When I quit my cushy IT job, I actually did it without another job lined up. I had some savings, but definitely not as much as some experts say which is at least 6 months of living expenses. 

Fast forward five years, I'm still on my own, and I'm the happiest I could ever be. Don't get me wrong, there were some hiccups along the way, but now it's clear now that quitting was the best decision I've ever made. 

So, in the wake of the recent midterm elections, most economists can agree on one thing--the economy is doing well right now. Jobs are steadily rising, and the market is doing just fine. So what does this mean for most people? For most Americans, it's time to find a better paying job, but filling out applications and sending in your resume may not be the best way to go about it.

In fact, it may seem strange to quit your job cold turkey when the market is hot, but there's something that goes along with the market strength that most people never consider: companies are more willing to invest in diversified staff to help them grow. NPR states that within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce.

Here's why now is the best time to quit when the market is hot.

Learn how to diversify your skill sets.

I started my career in IT and management consulting. Now I do marketing and writing for technology companies. This would have never been possible if I stayed the course in my full-time job. I don't think there's an option for me to tell my boss, "So you know, I've been thinking... Can you transfer me to marketing? I know my experience is in technology, but I think I'll be a better marketer."  Long story short, that answer is always NO.

When I quit, I started writing every day. I wrote 200 blog posts in a single year. Amazing things happen when you have time -- You start doing things you wouldn't normally do which is write every morning. I eventually turned all this writing into a book about career advancement.

Do you know what happens when you write a book? You want people to read it. Do you know how to get people to read your book? You learn marketing. And that's exactly what I did and how I ended up doing freelance marketing and writing for companies.

I didn't get a degree in marketing or go back to school. I started following two to three marketers I really enjoyed and started implementing their tactics.

So, if you did the math, I actually have three different skill-sets that I could fall back on. If you stayed in one job, and your job is made redundant, then you're not left with many options. This is only possible when you decide on your fate and not someone else.

Learn how to diversify your income.

Instead of relying on one client for income, I rely on seven. That means if two clients let me go, I still have five to rely on. Of course, I didn't start off with seven, I had to work my way up.

I learned how to market and sell myself and sell my services to different clients. This gives me an opportunity to diversify my income. At any given time, I have multiple clients paying me.

Of course, with more clients comes more work, but knowing in the back of your mind that you're not dependent on one person letting you go and sending you back to the drawing board, you can sleep knowing that you have multiple backup plans.

Learn how to land higher-paying jobs (if you ever decide to go back to full-time).

The worst case scenario is that you quit your job, gain some new experience, and go back to work full-time. It isn't the end of the world if you aren't successful. However, taking that risk could be the best thing you do in your career. 

That's exactly what happened to me. I quit and learned pretty quickly within 18 months that I didn't make as much money as I needed to make as an entrepreneur/freelancer. So, I reached back out to my network that I was on the market for a full-time gig.

What I did find out is that companies loved my experience working in different industries with different skill sets. The result? I ended up landing the highest paid job I've ever had as a Director of Marketing for a growing company because of my diversified skill-set and I knew exactly how much I was worth so I had negotiating leverage.

You can level up to get a new job, or you might just take my advice and diversity your skill-sets and income and never have to be worried about getting laid off again.

Published on: Nov 28, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.