Topic of the Week Wanderlust
- DO tell your boss first.
- DO make a clean break.
- DO keep them in your network.
- DON'T forget unemployment insurance.
Wanderlust: The Right Way to Quit Your Job
Anyone who has ever suffered through a terrible job probably shares the same fantasy: going out in a blaze of glory. Sure it's politically incorrect in a working world that swears by the phrase "don't burn any bridges," but it sure can be emotionally satisfying. Which reminds me of Joey from Providence, Rhode Island. He was a hotel worker who brought a brass band to work to tell his boss that he was quitting. Really. Check it out on YouTube under "Joey quits."
Most of us will never follow in Joey's footsteps in the way that he left his job, but more and more of us will be quitting our jobs. In fact, voluntary quits are up 20% in the past two years. As the economy improves, more of us are ready to move on. And with good reason, the number of jobs currently available has gone up 42% in the past two years (both stats are according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). That's why I've provided three Do's and one Don't for quitting your job the right way.
DO tell your boss first. It is complicated enough to quit your job, the last thing you need is to have your boss hear it via the grapevine rather than directly from you. Sure it's tempting to talk about your frustrations about your boss and job with coworkers. But it's also risky. Quitting your job is a big deal and should be talked about with friends, former coworkers, family or anyone else that isn't in direct contact with your boss.
DO make a clean break. Give notice, finish your major projects, offer to train your replacement and don't poach any of your clients. A clean break is not only helpful for your career, it's good for your peace of mind. I've even known people who have gotten paid as a consultant to ensure for a safe transition. Again, leaving your former company in the lurch might feel emotionally satisfying for things that the company did, or didn't do to you, but it's a bad idea to leave a trail of damage in your past.
DO keep them in your network. I've known people who've left companies and are still held in high regard. Let's face it, the world is a small place, you don't know when former colleagues or bosses might be helpful to you in your next job.
DON'T forget unemployment insurance. Most people assume that the only way that you can qualify for unemployment insurance is if you are let go. But actually it is possible to also qualify after being fired or quitting. If you have quit but have "good cause," you can still qualify for unemployment insurance. For example, does your workplace create health problems for you? Or are the working conditions unacceptable?
As emotionally satisfying as it may be to hire a brass band for your exit from a job you hate, follow these tips so you don't eliminate any possibilities as you move forward in your career.
Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.