Daily Archives: October 3, 2008

Don’t Quit Like This: What You Can Learn From These Mistakes

Quitting a job isn’t always easy. There are right – and wrong – ways to quit a job, and not everyone makes the most appropriate decision when it comes to giving notice. But, you can learn from the case studies we shared about what not to do. Instead, try using the three tips below to gracefully make your exit.

Make sure you have a plan. Currently, the average job search takes six months according to Tori Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and workplace contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America, so don’t assume you’ll land a better, higher-paying job next week if you decide to quit today. Whether it’s living off your savings, having another job lined up, or heading down to your local staffing agency to find temporary work, have a plan in place before you quit your job. Being prepared will prevent undue financial stress and frustration when you can’t find work immediately following your departure.

Don’t rush your decision. When you’re angry, upset, or frustrated, you might make rash decisions that you’ll regret later, so don’t quit when you first find yourself feeling this way. Step back, take a breath, and evaluate what’s going on. Are you constantly feeling this way, or is this a one-time incident that you can overcome? A lot of anger and frustration comes from simple misunderstandings, so communicate with your supervisor and team, and try to work out any problem areas together. This may take a day, a week, or even a month. You’ll make a better decision about quitting when you’re thinking clearly.

Leave on a good note. Potential employers often call your previous employers for job references, so you never want to leave on bad terms. Give as much notice as possible, even if circumstances don’t allow for the standard of two weeks. And, always inform your supervisor if you won’t be returning to work. Regardless of your prior work history, how you leave will be what is top of mind to that employer if someone calls for a reference.

Leaving a job isn’t always easy, but you can avoid derailing your career or sinking yourself into debt if you prepare ahead of time, make a clear decision, and leave on a good note. So the next time you leave a job, think about how you can effectively handle the situation by learning from others’ mistakes and using these tips to give your notice.