• Pooja Salian

How and When to Quit your Job!

Signs on recognizing the right time to quit your job

With the uncertainty in the current world, it is very easy to feel insecure and get into a comfort zone at your current workplace. However, it is important to separate comfort from complacence, understand, and identify the right time to change your job. It will give you better control over your career and put you in charge, increasing your chances of making a right decision at the right time. A change that is motivated by the right reasons and not by negativity and undue pressure.

It is important to understand the difference between having one bad day or an off day occasionally and a consistent pattern where every day starts looking the same. Here we give you some signs to identify if you might be actually ready to walk out of that door –

1. Under-compensation

Financial reasons remains one of the most important reason for people to feel pressured to quit. The feeling of being under-compensated for the work you do, or lesser paid than your peers holding similar experience or education can lead to frustration. This could be dangerous as the longer you stay in a place where your skills are undervalued, the more the chances of your self-worth and career being negatively impacted.

2. Dearth of growth opportunities

If you have this constant feeling that you have the ability or capability to do more or be more and you are not able to exploit your full potential in your current role, that could mean you are underutilized as a resource. In such a scenario, you could have a recourse to ask for a role change or promotion with increased responsibilities. However if you are in a company where you do not see this happening, it is very likely that your growth opportunities are being undermined.

3. Working in a toxic culture

It is rightly said that maximum people quit their bosses and not their companies. Unfortunately, it is impossible to ascertain the real culture of an organization or the undercurrents in the relationship with the boss and amongst staff that exists in a company until you are an integral part of it. However, when constructive criticism turns to constant mistreatment or ridicule and harmless office politics becomes vindictive and revengeful in nature, you know that you are working in a toxic culture or environment. Nobody can survive or thrive in such an environment no matter how skilled or effective they are at work.

4. Mental or physical stress

Another warning sign could be constant stress at work, which is affecting your physical and mental health. While a little bit of healthy challenge at work could be motivating, constant unhealthy amount of pressure, which affects your work life balance, your personal relationships and equations, could be toxic for you. If you have tried having a discussion with your manager about creating work boundaries or setting more realistic expectations and targets, but still do not seem to have achieved much ground, it might be time to consider moving on to a healthier environment.

5. Mismatch in the value system

Constantly having to compromise on your set of values and ethics to match the expectations of the organization is not healthy in the long run. It could disturb your peace of mind and make you at unease with yourself. The mismatch could be in the ethical or moral value system, or in terms of how work is prioritized, how teams are managed, or how key policies and frameworks around customers, governance, etc. are made. Clash in any of these important aspects could lead to discontentment over a period.

6. Company is in a flux

If you are privileged or observant enough to understand and identify when the company is in a flux mode – either not doing well, being sold off, acquired or merged, and what this entails for you, it might be the right time to make certain tough decisions. Salary freezes, hiring freezes, salary not being paid on time, constant impact on profitability quarter on quarter, staff layoffs or loss of customers / clients can all be major indicators of the deteriorating health of a company and it is important in such a scenario to play your cards at the right time. Exit while you still have options and are able to get a strong recommendation.

7. You are bored at work

When work is boring and not challenging enough, you may perceive things as a task. You are working because you have to, to make ends meet however given a choice this may not be the job you would prefer doing. While feeling a bit of the Monday blues is common, dreading going to work could be a major indicator that you are not happy and do not intend to be here in the long term. Feeing the need to justify your job constantly, or hesitating to recommend the firm to your job-searching friends, could all be indicators. If quitting is entering your mind more often than not, then very likely you need to actually quit!

You have now reached a crossroads, and identified the need to quit your job and approach your manager. Ensure that you approach the whole process gracefully, no matter the reasons why you decided to quit. Remember it takes years to build bridges, but it just takes minutes to burn them down. Do not put waste the professional relationships that you have spent years nurturing and trying to build.

1. Approaching your manager

Ensure that you approach your manager once you have a counter offer, unless you enjoy a close and comfortable relationship and are sure that your manager would guide and mentor you through your job search. Secondly, it is important to do this over a face-to-face discussion and not over an email or a telephone call. This will ensure that you are able to have a sensitized conversation around your reasons for quitting. Always portray the positives at your current workplace and the opportunities that you’ve been grateful for, citing clearly the reasons despite which you have decided to move on. Remember you reporting manager could be approached for a detailed reference check by your joining organization. Some of the important aspects you could cover in your discussion with your manager, is the need for a resignation letter, handover formalities and the notice period you are expected to serve.

2. Wrapping things up

Once you’ve had a discussion with your manager and have more clarity around the exit process and timelines, formalize the discussion over an email or letter as discussed. Also, take time to inform your colleagues and clients of your departure. It is important to send a mass mailer to everyone you worked with and maybe a personalized exit email to some that you have developed close relations with. This will help you stay in touch even after you quit. It would be good etiquette to share your personal connects or a link to your Linkedin profile, so people know how to stay connected.

3. The Handover process

If there is a replacement (internal / external) appointed already for your role during your transition period, you could offer to train them and make them hands on with the job. In many a cases you may also be involved in the replacement hiring process. Ensure you arrive at a consensual notice period to serve, basis the time that you would need to actually complete all the pending tasks at hand and complete the handover process satisfactorily to your replacement resource. It is important to respect the company policies and processes during your exit period. Ensure you do not take any official, confidential company data with you and handover all hardware and software assets provided to you by the company back as per the exit process. Ensure that all knowledge transfer in terms of client / contract data, etc. that you have acquired during your tenure is done to the satisfaction of your manager. Take a sign off at every stage from all important stakeholders – like IT, Compliance, HR, Admin, etc. This will ensure a smooth final settlement for you once you exit.

4. Exit interviews

If not automatically nominated, voluntarily ask to go through an exit interview process. This will allow an unbiased opportunity for you to present your feedback to a neutral audience as you exit, which could help other colleagues and your company to benefit as a whole. Exit interviews if used efficiently by companies, can provide insightful data and analytics to structure a company’s retention and hiring policies. Be respectful, factual and as objective as possible. Do not let your personal biases around people and scenarios affect your feedback and structure it in a constructive manner. Lastly, always keep the doors open. You can never predict the future – you may end up coming back in a different position in the same company or working with the same people in another organization.

All the Best!

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