Before you quit your job…

Before you quit your job

Preparing to ping that email to your supervisor/director? Hold up and hear us out first.

If you’re hesitating or simply just can’t force yourself to click on the send button, chances are you’re not 100% sure of what you’re getting yourself into.

The supposed “Great Resignation” has become an international ‘movement’, as evidenced by polls and statistics collected by governments around the world.

This “Great Resignation” may have ended in the positive for some, but there are cases that became the “Great Regret”.

A massive study was conducted by psychologists on thousands of people who voluntarily quit their jobs. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes to their well-being, ten years after they moved on from their job.

The results were not positive – a significant number of cases felt even unhappier in their new jobs after about a year.

The million-dollar question is then, when is it actually the correct time to go? To be clear, there are clear, large red flags such as abusive bosses or depressing work environments which warrants an immediate departure, or at least ASAP, if you’re bound in a contract.

If you have the savings to tide you through at least six months, you’re pretty ‘good-to-go’ in sending in that resignation letter.

So, your job is somewhat bearable, and you’re not getting mistreated – perhaps just feeling that you aren’t growing in your role. It’s exactly this kind of situation where it’s difficult to assess if it’s the right time to leave.

Assess your situation using the acronym VAL.

V: Voice

Do you have a say in improving your current situation at work?

For example, you don’t like this particular task that you have to deal with on a frequent basis. Talk to your supervisor/director. Negotiate for a swap of this dreaded task for another task you’re more comfortable with.

This is more sensible than just throwing the whole basket of eggs away just because one of the eggs are bad. That being said, there’s no guarantee that your supervisor/director will accept what you propose.

Boss says no – how ah? Move on to consider your alternatives.

A: Alternatives

Are your Plan B/C/D compelling enough? Narrow down what is the best reason between different plans and decide which one bests resonates with what you want.

After evaluating your alternative plans, it might turn out that you’re just dissatisfied with a portion of the job and not the job in its entirety. Also, how badly do you want the things that your plan B/C/D is offering? This is a question that only you can answer yourself.

Plan C is offering 30% more pay than your current job offers. You need that money for a compelling reason. Voice and Alternative have been checked and things doesn’t look rosy – proceed to evaluate the final part of the acronym, Loyalty.

L: Loyalty

Do you care enough about the organization and the people you work with to stay on?

For some, they are emotionally invested in the cause of their work, and they find it a real pity to give it up. Some also really enjoy the bunch of people they are working with. These factors are beyond tangible factors like salary and benefits.

This is different from emotional baggage – emotional baggage refers to negative, unprocessed emotions at work, and if one has a heavy emotional baggage, it would be a compelling reason to quit, and he/she wouldn’t even reach this stage of the VAL acronym.

The Results

If your answer to ‘V’ is yes, to ‘A’ is no, to ‘L’ is yes, then it’s probably not time to go yet. Try to fix the problem before declaring that it’s not fixable. At least you tried.

If your answer to ‘V’ is no, to ‘A’ is yes, to ‘L’ is no, click that send button with conviction and wait for your supervisor, director, or your HR department to reach out to you.

All the best, fellow worker!

About Author

A young Singaporean concerned about issues workers face. As humans, we spend a third of our lives sleeping and recharging, and another third for our personal life, and the last third at work (based on a 24-hr distribution). That's why we should pay attention to issues surrounding work.