Thinking about quitting your job: Think twice before you resign

Guest Column: Emmanuel Zvada

RESIGNING from a job is one of the most stressful and uncomfortable things one will have to do in their career at one point. Let me put it clear that worrying about what other people think can often prevent you from doing what you know is right. Sometimes people take decisions that backfire and end up on the losing end after having already decided to resign. There are resignations that may have been done hastily. I pray that you do not become a victim of this.

There are some people who did not leave a job that they were supposed to, and now they are very unwell and full of regret. Sometimes we just get so entrenched with “pushing through” or “making it happen” to such an extent that we do not realise we are on a completely wrong path.

I am not saying if something does not feel right or does instantly work out that you should give up on it straight away. Carrying on is also brave and could be the right decision. But if you know that quitting something is the right thing to do, then do it. Do not be afraid to do so because of what others might think.

How you should resign from your job when it is time to move on, is tricky. It is, indeed, a skill. When you love your job, leaving because a better opportunity came along is not that easy due to fear of the unknown.

There are certain things you should not do when you turn in your resignation. In short, you do not have to burn your bridges. The job market is really bad right now. As a result, it may now be common that your job search can take a year or more. And even if your finances allow you to go without work for that long, simply being unemployed, especially for that amount of time, may make it harder to find your next job as employers tend to prefer to hire people who are already employed.

Do not quit because of emotions

Emotionally immature people are usually emotionally-driven, meaning their decisions could be based on emotions. If something happened and you are hurt or feel like you have had enough, take some days off and do something you enjoy. Try as much as possible not to think about work.

A lot of people frequently think of quitting when they get in a frustrating quarrel with a colleague, or when they do not get promoted quickly (and someone else does), or when they hate their boss’ attitude. In such cases, impatience will be just controlling and can lead you to quit your job. In your personal life, your reaction to stressful situations might make you start to think of quitting your job. That is not the right way to go.

Do not resign when you don’t have a plan

Quitting without a plan can cause unnecessary stress and panic. Not planning anything and just handing in your resignation is not encouraged as it can affect you. It is encouraged that you leave work with a plan about what you will do, where you will go next, and how you will provide for your income until you get a new job for yourself.
Resigning your job without any idea of what you will do next is not a decision to be taken lightly. With that said, it can also set you on the path to do what you are meant to. A smooth exit sometimes is needed. Whether you are moving on to a new adventure in your life, or quitting your job due to unhappy circumstances, you deserve to have a sense of closure before you leave.

Don’t leave a job solely on the basis of higher salary

Following your passion doesn’t always translate into a high-paying job. Money isn’t the only thing that motivates someone to perform well at their job, but it certainly factors in. Of course, a lot will argue here since what motivates many employees in a bad economy is the need for more money.

Considering that there is no stability in the economy, monetary gain may be good in the short-run, but if this new job can’t promise you a good career path or one that allows you to pursue higher positions, then you are setting yourself to a gold mine with a dead end. Finding a job that pays well is awesome, but you have to consider some other factors by weighing the pros and cons of a new, high-paying job. You will be choosing between making money and doing what you love and job satisfaction must be the centre of it all.

Don’t leave before you need to leave.

It is encouraged that you take time to look for a new job before you actually hand in your resignation. You can use your leave days or lunch times to attend interviews so that you do not disturb your current job. Please, also keep that to yourself as you do not know where it will end, especially in a workplace.

On a different note, if you are planning to quit and start your own business, you can start growing your business, while you are at work, but not affecting your current job. Continue building and growing your business and only leave when you have a stable customer base, and a solid revenue trajectory.

Organise your finances and your savings

It is also crucial to bear in mind that when you resign, you also have to pay your bills. Even if you have savings, they might not last as long as you need them to, so you need to have enough savings to keep you going. Keep in mind that it will be harder to apply for loans once you leave your job, hence you need to have some savings tucked away to support you over the next few months or to cater for emergencies that may happen.

We only have a limited amount of time and yet a limitless number of different paths to go down and explore. Do not waste your time on one job that is compromising happiness.

Find something new and avoid much stress. We all quit something at some point, so don’t fear the stigma. Do what brings you happiness to your work life.

All the same, quitting a job and starting a new one all over again for a reason that is not worth it, or for a reason that was not properly meditated, is such a big cost to bear. It can be career destabilising and may affect your personal life.

So, thinking twice before you quit your job is really necessary.

 Emmanuel Zvada is a human capital consultant/international recruitment expert and author. He writes in his personal capacity.

3 Comments

  1. Conway Tutani is Captured

    Very insightful article, thanks you Emmanuel

  2. Good and balanced article. Well done.

    My only possible reservation or rather need for more advice from you is when you new business is in conflict with the current one. For example you are a consultant or mechanic. Would you steal clients from your current employer or just do something on the side that wouldn’t look ethical?

    If not, where does one start?

  3. MALNOURISHED CITY WORKER.

    Thanks Manu, for a very good article. Now listen, Manu, city of Harare workers have gone for 5 or so months without salaries and most of them are resigning daily after taking their leave days to refresh. I believe, you should visit City of Harare places like: (a) cnr speke and second old mutual bldng. (b) Rowan martin bldg near rainbow towers, (c) Harare water workshop along coventry opp zesa and lecture the employees. The employer is frustrating the workers while at the same time dining with workers union leaders and at the same time buying top of the range cars and holding seminars outside harare discussing harare issues. I believe its a hell on earth to keep being a harare city council employee.

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