Money Matters: How to Quit a Toxic Job and Survive

  • This process is overwhelming. I highly suggest you take it on with members of your support circle. Preferably over lots of carbs and/or lots of wine.
  • Given step 5 (figuring out the exact day you’re leaving), figure out how many paychecks you have left. You’re gonna have to make these stretch, prioritizing the costs you can’t put off.
  • Prioritize in your revised budget 1) a place to sleep, 2) buying food, and 3) what you’ll need to apply for jobs and be able to (tele)work. Everything else can be delayed for at least a little bit.
  • Check your credit score. If there are some outstanding items or issues that can be easily rectified, take care of them now.
  • You’re probably not going to qualify for unemployment if you’re leaving voluntarily, but you should still check for yourself (
  • How long can you make rent? Do you need to break your lease and move in with a friend or family? This is hard. It can be embarrassing, discouraging, and humiliating. I understand. But it is much better to live on a couch for a month or so than to get evicted trying to keep up appearances.
  • Call all the people you have loans with to see if they have forbearance plans available. Student loans may or may not be delayed further. If you have a home loan, you’ll need to know what (if any) leeway you have to lower or delay payments. It’s possible some of the provisions companies made for COVID can also give you some temporary cover.
  • Cancel all ancillary entertainment services, like Spotify and Netflix. That 13 dollars a month is gas in the tank or a few days worth of food. That doesn’t mean you can’t have Spotify and Netflix, however. You may just have to, uh, get creative in how you access them. (See: your support circle)
  • If you have health needs, get on the phone with your insurer and your state’s insurance marketplace. Figure out what COBRA (keeping your current insurance at a monthly, generally pretty expensive rate) will cost so you can transition to another health plan that covers your needs. You may also qualify for an Obamacare program. Check here (
  • If you’re seeing a therapist, ask about services for people with financial hardships. Some providers can give your referrals so you can continue services; some providers may even allow you to pay at a lower rate, especially if you’re in need. I would argue this is a service worth continuing, especially at this pivotal time in your life.
  • Prioritize WiFi/ internet service so you can still email, Zoom, have phone interviews. It may be worth your energy to switch providers if it means you’ll be able to get some introductory rate savings while keeping your number. Every dollar counts.
  • Find a friend who has warehouse club membership and go food shopping in bulk. Now may be the time to learn how to cook
  • Keep a journal of all you did as a reminder of how you conquered adversity. You are much stronger than you can imagine. You’ll see. Trust me.
  • Pay it back. Eventually you will land on your feet. You will get into a new normal that is healthier than the one you left. You will now be in a position to help others. Do so liberally. Again, that’s the beauty of being in the Thursday Network — it’s not just for receiving help. You can give. You should give. You must give.
  • Make a “$;&? You” fund. As dope as you are for making it this far, I’m sure you won’t want to go through it again. And yes, your first few weeks or months back in normality will be dedicated to paying folk back. But as you pay people back, aggressively put money on the side. Call it a $&;@ You fund; to be used just in case you need to say ;@&$ you to an employer again. For while you made it through, you don’t want to struggle again if you don’t have to.




TN is community of young professionals who support the Greater Washington Urban League by focusing on Community Service and Civic Engagement in the DMV area.

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TN is community of young professionals who support the Greater Washington Urban League by focusing on Community Service and Civic Engagement in the DMV area.

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