If you're like most people, you've probably had some miserable work days when you just wanted to throw your hands in the air and quit your job in the heat of the moment. We've all been there at one time or another. While it's unlikely most of us would really just walk out, there are moments where we could actually follow through on those sudden thoughts.
In the movie, "The Devil Wears Prada," personal assistant Andy Sachs has enough of her overbearing and demanding boss. One day she impulsively tosses her incessantly ringing phone into a fountain and walked away from her job. Surprisingly, Andy later gets a glowing recommendation from her former boss.
Most of us won't get that lucky. Quitting a job on impulse is seldom a good idea.
5 Reasons You Should Never Quit Your Job in the Heat of the Moment
1. Loss of income
If you quit your job spontaneously you probably don't have another job lined up and, therefore, no source of income. How will you pay your bills? Unless you are independently wealthy, have won the lottery or have months of cash stashed away you can live off of, you probably will need your paycheck. (And, even if you do have cash, quitting in the heat of the moment is still a bad idea).
2. Might regret your decision tomorrow
Making impulsive decisions, especially when it comes to career paths, is usually a bad idea. Making a snap decision to resign falls under this category. What if you wake up tomorrow morning and decide you actually didn't want to leave your job? Sure, you can go back and grovel, but chances are that won't go too well. And, even if it does, you'll have tarnished your professional reputation. And, speaking of reputation…
3. Harm your professional reputation
Anytime you leave a job, you don't want to burn any bridges. If you quit on the spot, this is probably the last interaction you'll have with your employer and be the thing you'll be most remembered for. It won't matter that your completed your last project ahead of schedule and under budget, they'll remember the way you quit. Cross them off your list of people to use as credible references. Not to mention, former managers and/or colleagues might move on to other places of employment and, if they see your name, they'll likely be carrying negative sentiments about you.
4. Hurt chances of landing a new job
Think about how you would explain an abrupt resignation to potential future employers. If asked during an interview and you have to try to come up with a reason, probably no matter what you say, you'll look unreliable and flaky. Worse, if they call your former employer for a referral - chances are whomever they talk to might not have such nice things to say about you. Even if you have a stellar record before this, if there is a blemish on your last place of employment, this raises a red flag for hiring managers.
5. You're not thinking rationally
If you quit on the spot, chances are you gave it little to no thought and were not feeling rational at the moment. Before quitting, give yourself at least a week, if not more, to think about it. Do your thinking while you're not feeling angry, hurt or generally in an emotional frame of mind. Once you've weighed out the pros and cons and decided it's the best thing for you, be sure to quit in a professional manner.
- Be polite about your resignation.
- Give notice, two weeks is considered "standard" and fair in any given industry.
- Answer any questions honestly without being combative, be sure if you do share complaints it is done in a constructive fashion. (Basically, it's good to stick to the old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all").
Additionally, even if you do offer two or more weeks, be prepared your employer may envision a more immediate departure once you've put in notice. If you have personal files, contacts or emails you'll need, be sure to back these up before putting in your resignation. These days it's not unheard of for employers to quickly escort people out the door who no longer plan to work for them.
Going out in a blaze of glory might feel good for the moment, but what about later on? Before leaving any job, be sure to always be proactive and never reactive. Bidding a sudden adieu to an employer is not something to take lightly. You want to make sure you do it right. Income aside, your career will thank you.