The vast majority of professionals experience the resignation process at some point during their careers. There are plenty of good reasons to quit a job: maybe you’re moving to another city, maybe you’ve received a better offer from a different company, maybe you’re planning to head back to school... the list goes on and on.
However, it’s equally true that some employees choose to resign their roles when a bit of deliberation (and possibly a different tactic) would ultimately serve them better. If you’re thinking of putting in your two-weeks-notice for any of the following eight reasons, it may be worth taking a second look and determining whether quitting is the best way to achieve your goals.
1. You want to leave because you’re unhappy with a short-term work assignment.
It’s a familiar work situation for many employees: your boss gives you a project that requires overtime hours, constant stress, and little-to-no opportunity for incentive pay. You’re annoyed with your manager and frustrated by the workload, so much so that you begin considering handing in your resignation on the spot. Yes, it’s understandable to feel irritated to the point of quitting by an especially high-maintenance assignment, and if these projects become routine in your workplace, using them as a reason to step aside isn’t unreasonable. However, a single tough short-term assignment shouldn’t interrupt your steady employment. If you’re stressed and overwhelmed by the project, have a conversation with your manager and find out if she can provide resources or assistance to ease the burden.
2. You want a more flexible work arrangement...but haven’t discussed that with your manager.
These days, perks like flex-time and work-from-home days seem more ubiquitous than ever across numerous industries. However, if you work for a traditional 9-to-5 employer or a company that requires weekend hours and “graveyard shifts”, you may find yourself annoyed by your company’s rigidity and wishing to find a career option with a more malleable schedule. Fair enough...but unless you’ve discussed this desire with your boss and received a “no”, then quitting shouldn’t be your first step on the road to a better schedule.
3. You don’t like receiving criticism from your boss.
Of course, certain bosses take their “employee critiques” to an over-the-top level: constantly hovering, making rude and unnecessary comments, and leading employees to feel mistrusted and inadequate. But as long as it’s done to a reasonable extent, feedback from your manager is a healthy and crucial part of the boss-employee dynamic. If you’re quitting because you can’t handle negative comments about your work (even if they’re made respectfully and accurately), then leaving your job likely won’t solve your problem, as good managers will universally need to provide feedback like that.
4. You were passed over for a promotion when there were more qualified candidates.
Especially if you’ve worked for your company for a considerable amount of time, it makes sense that you’d resent being passed over for a promotion. But if you evaluate the pool of other applicants and see that the successful candidates possess traits that you lack (like educational credentials, additional years of experience and specific professional achievements), then you may want to reconsider taking your “rejection” too personally. If you truly believe that you’re being unfairly overlooked, ask your manager for a meeting and find out (in a non-confrontational way) what you can do to make yourself a more competitive candidate for these opportunities.
5. You want to “be your own boss” but haven’t formulated a clear plan to make that a reality.
The dream of becoming your own boss is a commonly-held one, and when you’re frustrated with your actual managers, it’s pleasant to imagine a work life in which you report to no one but yourself. And if you’re dedicated and committed to the idea, it’s certainly possible to branch out on your own as a business owner. However, a well-conceived plan is essential to this aspiration. If you quit your steady, well-paying job with full benefits on a whim because you feel like calling all of the shots in your professional world, the related difficulties can easily overwhelm the benefits.
6. You’re bored, but you’re also being passive about it.
Feeling like you don’t have enough to do at work isn’t a comfortable situation, and it can quickly spiral into large-scale dissatisfaction. But instead of calling it quits just because you’re bored on the job, you may reap better results by asking your teammates and managers for additional assignments. This presents you as a proactive staff member and will also keep you occupied during your tedious slow periods.
7. You think that you’re about to get fired and want to beat them to the punch.
When applying for jobs, it’s true that checking the “Yes” box on the “Have you ever been fired from a job?” question can raise additional inquiries from the interviewers. Therefore, when informed of their upcoming termination and offered the chance to resign instead, many professionals choose the latter option. But quitting your job without a clear conversation on the topic between yourself and your manager definitely qualifies as jumping the gun. If you’re truly concerned about your standing at work, ask your supervisor for her honest feedback; if she’s good at her job, she’ll tell you the truth.
8. You’re dealing with a sense of “imposter syndrome” about your job.
“Imposter syndrome," or the belief that you hold a position that’s beyond your skills and experience, plagues many professionals at all levels. And if you really think that you’ve been hired for a job that you don’t have the ability to perform, it’s wise to inform your bosses of your discomfort and to find out how they’d like to proceed. However, you also owe it to yourself to take an honest look at your abilities and knowledge. If you think that you need additional education to do your job better, have a conversation with your boss and/or HR to find out whether the company can subsidize classes or seminars. Communication is key, and there’s no need to quit preemptively without first discussing other possible outcomes.