quitting and starting over

so, i just quit my job that I’ve only been at for 8 months, without a new job lined up.
I’m freaking out that I should have stuck it out, but I’m trying to do what is right for me.
I’d just like to get some opinions, even if they are harsh (but not too harsh)…

It has been a nightmare since I started. The president, who hired me, had visions of me starting up a U.S. design team, with the prospect of becoming the design director. Well, he was fired two months after I started, my boss quit one month after I started. The owners became more involved and have the view that all design should be in Hong Kong, that they should provide design direction, and basically that they don’t need me. The overall feel of the company in abusive. 30 people out of 70 have quit in one year. The HR Director apologized for getting me messed up in the company and advised me to move on.
My reasoning for quitting before I have another job is that I want to get my confidence back and really explore what I want to and can do next.
If I stay here, I might take the first thing that comes along just to get out of here.
I am afraid that my job history is going to hurt me. I did stay at my last job for three years. I have about 8 years total experience. Most of my other jobs did not last more than 18 months, three due to lay offs or companies closing shop.

I have some freelance work, but it is not enough to pay the bills.

Am I brave for moving on, or am I someone who just can’t put up with a bad work situation?
Anyone have any experience like this?

i can’t say i would have done the same. i’ve had crappy jobs like that, but i toughed it out while looking for another position. the key was not to “check out” mentally at the job. sounds like you were working by a chinese system of management (unifomity and rule by fear and intimidation?). i was laid off twice, conditions beyond my control, but i never quit without having another job lined up. i fear you may be in the same boat with your next position should you get desperate and jump at the first opportunity that comes along.

seems like someone moved your cheese at that position.

good luck!

should have let them fire you or let you go, that way you could have collected unemployment, it isn’t that much per week, but it is better than a stick in the eye.

good luck

the general rule is “It is easier to get a job when you have a job”

That said, it’s in the past, so no sense harping on it. You did what you felt was best. While it might not have been the conventionally correct thing t do, it is also important to follow your gut. In interviews I’d spin it a bit and say something to the effect that the position was just not a good fit and you left so you could work on your skills and your portfolio…

Very true, and btw if you have been a outside indi for more than a few years its the kiss of death…