We all have ups and downs at work, and at one point or another everyone questions whether there might be a better job opportunity for them elsewhere. But once being down at work is no longer a passing and has become the norm, you’ll probably decide it’s time to quit your job. Timing, however, may not work in your favor. Your desire to hightail it out of your current situation may be countered with practical delays. Whether it’s the fact that companies have generally adopted a lengthier interview process or you realize you need to wait for a bonus check to come in before moving on, you’re not always going to be in control of how and when you leave.
Mentally you’re checked out but physically and financially you’re stuck. What do you do? NOTHING!
It isn’t going to be easy, but the truth is, there is only one thing to do. You must approach your current job as if you’re not planning to leave. Here's why:
In addition to raising a red flag to your manager that you’re possibly looking for a new opportunity, if you start slacking, any positive reputation you’ve worked hard to create for yourself may be quickly erased.
2. You don’t want to burn any bridges.
Slacking off, having a bad attitude and acting like you’re just plain over it won’t do you or your colleagues any good. If you’re part of a team you need to pull your weight as long as you’re employed. Other people are depending on you and it’s not fair to negatively impact them in any way because of your personal decision to fly coop whenever the opportunity comes up.
Most likely you’ll need references from colleagues and managers. How you leave a company and the way you behave leading up to the announcement of your departure will be their last impression of you!
3. Don’t say a thing about leaving to anyone!
You may be so excited about the decision to move on even if you don’t have a plan in place. But letting the cat out of the bag before it’s official is never a good idea. Talk travels, and you certainly don’t want it to travel to your manager before you’re ready or when you’re not in control of the message.
Otherwise you may find yourself leaving on very different terms than you had initially hoped for. Not to mention, if for some reason, things improve and you decide to stay, no one in your organization will know of your previous plan to leave, which could negatively impact your growth within the organization even if you decide to stay put.
Michele Mavi has nearly 15 years of experience as a recruiter, interview coach, and resume writer. She is Atrium Staffing’s resident career expert, as well as director of internal recruiting and content development. She also founded Angel Films, a division of Atrium Staffing focused on the creation of recruiting and training videos.