I Don’t Want to Work [Essential Things to Do Before You Quit]

For whatever reason, a 9-5 job may no longer sound like something you want. It could be several things, from disliking the work itself to feeling like you have no time with the people you care about.

But whatever it is, you may find yourself thinking, “I don’t want to work.”

I’m all for financial freedom and designing the life you want to live but before you run off and turn in your notice, there are some things to consider and questions to ask yourself. Find out why you don’t want to work and what you should do next.

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Is It Typical to Not Want to Go to Work?

There are many reasons you might be thinking, “I don’t want to work.” And you wouldn’t be the first!

Many people do not enjoy their jobs. You may dislike your boss, be underpaid, are bored at work, your commute is too long, or any number of combinations.

If this sounds familiar, it’s quite typical to not want to go to work. But before you quit on the spot, ask yourself these questions:

Are you depressed?

Do you have feelings of depression about your job or another aspect of your life? If so, this may be contributing to you not wanting to work.

Perhaps this has to do with the job, but it may not. If the depressed feelings are coming from something else, it’s possible that no longer going to work will not fix the issue. 

If you think depression could be the culprit for you wanting to quit, first figure out why you feel this way. Talk with a professional or someone you trust and understand your feelings before deciding. 

Do you need a mental health break? 

Maybe your mind needs time to relax. This might be solved with a couple of weeks off of work.

I realize this is quite a luxury but if you have vacation time and can take some time off, you may come back to find that you enjoy your work again. Perhaps all you need is some time to clear your head and recharge.

Are you just tired? 

Sometimes working long or odd hours can make you exhausted. Especially if you have other responsibilities besides just work.

If this is the case, first try rearranging your schedule to get more sleep. See if you can begin going to sleep an hour earlier at night and take naps when you can. 

If possible, it’s also essential to prioritize your time at home and avoid working while not at work. See if these suggestions make a difference. If not, perhaps it’s more than just general tiredness.

What To Do If I Don’t Want To Work?

If you decide you don’t want to work, you can take some steps first.

Evaluate why?

What is the reason that you don’t want to work? It could be that you don’t like your job.

In this case, do you want to stop working altogether, or do you prefer to find a career that’s better suited to you? Try looking around for other options.

Maybe it isn’t about that. Perhaps you feel a lack of purpose.

This is tougher to deal with and could come from many things. But if you feel purposeless at work, try to find out why.

Do you not believe in the company or not feel that you’re making a difference? One option is to look for a new career where you feel like you have a purpose.

You might also try looking for fulfillment in other areas of your life, like your family or helping others through volunteer work. Your job shouldn’t be where you try to derive your life’s happiness and fulfillment.

Do you want to stop working because you want to spend more time with your family? Maybe the hours are just too much, and it takes away from you being there for those you care about.

You might see if you can cut back on hours and work part-time, or it may be time to quit if you can afford it.

Maybe it’s none of these things. Perhaps you’ve simply realized that a 9-5 career isn’t for you. You don’t enjoy spending 40 hours a week working.

You can still make money without working traditional hours. There are other lifestyle choices.

Related: 25 Self-Employment Job Ideas

Understand what you do want.

If you decide you don’t want to work anymore, you need to know what to do next. This is going to depend on what matters to you.

Do you want a different career? One that will allow you to still work but do something other than what you do now? Look for a new job in a different field in this case.

Or maybe you want to work fewer hours. You can start by asking if you can cut back on your hours at your current job.

This will allow for more flexibility and freedom in your schedule. If this isn’t an option, try looking for a part-time job elsewhere.

Are you ready to retire early instead of continuing with a career? In that case, there are many financial things to go over to make sure you can afford to do so. You may need to look into some passive income sources, as well.

I Don’t Want a Job, I Just Want a Life.

Have you decided that the working world is not for you? There are plenty of ways to make this a reality.

You just need to make a plan first. Here’s how to transition to not having a job.

1. Make an exit plan

Before you quit your job, you need to make an exit plan. This means knowing what you’ll do next.

Having ideas is great, but you need a solid solution for what you’ll do with your days, especially if you still need to make an income or if your family’s health insurance is tied to your job.

You could start freelancing on the side before quitting your job. As your client list grows and you’re earning more money from this second job, you can then quit your old job to focus on the side job.

2. Find ways to make passive income

Unless you were very close to retirement already when you quit, you will likely still need a way to make some money. Here are some ideas for passive income:

  • Develop an online product that produces residual income. This can be an ebook, a digital printable store, or anything else that doesn’t require effort to maintain but does make you money. That way, you can still make an income each month.
  • Advertise on your car.
  • Look into passive investment opportunities such as REITs, individual properties, dividend stocks, etc.

With any investment, do your due diligence. Speak to credentialed professionals and make sure you fully understand what you’re investing in before doing so since there’s always the chance of losing money on a deal.

3. Be creative.

There are many ways to make passive income without working 9-5. It’s best to set up several sources of passive income, and from there, you can start to grow them to make more money.

Find a way to make money that you enjoy and one that won’t take up all your new free time.

4. Save money

Before leaving your job, you will likely want to save up some cash. Decide on an amount that will allow you to cover emergency expenses and some extra to help out as you get your passive income streams going. Then only give notice at work when you’ve reached your savings goal.

5. Cut expenses

If you are no longer going to have an income, cutting back on spending is essential. Try to get rid of things in your budget that you don’t need.

Things like cable, subscriptions, and traveling a lot are all expenses that can be cut. This will also help you save.

6. Pay off debt

Before quitting a job, minimize your risk by paying off debt. You will feel better, and it also lowers your monthly payments, saving you from spending extra money later.

If you don’t want to work, paying off debt is one of the most important things.

7. Pick a date to quit.

After you’ve done all the steps above, that’s the time to pick your quitting date. Be sure to give proper notice at work and then work until you get to leave the corporate world behind for good.

Make sure to leave on good terms as much as possible if you think you’ll need their reference or contact in the future.

8. Work your plan

After you’ve made your plan, paid off debt, reduced expenses, and opted for passive income sources, the only thing left is to follow through. Quit your job and begin enjoying your new life!

How Should You Spend Your Time if You Don’t Work?

So you no longer work a 40-hour workweek. What do you do now that working in an office is not part of your life? Here are some suggestions.

Spend more time with your family.

You should spend more time with the people who matter most to you. Since this is likely one of the reasons you stopped working in the first place, take advantage of all the extra time you have.

Enjoy your family and spend lots of time hanging out with them and being part of their lives.

Volunteer for causes you believe in.

Now you have some extra time to devote to volunteering. You can learn more about causes you believe in and donate your time to helping out.

There are many volunteering options around, and this is a great way to feel fulfilled and help others at the same time. 

Focus on minimalism

Since you’ve decided on this lifestyle, becoming a minimalist will probably help. Not just with finances, but living simply is a great way to be content with your life.

Begin to read books on minimalism and organize your home based on what you need. You can even sell some things around your house for extra cash.

Related: Minimalist Finance Tips

Work on personal growth

You can now focus on yourself and growing personally. There are quite a few ways to do this, and it’s vital to prioritize this when no longer working.

  • Healthy habits

Start right away by implementing healthy habits into your life. You can get up at the same time every day, keep a morning and evening routine, and be sure to eat healthily and exercise regularly. This will help you feel your best.

  • Mental health

Your mental health matters a lot, and it might be easy to get anxious or bored when not working. So make mental health a priority by journaling, talking to good friends, and taking the time to notice how you feel.

  • Learning about things that interest you.

There are many things to learn now that you have the time to do so. Read books, watch documentaries, learn a new language, and discover new hobbies. These things will help your days pass quickly, and life will feel richer.

Start a blog.

A blog is a fantastic way to spend your time after you quit your job. You can connect with readers and build an audience.

This can be fun, and you may be able to monetize at a later date when your blog has grown enough. Which is another source of income.

That’s what I do here on Money Tamer. It originally started as a way to share my family’s debt-free journey and now is a source of financial education.

If you’d like to learn how to start your own money-making blog, go here. You can focus your blog on any topic that interests you.

Write a book.

Now that you have the time, is there a subject you know a lot about or has always fascinated you? Pass some of your time by writing a book on an issue you care about.

You can inform others about the topic while also engaging in a hobby that you enjoy. Nowadays, self-publishing a book is extremely easy and there’s no limit to how many books you can write. If you prefer to stay anonymous, you can even use a pen name.

Do home improvements.

When you no longer have to go to work every day, you can begin to improve your home. This will likely increase your property’s value and allow you to do something active that is also fun.

If you are interested in home projects, now is a great time to do some DIY renovations or redecorate.

Find ways to make passive income.

There are many ways to make money that require some time and work, and then later will continue to provide money without needing much effort. You can also find part-time ways to make money, such as selling ideas, that are interesting to you but won’t take up all your new freedom and time.

If you really don’t want to work, make the changes in your life, so you don’t have to. 

There are lots of ways to live that go beyond the typical. Not having a job is a great way to make the most of your time, and it can be very fulfilling.

When you set up some passive income sources and plan properly, you can likely quit your job and pursue other things you are passionate about instead. Work can be many different things, and there are lots of ways to lead a life that you enjoy.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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