In bypassing the other day I heard on the news about how a large proportion of people are thinking about quitting their job.
This tends to happen when Christmas rolls around as people want to make a fresh start in the new year. There are a couple of things you should consider before handing in your resignation and walking out the door.
Job Hunt before you leave
Unless in extreme circumstances, you should start job hunting before you leave your job. This is especially important at this time of year as job vacancies tend to wind down over Christmas and do not start popping up again till around February/March. It will also give you some indication on what the job market is doing especially in your industry. Make sure you have a strategy on how you are going to ramp up the job hunt after your leave. Whilst you should have remained in contact with your network, start putting your feelers out beforehand and connect with them, even for informal chats over coffee.
Know why you are leaving
When you leave your job it can be hard to explain to others, especially if they deem your reasons to be “stupid”. What you need to do though is figure out what you are going to tell your potential employer about why you have left your current employment. You do not want to be bad mouthing your previous employer-this makes you look bad not them. They will also be wondering whether you were forced out, or if you were a potential troublemaker. Remain positive about your previous employer and what you have been doing since finishing work. Be honest about the experience without putting them down. Make it about you wanting to make a change whether it be do learn new skills or be more challenged.
Do something productive with your time
It can be easy to slide into a routine of day time soap watching and eating on the couch rather than job hunting. This is especially so if you are having some setbacks and rejections which can become very demoralising. Try and use the time off work to keep yourself moving and challenged. It may be you use the time to get fit at the gym, you may take on some volunteering or freelance work. What ever it is keep yourself fresh and your mind going with mental stimulation. This will help you remain positive about your future and what you can achieve. It also paints a more positive picture to your potential employers.
Don’t burn your bridges
Have you ever found someone who has been really positive about their past employer and told you. I sure as hell never had. It can be so easy to remember all the bad points of your workplace, and so easy to tell every single person you know. This is a bad move. For one you never know who is listening or who knows who and you might quickly become black marked. Secondly you want to make sure that you have a few people you can call on as references. If you can maintain a positive image on leaving, they are more likely to provide you with positive feedback.
Do you have enough finances
Unfortunately for some, it just might not be a viable financial option to walk out the door, especially if you have a mortgage to pay or a family to support. Whilst you might think it will be simple to find a new job the reality is bleaker. In a survey conducted by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas they found out of 600 job seekers, 49% had been out of work for more than a year. That is a long time to survive without any income. Make sure you have enough savings to cover your expenses for at least a few months.