One of my colleagues up and quit this week. He found himself in a situation where he felt that he could not advance within the company. So he decided to go to law school.
Fortunately for him, he has enough money in the bank to just quit his job and live off of savings until law school next Fall or until he finds a temporary job. Either way, he was able to walk away from work because he had a “Go to Hell” (GTH) fund.
Basically, a GTH fund is sufficient money in the bank to tell your boss where to go and how to get there and not leave your family destitute. I’m certainly not advocating that you readily quit your job, but having the security that you can walk away if your sanity is being challenged makes life and work a little less stressful.
Is a Go to Hell fund the same as an Emergency Fund?
There are two ways you can create a GTH fund.
- Use your Emergency Fund – If you are smart, then you already have or are in the process of getting an Emergency Fund that is the equivalent of six months worth of expenses. A fully funded Emergency Fund can act as a GTH fund if need be.
- Setup a dedicated GTH Fund – Alternatively, you can setup a savings or money market account that is specifically for quitting your job. If you take this route, then you don’t have to touch your Emergency Fund. Although this approach will take longer, it offers additional financial security. Similar to the Emergency Fund, you should have six months worth of expenses saved up.
Quitting your job in style
In the past several months, the media has covered several individuals who sporadically decided to quit. Two of my favorites are: Girl quits job on dry erase board and JetBlue flight attendant goes AWOL. Hopefully, both of these now unemployed individuals had a GTH fund ready to go. If not, these admittedly funny events may turn tragic.
A few tips on quitting your job
Please understand that I use the phrase “Go to Hell” fund a bit tongue in cheek. Meaning, I actually do not recommend that you ever tell your boss that (unless it’s a case of sexual harassment or something similarly egregious). Rather, leave on good terms. When you have had enough, simply hand over a cordial letter of resignation giving the company two weeks notice that you’ll be quitting. Then, work hard and leave with a clear conscious and an unburned bridge.
Leaving on poor terms or with much fanfare, can come back to haunt you. For example, when you apply for your next job, a new potential employer is likely to call your old company/boss and ask about you. The last thing you want is for former boss to give you a negative review.
Also, keep your resume and a cover letter up-to-date. If you decide to leave your employment with short notice, then you’ll want to have your resume in tip-top shape in order to begin job hunting.
Last, take every opportunity to network within your industry. Many times, you will not be switching industries rather just companies. Having a rolodex of friends and colleagues that you can call will help you find a new job or even strike out on your own.
My own situation
I hesitate to disclose too much information, though I think it fair to give some personal background. While I’m not looking to tell my boss to “shove it,” I am interested in pursuing some of my interests on my own. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough in the bank to walk away and dedicate all of my time to my true passions. So we are forced to compromise. I will be spending my evenings for the next several months preparing for and taking the GMAT, writing personal statements, and applying to MBA schools. Once applications are, my evenings will be dedicated to pursuing some side business that will hopefully fund, in part, MBA school.
It’s moments like these that I wish I could dedicate all of my time to my goals and ambitions rather than a minority of my time. Had we created a GTH fund and fully funded it, then like my friend, I could walk away.
What has your boss or company done that made you wish you had a Go to Hell fund?
(Photo credit: Y)