Should I stay, or should I go?

Aida Nassar
5 Min Read

Knowing when to resign from your job is all about weighing your options

CAIRO: The weekend is drawing to a close, and your dreading going back to the office Sunday morning. With the inter-office politics, the constant pressure, the lack of appreciation, you feel like you just can’t take it anymore. Job satisfaction has been replaced with persistent frustration. But how do you know when it’s really time to quit your job?

On those days where you drag yourself out of bed forcefully and reluctantly head off to work, actually relishing the traffic jam that keeps you away from your desk a moment longer, it’s tempting to type up your resignation letter and take off to the Red Sea for a much needed vacation.

Before deciding whether or not to quit your job, make sure that you aren t acting out of frustration or looking for a temporary relief from the relentless demands. The alternatives may seem more appealing at the onset, but you may just be leaping from the pot into the fire.

To help make the decision, it might be helpful to weigh out your options. First, assess what about your job that is making you unhappy. Look into ways to make your job work for you, and there may even be alternatives within the same company that might be more satisfying. Try talking to your boss or the company’s human resources department; you may even be able to apply for a different job within the same organization. The key is to keep an open mind.

Alternatively, research other employment opportunities – before you quit your job. Before you give up your job it’s preferable to have another job lined up. It is usually easier to find employment opportunities when you’re currently working, and you’re less prone to accept an unsatisfactory job offer if the job-hunt goes on too long.

Brainstorm with friends and family who may offer a fresh outlook. Explore new career options and talk to people within those fields. A job prospect that you had never considered might appeal to you. Alternatively, you may confirm that you’re pursuing the right career.

Once you find another job and have made a final decision to quit, resist the temptation to make an ecstatic announcement over the office intercom. The number one rule to resigning is do not burn any bridges. As Kate Lorenz of advises, “The world is much smaller than we sometimes think. You never know when or how paths will cross again, especially considering the fluidity of today s job market. When you re leaving a job, it s not the time to burn bridges. Years down the road, you never know who will be interviewing you for that job you re dying for or who will be hired to sit in the cube next to you.

As Alexander Levit rightly counsels, “Unless you want to erase everything you’ve accomplished since you first accepted this job, your departure must be as strategic and deliberate as your arrival.

Tips for graceful resignation

1. Professional courtesy dictates that you inform your immediate supervisor first before you announce it to your colleagues. 2. Give sufficient notice and maintain the same standards of work as usual. Don’t slack off on the job or start showing up hours late for work simply because you have one foot out the door. Don’t erase years of good work by leaving a negative final lasting impression.3. Make the handover as seamless as possible. Don’t leave projects uncompleted if possible. Provide a list of ongoing projects with their current status and next steps.4. Organize your office for your successor. Offer to train your replacement, or alternatively make yourself accessible to answer questions over the phone or by e-mail once you’ve left.5. Review your contract and make sure that you receive any benefits you are entitled to or compensation for unused vacation or sick leaves.6. On the way out, do not insult anyone or badmouth the company. Try to avoid boasting about your new job to colleagues. Regardless of your true feelings, give the impression that you regret having to move on.

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