You’re thinking of quitting your job. You feel that there are no career advancements. You’re getting paid less than you deserve. You’re not challenged. You feel you’re being mistreated. Whatever the case, you’ve polished up your resume and you’re ready to move on.
Before you walk into your boss’ office and announce that you won’t be coming back tomorrow, you need a strategy.
Ever dream of quitting your job like this?
It worked for Marina Shifrin, whose video of her quitting her job while dancing to Kanye West’s ‘Gone’ went viral. She even ended up getting a new job offer from Queen Latifah as a result of her video.
But for most people, it’s not always a happy ending. Quitting your job is a big decision, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly and there should be a process before you quit your job.
Here’s your checklist before quitting your job
1. Think it through
Everyone has that horrible day when you just want to throw in the towel. Along with a few other things, quitting on impulse is one of the worst things you can do for your career. It might feel good for a good 30 minutes, but when reality settles in, you’ll regret it.
Do not allow your emotions to dictate your decisions … especially not at work.
Take the time to think it through, update your resume, talk to people in your life and consider the financial ramifications of quitting your job.
Strategize about what you’ll do after you quit your job. You’ll rarely be 100% sure you’re making the right decision, so learn to be okay with that.
Sometimes making the hard decision to quit your job will end up advancing your career.
2. It’s easier to find a job when you already have one
Ironic isn’t is?
Remember when I told you that recruiters prefer working with people who have jobs? There are a few reasons it’s in your benefit to look for a job when you’re employed:
- It’s easier to explain why you want a better job
- You’re able to negotiate a better compensation package when you are currently employed
- You make better decisions about the next job you take when you still have a pay-check
Not only will you have more confidence when you are employed, but employers will also feel more confident about hiring someone who is employed.
3. Prepare for a counteroffer
Great, you took my advice about looking for a job when you’re employed. Now do you also remember when I told you about the dangers of accepting a counteroffer and that it could actually mean career suicide?
Before you tell your boss you’re quitting, you need a strategy and that strategy includes how you will respond to a counteroffer. You may not get one, but if you do, you want to ensure you’re prepared and know how to respond professionally.
Think through the possibility of a counteroffer and analyze the pros and cons before you resign. One thing to keep in mind is that a counter offer is usually simply a temporary bandage.
4. Quit your job in writing AND in person
It’s important to do both! Read your employment contract, there’s likely a clause about the amount of notice you have to provide your employer. Usually it’s two weeks, but I’ve seen contracts of up to five weeks.
You want to document the actual date of your resignation and that can be done with a letter that you hand deliver to the appropriate person.
At the same time, you want to make it as personal as possible. A quick meeting or a telephone conversation with your boss is important so that you walk away not having burned your bridges. If it’s not possible to meet with your boss, you should make an effort.
5. Stay connected
Our lives get busy, especially if you’re starting a new job, and it’s hard to stay in touch with old bosses and co-workers. Online networking sites like LinkedIn make it much easier to stay in touch with old colleagues and bosses.
You may need a reference, they may be able to assist you with your next career move or perhaps you’ll be able to assist them. Whatever the reason, it’s always a good idea to stay in touch.