There is a right way and a wrong way to do just about everything; including quitting a job. In fact, leaving a job behind can often invoke a lot of emotion, which can sometimes lead to costly mistakes in the end.
In this article, were going to discuss the right way to go about quitting a job. We're going to first provide some statistics around the numbers of workers that quit or leave their jobs voluntarily. We'll also talk briefly about the potential loss of benefits that can occur when someone quits their job. Finally, we'll explain the importance of exiting a job in such a way that long-term career plans remain intact.
There are many reasons to quit a job. Some people get passed up for a promotion, or might believe they've been treated unfairly by their employer or manager. Being offered a better job elsewhere requires employees to resign from their job; typically providing two weeks' notice.
The United States Bureau of Labor statistics keeps track of how many unemployed persons quit or leave their jobs voluntarily. The statistics are remarkably consistent from the years 1997 through 2007. In particular:
The most significant downside of quitting a job can be the loss of state and federal benefits. For example, individuals living near the poverty level might not be eligible for food assistance if they quit their current job. It's also possible to lose unemployment benefits, although this loss will depend on the circumstances, for example:
Suppose someone quits a job because their spouse was transferred to another location. This worker had a very good personal reason to quit their job. However, since there is no fault by the employer, the worker might be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.
On the other hand, if a worker notifies their employer that certain conditions at a worksite pose a safety hazard, and the employer does not, or cannot, correct the problem, then the worker might still qualify for benefits even if they quit their job.
As mentioned earlier, there is a right way and a wrong way to leave a job. It's not a good idea to leave a job and create bad feelings among ex-coworkers. No matter how someone feels about their former manager, they should resist the temptation to tell everyone how they really felt when they were passed up for a promotion.
That being said, there are several important steps to follow when quitting a job gracefully:
Before announcing an exit from a company, carefully prepare both written documents as well as rehearse what is going to be said when announcing the resignation, for example:
I hereby give you two weeks' notice of my intention to leave my position of Manager of Operations at the XYZ Company.
I wish both you personally, and the XYZ Company, much success in the future. I would also like to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to be part of the Operating team for the past four years.
If someone's asked why they are leaving the company, it's best to stay focused on the opportunities at the new employer. Don't dwell on the past, or leave a coworker with the impression the current employer doesn't offer those same opportunities. Don't leave anyone with the impression of anger about something that occurred in the past. Remain focused on the future prospects that have been offered.
Occasionally, an employer will attempt to retain an employee via a counteroffer. Many times, this dialog can evoke the urge to tell that employer how unhappy the situation really was at work. Again, resist the temptation to "burn a bridge," and instead reiterate the great opportunity that's already been offered.
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