Career

Quitting without a new job lined up

Oracle / SalesLellison
Mar 13

I've heard often that "it's easier to get a job when you have a job." I want to quit to focus myself solely on a new career path, but am worried that my quitting will decrease my chances of getting a new role. Thoughts?

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  • Synopsys wHJD04
    I quit my job at the beginning of last year to build up machine learning skills. Spent 6+ months studying and working on projects before starting to interview. Most interviewers and hiring managers were impressed by my determination. I got 12 offers including Google and FB in the end and 10 of them were ML roles. My comp doubled compared to my last job. I find it the most worthwhile thing I've done in my life.

    Edit: this is my old blind account obviously
    Mar 1310
    • Axtria DesiLaunda
      Can you provide more details on how you prepared?
      Mar 13
    • Nvidia Inc_H1b
      You are awesome 👏👏👏
      Mar 13
    • Nvidia Inc_H1b
      I am doing my MS in ML . Can you provide some pointers like how you prepared .
      Mar 13
    • CenturyLink / Sales✌️✌️
      Awesome.
      Mar 13
    • New arch135
      Awesome. And where you joined finally ?
      Mar 13
    • Capital One whdjjddbf
      How did you prepare for ML engineering roles ?
      Mar 13
    • Intuit z9nkay
      What is your new TC?
      Mar 13
    • Nvidia Inc_H1b
      yes what’s your new TC ?
      Mar 13
    • Synopsys wHJD04
      My prep: Elements of Programming Interviews (book), LeetCode x 250, Grokking the System Design Interview (educative.io), Andrew Ng ML and DL courses (Coursera), edX ML course, Introduction to Statistical Learning (book), ML paper reading (most helpful are KDD application track papers), practicing ML and system design questions with my friends who work in ML (extremely important), working with popular open-source libraries (Tensorflow, scikit-learn etc) and datasets (Kaggle, ImageNet etc). Some of the prep started before I quit.

      I joined a mid-sized web company in the end because of the scope of an engineer's work compared to larger companies such as G and FB, and also really liked the team. TC-wise, FB offer was slightly better, but I'm really happy with my current work and team.

      TC went from 160k (for a particularly good year) to 320k (signon amortized for 4 years). Not super glorious in the MLE world but good enough for me.
      Mar 13
    • Nvidia Inc_H1b
      Fantastic 👍
      Mar 14
  • Microsoft X9pl12
    It’s better to have a job when approaching other companies. Less risk for them wondering the real reason you’re not currently employed.

    The exception is when your current job is so bad it’s a threat to your health or similar.
    Mar 132
    • Oracle / SalesLellison
      OP
      Sadly it's only a threat to my ego
      Mar 13
    • Oracle bToN13
      Tell your ego to suck it up, or simply just start coasting. Might as well collect a paycheck while you're looking for greener pastures.
      Mar 13
  • CenturyLink / Sales✌️✌️
    People dress up reality on resumes and in interviews. “I left to develop skills” could really mean “I was fired for performance”. So it’s easier to get a job while you have one.
    Mar 133
    • Lockheed Martin QnNB87
      In my state one of the only things a former employer can disclose is how the employment ended. If you resigned, that can be verified, and lying would constitute application fraud, so the offer would be rejected.
      Mar 13
    • CenturyLink / Sales✌️✌️
      Right, but quitting when you are about to be fired would still show as left on your own preference when in reality it was poor performance.
      Mar 13
    • Lockheed Martin QnNB87
      That's a good point.
      Mar 13
  • Lyft dhr4hj
    I did this last year, took 5-6 months of before starting to interview. Nobody seemed to care, they did not even ask about it. Market for SWEs is very hot right now, could be different for other roles and other times.
    Mar 130
  • Visa / OtherJonny55
    Have also done it — it worked out, but recommend not doing it. Wait until you have a new job lined up.
    Mar 130
  • Lockheed Martin QnNB87
    I've done it, wasn't the end of the world, found something eventually. Will say hiring managers weren't thrilled when I told them I left to work on my skills and look full time (I think they worry if you can afford it you'll do it to them).
    Mar 130
  • PayPal 4wiw
    Don't do it.

    Gaps are a red flag. Candidates with the required skillsets that are gap-free are prioritized. I rarely need to move to the pool of candidates with gaps to fill a role.
    Mar 133
    • Lockheed Martin QnNB87
      I feel like this is starting to become old fashioned thinking.
      Mar 13
    • PayPal 4wiw
      Possibly. But screening every candidate is unrealistic and an inefficient use of time.

      Someone that can fulfill their duties at work while applying to jobs is actively demonstrating their drive and ability to multitask. Why wouldn't you want to prioritize that while building a team?

      That's not to say that people with gaps are unworthy or are definitively unfit for hire. But experience has shown it's more common to uncover negative reasons for the gap, than to encounter someone who truly took time to invest in themselves.
      Mar 13
    • Microsoft
      MP3

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Troll living under the I-5 overpass
      MP3more
      Not everyone is a religiously dedicated corporate slave. Some people save up and live a little 😉
      Mar 13
  • New
    nfs

    New

    PRE
    Booking.com
    nfsmore
    You will naturally be more relaxed and comfortable in interviews if you search while working, because you have "less to lose" if it's a no.
    Especially if you get several rejections, it can really demotivate you.
    Lastly, if you don't have financial pressure because you work, you can perform better negotiations for pay.
    Mar 130
  • American Express D.BCooper
    What about moving cross country to go back to family 2000 miles away and quitting? I was looking at two markets: salt lake and Columbus, Ohio. SLC is cool since I'm in Arizona but Ohio heavily favors locals only.

    Smaller mid markets (Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Milwaukee, etc) act like theyve never heard of a relo package.

    This doesnt happen with NYC or the Bay, I feel. It is price of getting talent.
    Mar 130
  • Lockheed Martin QnNB87
    I will say the time off was fucking fantastic. But it was 6 months unpaid.
    Mar 130
  • Cox Media jaber
    It can only work if you have another source of income or financial support on the side....
    Mar 130

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