Many people get up every day and go to jobs they hate. Whether it’s a supervisor you don’t agree with, a negative environment or just a position you may have outgrown, no one wants to find themselves in this situation. So what do you do? Here are three tips to help you professionally quit a job you hate.
1.) Make Every Effort
Any person who has spent more than a few days in the military has more than likely been in a situation where they would have loved to quit and move on. But we all know in the military, quitting just isn’t an option. So we find ways to cope and make the most of a bad situation.
Once we leave the military, we quickly realize how easy it is to leave a job you don’t like. We aren’t bound by contracts or the UCMJ, and there isn’t the goal of receiving an honorable discharge at the end of the job, which makes the decision to quit a much easier decision to make.
However, it is important to remember that one of the things that more than likely drew your employer to you was the dedication to finishing things that most veterans learn from military service. The ability to adapt and be resilient in the face of difficult times is a skill we have mastered during our careers and it’s one of the things that drives us to want to see things through to completion.
This doesn’t mean you should stay stuck in a job that you hate doing. It just means you should make every effort to apply yourself and your skills to improving the situation you find yourself in.
This may mean working to resolve conflicts with co-workers or supervisors or working to see the situation from a different perspective. Regardless of what it is, make sure you’ve made every effort to make things work before you decide to tell your boss that you’re done.
2.) Make Sure You’ve Grown
When I was a kid, my grandfather used to tell me, “What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.”
As I have grown older, I have seen these words come true over and over again in my life. I have looked back on difficult times and counted the ways that certain situations made me a better man.
It’s easy to want to get out of a negative environment at the first sign of trouble, but I know I never learned a lesson worth living until I lived through the lesson. Difficult situations often require us to think about what we can personally do to improve it.
Maybe taking the time to think about the reasons why your boss is such a pain may help you understand them a little more. Maybe taking the time to realize that your current job will help you land a better job will bring you some comfort.
Whatever it is, and no matter how bad you think your job is, make sure that you have learned something valuable and become a better person at the end of the experience.
3.) Don’t Burn Your Bridges
Perhaps the most important thing about professionally quitting a job is not burning your bridges when you leave.
When you spend time in any career field, you begin to realize how incredibly small the field is. People who work in the same industry often network with people in the same industry, especially when they live in the same geographic region.
Many people quit jobs without considering what to say when quitting or the proper way of quitting and end up regretting it down the road. They’ve thought about the ways they would tell their boss off or the things they would finally say to their co-workers, only to meet the same people later in their career.
It is a humbling feeling to land a great job later in your career only to realize your new boss was one of the co-workers or supervisors from a job you left the wrong way. What you say when quitting a job is just as important as your decision to quit. Choose your words carefully.
Professionally quitting a job means having a conversation with your boss, giving sufficient and written notice to human resources and making every effort to leave on good terms.
While this may not always be possible, the best way to quit a job is to leave on the best terms possible. After all, this is the job your next employer will call to verify what kind of employee you were. What would you want your current supervisor to say about you?
Make every effort, make sure you’ve grown and don’t burn your bridges and I’m sure it will be positive.
Jamaal Wheaton is a recently transitioned Army veteran with more than 12 years of active duty service. He is the founder and owner of the Wheaton Group, a public relations firm that specializes in being a voice for veteran- and military-related issues. Jamaal currently works as a government contractor for the federal government and shares his personal experience of transition with the hopes of helping others navigate the through their own transition.