Quitting your job shouldn't be a spur-of-the-moment decision you make in a fit of frustration. Think about why you're unhappy at work and what you want in the future before starting a job search, so you're more likely to find the right role. No matter how you feel about your employer, leave on a positive note to protect your professional reputation and future.
Look at the Situation Objectively
Leaving isn't the only solution if your problems at work can be resolved. Assess what went wrong in your current situation. Does your performance meet expectations on a consistent basis? Are you getting sufficient training and support? Do you feel slighted or unappreciated by your boss?
Reflect on whether you contributed to your dissatisfaction at work. It's common for employees to suffer in silence when they feel overlooked, instead of asking for what they want. Give your manager the benefit of the doubt and make a formal request for raises, promotions or perks. Moving on may be the best choice if your needs are continually unmet and your boss isn't willing to compromise.
Keep Your Job Search Private
When possible, wait until you have new job lined up before resigning. Spilling the beans to co-workers is never a good idea because news of your job search can easily travel back to your boss. Avoid doing any job hunting at work or posting resumes on open job boards, which could alert managers that you're jumping ship. Instead, focus on improving your LinkedIn profile and networking through trusted contacts who can quietly put you in touch with other hiring managers.
While it's challenging to schedule interviews when you already have a job, try to keep your work schedule as normal as possible. Taking long breaks or calling out several times a month are glaring signs of a job search. Try to fit interviews in during blocks of personal time, such as lunch breaks or after work.
Resign With Grace
The way you conduct yourself when quitting your job can have lasting repercussions. An angry, hasty exit puts your manager and teammates in a bad position, and everyone is left with bitter feelings as they scramble to reassign your workload. Foster good relationships with your co-workers to keep the door open for future opportunities. Management might change or a higher position could open that better suits your professional goals.
Once your job search is over, give your supervisor official notice of your resignation. Letting your manager know before others is a sign of respect and allows you to work out a transition plan together. Do your best to put negative feelings aside and express gratitude for the skills and knowledge you gained from your employer. You might need past bosses to provide references down the road, so maintain a positive attitude right up to your last day.
When you start a job search, don't use your departure as an excuse to let your performance slide. Working hard, treating your co-workers with respect and helping your boss through the transition shows your maturity and professionalism, which sends the right message to other employers. If you've ever quit a job, what advice can you offer other people who are planning a job search? What steps did you take to protect your professional future?
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