Should I Resign? – My Top 3 Points To Consider Before Quitting Your Job

3 Points To Consider Before Quitting Your Job

Hey … Let’s face it… You probably have thought or are even thinking right now about walking away from your job – turning in your resignation letter and moving on to something else.

From my experience, I can say that one of the most frequent questions I get from working professionals is “I want to resign, what do you think?” Everyone has reasons for such decision. While some are simply dissatisfied with the job, the paycheck or a churlish boss, others just want to move on to somewhere else, change environment or start a business. No matter the reasons you have, just be mindful of this fact: there is no such a thing as a ‘Perfect Workplace’. Every organization has her strong and weak points, and until you get in, you may never really know.

Whatever your motives may be for considering a resignation, I just want to offer you my top three (very important) factors to consider before turning in your letter.

First, and most important, what is your career goal – in the short-term, medium-term and overall long-term?

It’s rather unfortunate, but true, that many professionals today do not have well-articulated goals or at least an idea of where they want to be and what they really want out of their careers (and lives). I find that people without specific goals jump from place to place with no definitive career path. They are those who complain most about almost everything at the workplace – the culture, people, pay, job, name it. Put them in the best workplaces, they will find a reason to leave. Meanwhile, those with well-defined goals usually find reasons to stay once they can find a match between their goals and workplaces.

If you are yet to really make up your mind about what you really want out of your life and career, I will strongly advise you reconsider your resignation move, at least until you know where you are going from here. Take the time to converse with your inner self, get to know what you REALLY want – that which aligns with your higher self.

If, for instance, your short-term goal is to get immersed in a certain field to acquire some experience, which you hope to apply for a future start-up, you will surely remain motivated to work in related firm even when the paycheck is smaller. Also, if you are desirous of foreign mission to help you gain needed international exposure for a future career plan in international diplomacy; you may have a good reason to leave your organization once such an international opportunity comes knocking.

The fact is that your career (and life) goal should be your steering wheel piloting you from where you are to where you wish to be. I will say you rather hang around where you are getting the much needed exposure and experience in the areas of your career goal than where the paycheck is bigger with little or no learning in the fields of your future path.

If your current role supports your ultimate goal (whether directly or indirectly), it’s better to stick around to learn as much as you can and create useful connections /network to help you in the future, than jumping to the next shiny thing out there, unless and except it also supports your goals. For a career starter, I advise starting off from a place where you acquire necessary skills for your niche, it doesn’t matter if the pay is small. Keep away from the temptation of leaving for higher pay without developing the skills needed for higher reward.

Your motivation is your goal, and that becomes your driving force.

Consider why you are really moving – is it just for a bigger paycheck or for higher roles?

If you have been offered a job with a wider, more enriched profile and higher responsibilities, I will definitely encourage you to move on if other conditions are acceptable to you. But if your consideration is based on just a bigger paycheck, I will take the time to ask you a few questions, like: How much is the difference between your current pay and the expected pay? Are there possibilities that you can get that level of pay in your current role within a short space of time? At what point are you in your career – beginner, mid-career or close to retirement? Are you leaving a permanent job to a temporary, fixed-term job or vice versa? …. and such like.

I knew a guy some years back who resigned his appointment (a permanent regular job) to accept a better paying (fixed-term temporary) job. The job ended within six months. Three years later, while his former colleagues have risen in ranks and pay in the old company he resigned from, he was still out there unemployed. He recently admitted to me that he wrongly calculated his resignation move.

Don’t get me wrong, a bigger paycheck is great, and we all want it. However, be sure all other factors are duly considered and properly evaluated. Yes, I know that given the realities of extant recessive economies, especially in developing countries, it’s actually tempting to dump one job for another mainly for pay differences. But then, it’s also true that regret stories abound due to such myopic one-sided decision. Think deeply and carefully too.

Are you resigning to pursue a passion?

This can be very tricky. I have met quite a few people, who have had to change what they feel (and thought) they were passionate about over time. You know why? They never really understood what Passion meant.

Mind you, passion is not the same thing as what you love doing. Yes, they are related but very different. You may love doing something simply because someone around you has influenced you into loving it or you haven’t found something better. But passion is different – it stems from your soul, comes from within.

I define (or describe) Passion as that thing you will do for FREE instead of doing something else for money. In other words, you know you are passionate about something if (and only if) you will gladly accept to do it for free instead of getting paid (and I mean paid good money) to do something else.

If you have truly identified your passion – and mind you, it takes some time to really identify your passion – and you feel it’s time to pursue that passion, then by all means I will encourage you to move on. Go on. Quit your job. Pursue your passion. There’s no better time to do so than now – when you feel ready to get started. I have seen many business ventures fail, I have seen many start-ups that never really got started, but I am yet to see one (just one) passion that failed. You know why? The more challenges you face in pursuing your passion, the more it gets more interesting to do so. 

I hope (and pray) you have a really fulfilling career. Kindly comment below to share your thoughts about this piece.

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