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Enzo, your stance is what most people take as it's a risk resigning without a confirmed job to go to.
Most people don't hand their notice in until an unconditional job offer is received.
I have taken the risk this time as I couldn't stand the company I worked for. However, I've money in the bank, low monthly outgoings and could be temping in a few days if I wanted.
In what field is your experience that most people wait for a "firm" offer before resigning. Who tells them references have been received? What does their current employer generally do when they receive the reference request and the employee has not yet told them about the new offer or resigned?
NHS, education, councils etc say the offers are conditional. Some take up references before interview, some after and it's a case of waiting for the start date. When that's received it generally means everything has come through and is ok.
My private sector roles have always involved a job offer, confirmed start date, with the risk of it being pulled if they're not happy with anything, even after starting. It's been a 1 - 3 month notice period, therefore plenty of time to get references.