Thinking About Quitting Your Job? Read This First.
Job changes are inevitable.
Career paths are non-linear and stressful at times. You’re paving it yourself, aren’t always sure what’s next and thinking about quitting your job is a difficult decision.
There are many reasons that lead someone to consider leaving their current job. We all want to be growing professionally, doing meaningful work, and connecting with those around us but sometimes this just isn’t the case after being on the job for awhile. Or maybe you feel “behind” or that you don’t have the career that you are “supposed to” based on problematic (and unnecessary) societal or social expectations.
On average, people change jobs every 4.6 years and hold a total of 12 jobs throughout their entire career according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Knowing when it’s time to leave and how you will exit the company is crucial in maintaining your professional reputation and ensuring a smooth, positive experience for both the employee and employer.
Before handing in your resignation, freshening up your resume and getting back on the market, there are some important considerations to think about.
The Grass is Rarely Greener on the Other Side
In fact, in no workplace will you find a vast landscape of beautiful green grass with sunshine and rainbows. If it appears this way, it’s probably synthetic turf masking some rough terrain that is tough to grow a career on.
Often, we are so overwhelmed with dissatisfaction and frustration in our current role or company that we forget to realize that a shiny, exciting new job won’t be a perfect solution. Every workplace has challenges and things you will not like. Think of switching jobs as leaving all the things you didn’t like about your current role for a new set of challenges and things that aren’t perfect. When looking for a new role, pay just as much attention to the potentially negative aspects of the workplace as you do the positives. So they may have an upbeat, positive culture from the looks of their employee events on social media and they have a great PTO policy, but how do their teams interact when facing a challenge? Will you be okay with working independently? Are office conversations going too political or personal?
Getting caught up in the “grass is greener on the other side” pitfall can result in some serious disappointment later on (and maybe some regret of leaving your position).
Don’t Let This Moment Affect Your Long-Term Opportunities
Above all, remember that how you start a job and how you leave a job is far greater to your reputation than anything you did in between. Despite a successful tenure with the company (and no matter how much money you made or saved the company) your former colleagues will likely only remember how you left if it was on negative terms.
While your feelings may be intensified and your emotions are affecting your presence at work or your during your leaving period, this is the time where you will be leaving a lasting impression – so make sure it’s a positive and respectful one.
Wouldn’t you love to be known as a true professional who was incredibly respectful in leaving the company and ensured a cordial and smooth transition for both parties? Wouldn’t that be what you want your manager to mention when they are asked for an employment reference in the future?
Worried About Appearing as a Job Hopper? You’re Right to be Concerned.
You’re right to be concerned – there is essentially no skill or credential that can mask a spotty work history. Employers are no doubt concerned and can’t feel confident in your ability to make a long term commitment no matter what you promise. Many employers would hire a candidate with lesser skills or years of experience that has a demonstrated solid work history out of fear they will leave as soon as things get challenging (inevitable in any job where you are growing your skills) or when another employer recruits them for $0.50 more per hour.
You might want to think about staying longer at your current job (even if you don’t love it) because it might impact your future employment opportunities. This is especially true for temporary or short-term assignments where you have made a very specific commitment.
If you do end up leaving your role, are you prepared to assure employers that you aren’t a high-risk hire? Have you self-reflected and gotten enough insight from this job to know what you need in your next job to ensure it will fit your needs for longer than this role?
Obviously, if goes without saying, that if you are experiencing abuse or inappropriate conditions, your health and safety should be prioritized.
Think About the Current Conditions in the Job Market
The job market is currently experiencing unprecedented conditions as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent economic downturn that sent unemployment rates into highs not seen since the 1930s. These conditions have created an employer driven market where there are less open jobs than candidates looking for work. In previous times, you may have needed to submit 5 or less job applications to get an interview, but now you may need to submit 10+ applications to merit the same results. Simply put, job searching is more time consuming and competitive than ever.
Additionally, if you do decide to leave your job and cannot find new work, extra unemployment benefits (which were as high as $600 per week earlier this summer) are no longer available and you’ll only be compensated for at most 70% of your previous wage.
Take a Closer Look at Your Current Role
As difficult as it may be to even think about staying in your role (or trying to work with your difficult co-workers or manager), it can often be wise to give things another shot, eliminate the potential of looking like a job hopper and showing your employer that you can take on challenges head on. Think – is there anything I can do to improve the situation if timing isn’t right to switch jobs?
We hope that with this added context, you’ll be able to thoughtfully make important decisions about your employment. In summary, here are some important questions to ponder before you get ready to make your next career move:
- Am I leaving this job for the right reasons? (To grow your skills and experience, more flexibility, better location, etc)
- Is changing jobs now going to help or hinder my career?
- Is changing jobs now going to impact your chances of securing a new (better) job in the future?
- How will you respond in a job interview when asked about how or why the job ended? Or the length of time you spent at that company?
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years.
A 4 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE provides multiple placement options….
- Direct Placement – Full or Part Time
- Temp to Hire Auditions
- Short or Long Term Temporary or Contract Assignments – Full or Part Time
Our services for job seekers include….
- Resume reviews and consultations
- Access to the “Hidden Job Market”
- Insider intros to TOP Employers HIRING NOW
- Confidential Job Searches
- Professional Career Guidance
There is NEVER A FEE for using our services.
We provide paid absence and healthcare benefits for employees assigned to work at client sites thru our services. .
To learn more about how one 2 minute application can open doors to a full range of PACE placement services plus introductions to local employers hiring now, contact PACE’s candidate services team at 425-637-3301 or email Candidates Services.