The 5 Things You Should Always Do Before Quitting a Job
Choosing to quit a job is not an easy decision. Whether you can’t stand your current position, feel overwhelmed or stressed out, or just want to experience something new, it is crucial to sit down, take stock of the situation, and come up with a plan before making it official. Consider the tips below in order to make quitting your job as simple and amicable as possible.
Start Looking for a New Job Beforehand
The day after resigning is not the time to start hunting for a new job. Ideally, you should aim to have another offer lined up before quitting. There may be some emergency situations in which this doesn’t apply, but in general there should be some guarantee that you will have an available income source when you leave your current position. Networking and keeping up with contacts can make this process much easier.
Don’t Burn Bridges
As tempting as it might be to make a grand exit or tell off a bad manager, avoid burning bridges at all costs. Not only does it reflect poorly on your maturity and professionalism, but it’s a good way of losing out on potential references as well. When a new employer calls your old boss, you don’t want them to tell horror stories. If an employer wants to know why you are resigning, be honest and polite in your response.
Have a Long-Term Plan
When having a second job lined up before quitting isn’t possible, having a thorough long-term plan is absolutely essential. The sobering truth is that the average duration of unemployment is almost nine months. What’s more, quitting a job instead of being fired often means you aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. Because of this, you need to have a budget plan and several months’ worth of expenses saved up before quitting, in order to avoid finding yourself in an even worse situation.
Think it Over
Before making the decision to quit, allow yourself time to think things through and ensure it’s what you want to do. Are you quitting because of an unsustainable job environment, or just because of a few particularly rough days? Sometimes it requires looking at the big picture to realize that quitting may not be the best course of action. At the least, it will give you time to begin planning your next moves.
Give Sufficient Notice
This goes hand in hand with not burning your bridges. Always write out a formal resignation and give it to your employer in person. In most situations, you will be expected to give notice two weeks before quitting, though many professional workplaces require more transition time for a new hire. Be prepared to come to work and possibly even help train your replacement, and avoid the temptation to simply disappear without giving notice.
The bottom line is that quitting a job is a difficult decision that should not be made lightly. However, by making the right preparations in advance and staying calm and professional throughout the process, transitioning out of one job and into a new one can be made as smooth and painless as possible.