Read through this list of crucial questions and advice from career experts before putting in your two weeks.
If your job is starting to drive you a bit crazier than usual, you’re feeling like you could make more money elsewhere, or just generally ready for a change, it may be time to put in your two weeks notice. Quitting a job is never easy, even if you’re fully prepared to say “good riddance” to your current manager. There’s still a lot to be done before you can actually walk out the door for good. So, as you sit down to write that letter of resignation, take a deep breath, and read through these four things to consider before quitting your job.
Are you ready financially?
“There are a handful of things that employees should consider reviewing before giving their two weeks notice,” says Adina Rothfeld, the division director of recruitment firm ForceBrands. The first and most important thing to consider, according to Rothfeld, is to think about your finances. Ask yourself, can I afford to quit this job without another lined up, or do I have enough to float me until my new job begins? Beyond your cash on hand, Rothfeld says it’s also important to think about workplace finances and calculate every penny this job may owe you on your way out. That could include vacation time, bonuses, and any stock options. “Financially, employees should understand the terms and conditions of their bonus payout, if applicable, and if they need to be employed for it to remain effective,” she says. However, you also have to be prepared for the flipside, too. “Employees should also look into other financials that include any money they might owe the company for tuition reimbursement or company relocation,” Rothfeld says.
Are you confident in your decision to leave?
If you’re a beloved employee who is good at your job, odds are the company will offer to counter a new deal or ask you what it will take to make you stay. That means, before you go in to quit you need to be confident in your decision to leave, or be ready to negotiate. “They should be prepared and confident in their decision to leave the company before any counteroffer discussions take place," Rothfeld says "They should be mindful of the reason they’ve decided to leave before even considering accepting a counteroffer.”
Are you clear on your reasons for leaving?
Lissa Minkin, the vice president of people and workplace at the hardware company Tile, says you should not only have a clear reason for wanting to leave, but that you should also think about if that problem will be resolved by moving to a new job. “Make sure you aren’t just running from something that you haven’t tried to fix first. Speak to your manager or HR for guidance,” she says. Rothfeld agrees, and says that before quitting, “know that if it’s a decision directly tied to compensation, that that may be more deeply rooted in feeling undervalued at the company as a whole.” She suggests you examine these reasons more closely and bring up any issues in an exit interview. This way, she says, you’ll feel validated in your decision, and you may even help others on your way out the door.
What’s your plan for the future?
If you're thinking about quitting your job, Minkin suggests taking the time to map out precisely what problem you’re solving by quitting, and how your next move meets your new lifestyle requirements. “Hold a high bar in the areas that are most important to you,” she says. Next, she says, it’s time to “plan for a long game” and “think about how your current opportunity and the possible new one fit into your longer-term career trajectory.” People should be able to answer the question, where will you learn and grow the most to enhance your longer-term plan? This way, you can ensure where you go aligns with your personal values in terms of culture, leadership, and what the company does. Minkin says to think about whether your next job is the place where you can be your authentic self. "Life is short so make sure wherever you choose contributes to your well-being and growth,” she says.