How To Quit Your Job Now and Keep Getting Paid

by Dan Johnston

In this article you’ll learn a unique strategy for overcoming our instinctual fear of change. This strategy will allow you to effectively make a big change today without it being official for weeks or months to come. The example in the article involves quitting your job without stopping your paycheques, yet this same strategy could be applied to shutting down a business, dissolving a partnership or ending a bad relationship.

Now, without further adieu, let’s jump into this week’s article.

How To Quit Your Job, Or Make Any Significant Life Change, Today Without Having To Face The Consequences

If you find yourself consistently yearning for a change in your life it is a safe bet you should make that change.

Whatever it is, there is a reason you’re feeling how you are. All those doubts and second guessing thoughts are just a by-product of fear showing up to hold you back.

My hunch is you already knew this. I’m also guessing you’re not here for some “head in the clouds” Utopian ramblings.You’re here for some tested advice and strategies to make shit happen.

So if you know you should quit your job, make a change in your business, or end a relationship…why haven’t you yet?

Why aren’t you following your gut and moving towards something you can be passionate about?

It’s been my experience that the most common excuse for delaying change is…
Drum roll please…

“It just isn’t the right time”.

And when does this bastard of an excuse show up most? When we debate quitting our job.

When the economy is bad…
“I just can’t quit my job in this bad economy…I should wait until things turn around.”

And when the economy is good…
“I just can’t quit my job in this good economy……I should ride the wave of raises and bonuses while I can.”

Ah fear, how it can turn the most honest and logical of people into irrational liars. And yes, it is still a lie even if you’re the only one who hears it.

“If a Man stands in an empty forest and lies to himself did he really lie?”

YES.

Here’s the thing about all the “arguments” our mind can come up with when we’re facing a big change: They’re all bullshit. If you look deep enough you find emotion dominates even the most “logical” of people when they’re facing change…or more specifically what change leads us to: The unknown.

Now this approach isn’t about deep introspective or getting to the roots of irrational fear. I’m going to leave the soul searching and ego vs consciousness discussion to Eckhart Tolle. Instead, let’s jump right to a strategy for bypassing the fear and just making the change you desire a reality.

What if deep down you know you want to quit your job, but you really feel now just isn’t the right time? What can you do?

Well, here is what I did.

How To Quit Your Job and Keep Getting Paid (for a little while)

In April of 2009 I knew I wanted to quit my job and start my own company…but I didn’t have enough money and the timing wasn’t quite right. At the same time I knew if I remained at my current job I would most certainly risk being sucked in by more money or “just another month” syndrome. I knew if this happened I would never be truly happy or fulfilled.

So I couldn’t quit but I couldn’t risk staying forever either.

Then one night a light bulb went off and the perfect solution came to me.

I sat down and furiously wrote the following letter. I then sent it to 3 friends, scattered around the globe in Vancouver, New York and Santiago. This is the first time I have revealed this letter to anyone beyond these 3 friends. This is the letter I wrote to my friend Andres.

Andres,

The last few weeks I’ve been bombarded by messages about living for today, your passion. What if you were to die tomorrow? Would you love to do what you’re doing today for the rest of your life? All that good stuff.

While I have taken action on building my own business I’m still, and always, at risk of slipping into the life away from passion. I see my boss, Jason, and he is becoming someone I never want to be, and I’m sure he didn’t want be either. A slave to work. My job at TDMP is becoming more and more regimented and worst of all, may soon be quite financially rewarding. This is what is scary because dollars make it hard to leave. My passion is not the mortgage business and I can not have my life there. We both know I need to be elsewhere.

I’m writing this to you personally to ask you to do something for me. If as of August 15th, 2009 (exactly 4 months from today) I have not given notice AND begun transitioning out of my mortgage position I need you to email my resignation to my bosses. Send them whatever you want, perhaps just copy and paste this message. They are entrepreneurs and understand the desire to pursue one’s own passion and create a legacy.

Jason [email protected] and Sandy [email protected]

Here is the catch. If you accept this responsibility (and feel free to decline) I need you to promise me two things:

  1. You will call me on the 14th 1 604 928 #### with one last reminder.
  2. No matter what happens, no matter what I say, you will follow through. If I fly to Chile and attempt to silence you, you will kick my ass then send the email August 15th. I don’t know what opportunities may arise that will change my opinions or rattle me over the next 4 months, but I can not delay my passions beyond August 15th. 

I considered sending this to a lot of people and am sending it to you, I’m sure that means something. Perhaps you’re the one friend I have who really gets it or perhaps it’s because you’re so hard to get a hold of I figure I won’t be able to prevent the email from being sent!

Kind Regards,
Dan Johnston.

I sent this email at 10pm on April 15th 2009 and the moment I clicked send magical things began to happen. I felt goosebumps as an energy flowed through my whole body. I felt totally free, totally inspired. I instantly felt all the positive benefits as if I had already quit…yet I felt none of the fear or uncertainty that would have accompanies quitting in that moment.

I had taken an action which would change the course of my life. I had taken responsibility for my destiny and the feeling was nothing short of incredible.

6 weeks after sending this email my boss Jason called me. He had spoken to someone who had met me at a networking event, except they knew me as a business coach (I had been moonlighting). He sounded concerned and said we should sit down and talk about what I want to do.

Because I had begun emotionally preparing to quit, and in many ways had already left, the conversation we had was easy. I gave my notice and the rest was history. I honestly believe had I not written the letter I would have faced tremendous anxiety going into that meeting and there is a good chance I would have caved to the fear, agreed to put my dreams aside and commit to work I didn’t enjoy.

The Change Process In Summary

  1. Admit to yourself you need to make a chance.
  2. Determine how much time you need to make the change, to a maximum of 6 months.
  3. Commit to making the change by contacting at least 3 friends of family members with a letter similar to the example above. At this point you do not need to worry about “what you will do” after the big change, that’s what the buffer period is for. Once you commit to ending one thing you’ll find your mind turbocharged with creativity and churning out all kinds of ideas.
  4. Enjoy the new job, business or relationship you deserve.

Remember: There is only now. Seize the day and make the most of your life. You only get one. Scroll down to the comments section to read about what happened after I put my notice in (and learn how to avoid the major mistake I made).

Dan Johnston.

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For the comments section: Do you think there is ever a valid excuse to continue a business, relationship or job you’re not happy with? Why or why not?

Comments 5

  1. Post
    Author

    P.S. The strategy I’ve shared above is a great way to overcome fear and build momentum. With that said, once you’ve got the ball rolling I recommend pulling the band-aid off as soon as possible. In my own example above, I learnt the hard way that once your heart isn’t into something it is better to act sooner than later.

  2. Post
    Author

    I wrote the letter above in April of 2009, and eventually quit in June. The truth is that from about February of 2009 I had the desire to quit. I stayed as long as I did because of loyalty, a desire to save money, and I’m sure a whole lot of fear. When I did leave I gave 30 days’ notice instead of 15 (or none). During my last 30 days my head really wasn’t in it. A few things went wrong and somehow, despite having already quit, I found myself fired with just 8 days left. This set me back emotionally and lead to my employer TDMP essentially stealing over $5,000 of income owed from me. In doing so they also stole the control from me, and the empowerment I had gained by choosing to quit. Because of how the commission structure worked I could have quit in March, with no notice, and have been in the exact same situation…just with 4 more months’ time and money in the bank.

  3. Post
    Author

    People aren’t stupid. Once you’ve made your intention to end a relationship known the other party will begin cutting you off and ending that relationship as quickly as possible. I don’t reccomend discussing a “slow quit” with an employer. You need to look out for yourself. When you do give notice commit to no more than 2 weeks of continued work, and only with guaranteed pay.

    Nothing is gained by delay. Rip the Band-Aid off!

  4. The timing couldn’t be better. I’m definitely doing this, but in a backwards way. I’ve been paralyzed with fear for the past 2 years. If I had myself for an employee, I’d fire me. I’m writing that letter today, informing my mailing this that my company has decided to close, that I just couldn’t get over my fear and that I’m throwing in the towel if I don’t launch my online product/workshop by January 1st, 2014. I’m sending that letter to 3 friends with my login/password to my email server and telling them to give the sad news if I don’t do what I know is in my heart to do, but keep putting off. I don’t want to quit, but if I can’t pull it together, I’m not going to spin my wheels anymore. Thanks for the nudge!

    1. Post
      Author

      Congrats Treacy! Awesome to hear how you’re taking MASSIVE action. I love the idea of sending your username and password, what a great way to take it even further. How does it feel now that you’ve made the decision and this very public commitment to it?

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