The third most popular New Years resolution is Find a New Job, right behind weight loss and exercise. All 3 are frequently on my resolution list. Is it on yours? Do you make that resolution every year? Is it really time to look, or is it just a habit you say when things are uncomfortable and you want to escape?
If you Google “Find a New Job” you will find 3 types of information:
- Find a new job – List and databases of jobs that are seeking incumbents
- The job finds you – Resume posting sites that employers search to find incumbents for jobs
- How to find a new job – Tips to help you find your new job
As an annual find a new job searcher, I have Googled this for years. There is something in my nature that drives me to look beyond my current position for something else. I find the search is driven by these themes:
- This job is making me sick/feel unsafe
- I am really unhappy or bored doing the work I am doing
- I really don’t feel good about working for this company
- I really want to work for this other company
- I am not making enough money
- I hate my boss
- I want to try something new, I need a change
Over the next few weeks, we will examine each one of these reasons to “find a new job” and look at options to assist with making those choices.
Don’t Be A Quitter?
So, what’s a good reason to quit? First and foremost, quitting your job before you are earning or will earn money from another job is never a good idea. An impulsive resignation should be avoided at almost all cost. Many of us live very close to each paycheck and paying our bills, and even missing one paycheck could impact our basic needs, like food, fuel, and a roof. With that said, there are good reason to say goodbye on short notice – without the benefit of a future paycheck.
- If your mental or physical health is so compromised by the job environment that you believe continuing the job will have a negative impact on your health.
- If you do not feel you are in a safe environment.
- If there are personal life emergencies that need your full attention for an extended period of time.
The job really does make you sick
I’ve experienced a job making me sick. I’ll spare you the details, but the unrelenting stress associated with the job was not good for me. My blood pressure increased so significantly I had to start medication. I understood the job would not change, so I quit – no job to go to. Our family had two wage earners at the time and I knew we could make it for a while without my paycheck, but it still was a hard decision. I ended up taking a job a week later on a part-time temporary basis, and I was able to get my blood pressure under control. It was a good decision for me at the time.
It’s a scary place – really
Any time you believe you are in an unsafe situation, you need to bring it to the attention of your manager and/or human resources. If your management does not address the situation, you need to make a decision about whether or not you want to continue to work in that environment. Whether it’s a parking garage that is dark with no security present or a co-worker who is acting aggressive or making threats, if you believe you could be in danger, it’s time to go.
Life happens and we need to care for it
Sometime, life happens, and a family member or dear friend needs help and you are the only one who can help. I’ve seen this happen to many of my women friends; they end up being the caregiver for elderly family members. When they realize they can’t be caretaker and employee at the same time, they sometimes make the decision to leave a job. Be careful if you need to make this choice. Unless you believe you will be able to get a job quickly when your caretaker role changes, you may want to investigate asking for a leave of absence. Some companies will grant leaves up to a year, although there is no guarantee your job will be there when you return. Don’t forget about the Family Medical Leave Act FMLA which allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for care of family members. In addition, FMLA ensures you a job when you return after your leave. Before you go off and quit, make sure you understand your choices.
2 Week Notice?
So, you’ve decided to quit, and you want to do it now – how much notice should you give your employer? While it varies, you should always try to give 2 weeks notice. You should prepare a resignation letter with the date you intend to leave addressed to your manager. You do not need to go into detail about your reason for leaving, just tell them you are resigning your position, effective (date) and that’s it. You should deliver it in person (don’t leave it on her desk while she’s at lunch) if possible. If you work remotely, call your boss first and tell him the news personally, then follow up with an email with the letter attached or send it through the postal service. Remember, if you email it, send a PDF file so it can’t be changed. If possible, don’t burn bridges. Even if you can’t stand your manager, thank him for the opportunity. You really don’t have to mean it, but at some point during your tenure, you must have learned something or enjoyed the job – you accepted it.
You should not have to use this Find a Job technique more than once during your career. It’s so much easier to find a job when you have a job. If you find yourself frequently quitting your job before you have a new job, you need to think about why you keep taking jobs you want to run from. We’ll look at that in a future blog. Have you ever quit a job without a job to go to? How did you handle it? What would you do differently? What was the outcome? Leave us a comment below or share using #findanewjob on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or post a short clip on Youtube.