The Right Reasons to Quit Your Job
When you quit your job, it is important to resign as gracefully and professionally as possible. It’s also important to be doing it for the right reasons. While a lot of people will claim they’re unhappy with their current position, there is a difference between hating your job and wanting to quit. It’s important to recognise that there are good reasons and bad reasons to quit your job.
Obviously, if you have sourced or been offered a great new position elsewhere, this is a great reason. But make sure you have the new offer in writing, with a start date. Also, ensure you give your current employer the correct amount of notice, but be aware that if you are leaving to do go a new competitor, your employer may request you leave immediately with a cheque for your notice period. That is not pettiness on your boss’ part; it is pure commercial sense. So, if this is the case, try and make sure you have been gradually clearing your desk before you hand in your notice.
A bad work environment is the most common cause that people cite to quit. This may even entail not having a position to go to. This may seem a bad decision, but it could actually be the best outcome for your mental health in very bad situations.
Other valid reasons may include illness, a need to relocate, returning to studies, the fact that you have no motivation for your work, you yearn for a career change, or you have heard that your company is going to start laying off personnel and you need to find a job to go before you are told to go without anything in place.
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Regardless of how you resign, write a resignation letter. A resignation letter can help you maintain a positive relationship with your old employer while paving the way for you to move on. You never know when you might need that old employer to give you a reference, so it makes sense to take the time to write a polished and professional resignation letter.
Before you hand in your letter, tell your immediate manager in person first. This is the classy thing to do. Even if your manager is the reason you have decided to quit your job, it is still the right thing to do. Apart from anything else you are doing the right thing and it may even help bring you closure on a bad ongoing situation in your work life.
In fact, it is highly important you do not burn bridges, even though you may be absolutely bursting to give someone a piece of your mind. At the end of the day, the only person who suffers is you. There are many reasons for this. One is the regret you will almost immediately feel for having been so outspoken. More importantly, you never know who you may require a reference from in the future. The person you have unloaded upon is not allowed to give you a bad reference, but they can refuse to provide one at all, which rings huge alarm bells with future recruiters.
As the time approaches for you to leave you may be tempted to simply coast along, come in late, leave early, or be sloppy in your duties. Do none of these things, no matter how appealing. Tie up any loose ends and leave your area well organised and ready for someone new to pick up. Be as helpful and supportive as possible during the transition. It is the right thing to do – and it is a good way to make sure the last impression you leave is a great one.
Finally, as your final day approaches, do not make a knee-jerk decision to copy or email yourself a bunch of company documents before you leave. You never want to put yourself in an unethical situation where your employer might accuse you of stealing trade secrets or of violating a confidentiality agreement. No matter how useful you think said documents may be to your new job, just do not do it. Your integrity is the most important thing you can leave with.
When you have made the decision to quit your job, do it for all the right reasons, and stick to your guns. Stay professional right down the final hours. In short, be your best self at all times. In fact, whether you are starting a job, leaving, or at any point in between, work to bring out the best of who you are each day.