but be specific about what you’re looking for.

Reaching Out to Industry Connections

Make a list of former colleagues, mentors, and industry acquaintances. Send personalized messages to let them know you’re seeking new opportunities. You never know who might be able to offer you a lead or introduce you to a potential employer.

Securing Potential Job Leads or Gigs

Job boards and company websites are a great place to start, but don’t underestimate the power of social media and word of mouth. Share your job search on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and join industry-specific groups where job leads are often posted.

Day 11-12: Legal and Logistical Considerations

As you prepare to leave your job, it’s crucial to understand your legal rights and any company-specific logistics. This includes knowing your rights regarding final paychecks, benefits, and any non-compete clauses that might affect your future employment opportunities.

Understanding Your Employee Rights

Research your rights as an employee to ensure you’re not missing out on any final pay or benefits. You may be entitled to accrued vacation pay or other compensation. Check your employee handbook or speak with HR to clarify these details.

  • Review your employment contract for any clauses related to resignation.
  • Understand your rights to any remaining salary, bonuses, or benefits.
  • Check if you’re entitled to unemployment benefits, depending on the circumstances of your departure.

Most importantly, if you have any doubts or concerns, it might be worth consulting with a legal professional to ensure you’re leaving on the best terms possible.

Handover Procedures and Exit Interviews

Before your last day, you’ll likely need to return company property and pass on your work to a colleague or successor. Organize your files, document your ongoing projects, and write up any instructions that might be helpful for the next person in your role.

During your exit interview, be professional and constructive. This is an opportunity to provide feedback on your experience and leave a lasting positive impression.

Day 13-14: Setting the Stage for Success

The final days before you leave your 9-5 job are about laying the groundwork for your next chapter. Update your resume, refine your personal brand, and perhaps start teasing your upcoming ventures on social media.

Establishing your online presence is a step you can’t afford to skip. In today’s digital age, your online profile is often the first thing potential employers or clients will see. Make sure it’s professional, up-to-date, and reflects the career path you’re aiming for.

Launch a personal website or update your LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills and experience. Share content relevant to your industry to demonstrate your expertise and engage with others in your field. This not only increases your visibility but also shows you’re proactive and passionate about your career.

And don’t forget the power of testimonials. If you’ve done great work in the past, ask colleagues or clients for recommendations. These endorsements can be incredibly persuasive to future employers or clients and can often tip the scales in your favor.

Launching Side Projects or Businesses

If your goal is to start a business or pursue freelance work, begin laying the groundwork now. Start fleshing out your business ideas, identifying potential clients, or setting up the necessary infrastructure for your venture. It’s about taking those first crucial steps towards building the career of your dreams.

For instance, if you’re planning to offer consulting services, start by defining your niche and services. Create a list of potential clients and reach out to them with a well-crafted pitch. If you’re launching a product, begin by validating your idea with potential customers and sketching out a business plan.

The Leap of Faith: Transitioning to Your New Life

Finally, it’s time to take that leap of faith. You’ve done the groundwork, planned meticulously, and now it’s time to step into your new life with confidence. Embrace the uncertainty of this transition period; it’s where growth happens. Trust in your abilities, the planning you’ve done, and the network you’ve built.

Embracing Uncertainty with Confidence

Uncertainty can be paralyzing, but it can also be exhilarating. Embrace it as a sign that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and into a world of new possibilities. Remember, every successful person you admire once stood where you are now. They took the leap and so can you.

Maintaining Momentum After the 9-5

Once you’ve left your job, the real work begins. It’s crucial to maintain momentum. Set small, achievable goals for each day to keep moving forward. Celebrate each victory, no matter how small, and use it as fuel to keep pushing towards your larger goals.

Stay connected with your network, continue learning, and don’t be afraid to adjust your plan as you go. Flexibility is key in the early stages of any new venture. Besides that, remember to look after yourself. A healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term success.


What should I do if I don’t have another job lined up yet?

If you don’t have another job lined up, focus on building a financial safety net and start exploring new opportunities immediately. Freelance gigs, part-time work, or even temporary positions can provide an income while you search for your ideal role.

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • Reach out to your network to let them know you’re available.
  • Consider freelance or consulting work to build your portfolio.

Most importantly, use this time to reflect on what you really want from your career and pursue opportunities that align with your goals and values.

How do I negotiate my notice period if my contract requires longer than 2 weeks?

If your contract specifies a longer notice period, it’s worth discussing with your employer whether they’re willing to negotiate a shorter one. Be honest about your reasons for leaving and offer to help with the transition to make it as smooth as possible for both parties. For more guidance, you might find our article on remote work strategies helpful in planning your departure.

How can I ensure a positive reference from my current employer?

To ensure a positive reference from your current employer, leave on good terms. Complete all outstanding work, offer to train your replacement, and express your gratitude for the opportunity to have worked there. Maintaining professionalism until the end is key. For more guidance, consider reading about creating a fail-proof exit strategy for leaving your 9-5 job.

Remember, your reputation follows you, and the way you handle your departure can have a lasting impact on how you’re perceived in your industry.

By planning your exit strategy carefully and acting with integrity, you’ll be in a strong position to secure a glowing reference.

What are some income-generating activities I can begin now?

While you’re preparing to leave your job, consider income-generating activities you can start immediately. These could include:

  • Freelance work in your area of expertise.
  • Consulting services for businesses in your industry.
  • Creating and selling digital products, such as ebooks or courses.
  • Part-time or casual employment in a related field.

These activities not only provide income but also keep you engaged and connected to the workforce.

Is it wise to quit without a solid plan?

Quitting without a solid plan is risky. While spontaneity has its place, a well-thought-out plan provides a roadmap to success. It helps you navigate challenges and seize opportunities with confidence.

Take the time to create a plan that covers your finances, career goals, and personal aspirations. This will ensure that you’re not just leaving a job, but moving towards a brighter future.

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