Really quit your job?
There seems to be an increasing amount of frustrations amongst employees. Who doesn’t know those days when you’re annoyed with the boss or colleagues, having to change a client project for the 10th time or being stuck in heavy traffic to and from your office? Who hasn’t experienced a day when they weren’t bored and felt there was no room for them to grow and develop? All these little things can add to something big and then what? Quit?
Step back and reflect
You’ve heard the saying “Do what you love and you’ll never work for a day in your life.” Yet, I don’t believe that the majority of us are always, every day, every minute having a fun and fantastic time at work. There are days when things don’t go well (yesterday wasn’t a great day for me) and that’s okay. If these days are becoming more frequently, it’s time to think about what’s going on now and your future.
Before you’re handing in your resignation, let’s look at what’s actually happening. Is it just you having 2 or 3 bad days in a row?
Evaluate your work from different angles, if you’re unsure what’s going on. Look at your commute, your physical work environment, the relationships with your boss, colleagues and clients, the work itself, the strategy set by top management, the mission of the company, the products and services produced and offered, the industry, opportunities to learn more and to move into other roles, the salary, the benefits (financial and non-financial) and so on.
Can you see an area (or maybe multiple) which makes you want to leave your job? Is there a trend that you can identify?
Without reflecting on your desire to change, quitting this job may not solve the underlying issue and you may take it with you to the next job.
Change what you can
Knowing what is frustrating you, you can now review what you can do to change that situation. Do you feel stuck in your role? Discuss with your boss how you’d like to learn more. The company may not be able to send you on 5-day-long training course in London, however, they may have a huge online academy where you can take courses at your own time.
Is there a new project coming up where you can take a small role and gain the practical experience?
Are there conferences or presentations to learn more and network with others interested in that topic? Attend those. Many in this region are offered for free.
Don’t rely on the company offering you everything. Be pro-active and if you can’t afford to attend an evening programme, take courses from Coursera or edX. They offer thousands of courses from established universities online. Network with others in your industry or in the industry you’d like to work in.
You’d be surprised how often managers have no idea what their employees think, need or want. They may not always be able to give you everything. Rather than waiting till you quit your job, having this discussion now may improve work for you in such a way that you want to stay.
Are you still unsure if you want to quit? You may adjust your attitude to work. See work as an enabler for something else in your life. It could be sending your children to a school where they are happy and well educated. It may be a more expensive hobby like travelling once a month or having your own horse. Or it could be a short stint knowing that afterwards you’ve reached your savings goal and are able to pursue what you want then.
Check out internal opportunities
You spoke with your boss but nothing changed. Now what? Take matters in your own hand and look at other opportunities within the company, if you want to stay with your employer.
Check the internal vacancies or speak with other managers about current and future opportunities in their teams. Depending on the culture, you may need to keep these conversations vague. In other companies, you can be very straight forward in your quest to change teams.
This is what a former colleague did after she was told she wouldn’t move any further up in her team. Enjoying her time with the company, she looked at other internal opportunities and, since the beginning of this month, she’s working in a different function and a higher level job. No need to quit the company, just the job.
Know your numbers
Making the decision to quit your job can be a lengthy process. Speak with your spouse about it and how you and your family will manage while you don’t have a job. For how long can your family afford you not working?
Review your monthly expenses and your savings. What debt do you have and how does that need to be paid off? Can you still manage these outflows? Calculate how long you can live off your savings.
Money just leaves your pockets when you’re not working. It’s insane and unless you’re sticking to a tight budget, your savings may be gone much sooner than you had anticipated.
The fine print
Here’s my little reminder to always read the fine print! Whether it’s for a bank loan, an employment contract or a surgery, know what you’re getting into.
Your employment contract mentions your notice period or may refer to a law or policy describing any possibilities of buying yourself out of a contract. To quit and leave the office is maybe possible in the movies, yet is highly unlikely here. So, unless your company will waive your notice period, you’ll be expected to work it like a regular employee.
Understand if you’re restricted from working for specific companies. These non-compete agreements may not always be enforceable and depending on your plans, your lawyer may need to review them and can advise you.
If you’re on a limited contract, understand the financial penalty if you resign before the end of the agreed fixed term.
Be aware of the legal implications
Once your visa has been cancelled, there’s a grace period for you to stay in this country. You either get your new employer to start the visa process during this period or, if you don’t have one, you’ll need to leave the country. Overstaying without a valid visa results in hefty fines.
Think also about medical insurance. It expires once your visa has been cancelled and you may need to take out temporary cover until you’re insured through your new insurance.
If you’re planning to take a Sabbatical, get an insurance advisor to identify the best plan for you. Based on my own experience negotiating corporate health insurance and then my own, you can be left in awe seeing thee high premiums charged for individual members plus you may not even get near as good coverage!
What comes next
Do you want to look for a new job, set up your own business or go on a sabbatical, travelling the world?
This may be the right time to also review your values and see how much you’re living according to them. For example, you may be working for a tobacco company while health is extremely important to you and wonder why you’re unhappy.
How do you want to be remembered? Try the grandma trick to identify what is important to you and what you want to do next.
A “wait and see” approach may not be the best option in this region. Our residency is tied to a job and the options to just stay here without one are limited. You’ll need to be aware of all the consequences! It may be counter intuitive for the more spontaneous person, yet, in this region, you need to be aware and prepared.
You’ve made up your mind
The decision to quit can be a process. Weighing up and down the pros and cons, looking at the consequences, you may decide to stick it out another day, another week, another month or even year. But no, today’s the day! “I quit! I quit! I quit!”
While the journey to quit their job is for everyone a different one, the better prepared you are, the more successful this step can be for you.
This was a longer post than anticipated and I’ll write more about what comes after you’ve quit your job in the next weeks.