Far too often, professionals think that the act of resignation is in one fell swoop. Movies portray this very poorly. The lead character is getting chewed by the boss then blurts out “I quit.” This negatively reinforces the idea that this is the way to leave a job.
Unfortunately, doing so will only hurt your career.
Professionals don’t quit. They resign properly.
The key distinction they do is to separate the decision to resign from the act of doing so.
Decision and Action Are Two Separate Things
The decision to resign is something you do by yourself. In your head. Maybe talk about it with your spouse. The act of resigning is when you prepare your turnover documents, talk to your boss, and do the clearing of desk with boxes cliche you often see on movies.
The time difference between the decision and the action is something you need to take note of. To the extent possible, always separate the decision from the act of resignation.
Don’t decide and immediately tell your manager you’re leaving. Take the time to secure another job, prepare your resignation and turnover documents early, then you talk to your boss.
Which Scenario Would You Rather Be In?
Scenario 1: Anger and Emotion Drives You
The first, and most common in TV shows and movies, is the one where emotions control your actions.
You decide you’ve had enough and immediately follow it up with the action.
In most movies, this is often in a span of seconds. You’re already getting frustrated with the work piling up, your boss comes around at 4:45 PM and assigns more tasks that she needs by tomorrow morning. You then blow up, decide you’ve had enough, and blurt out to your boss you’re leaving.
Look, shows need this for drama. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
Scenario 2: Planning and Preparation
Contrast this to another professional who made the decision to leave her job because of the same issue. But, instead of taking action immediately, she plans ahead.
She goes to several interviews for a couple of months, then when she got a job offer, she proceeds with the resignation process. She prepares all the turnover documents and when she finished, she has a discussion with her boss with all these documents.
Which one would you rather be?
Don’t Leave Out of Anger
The main takeaway is to separate the decision from the action.
If you “quit” your job without thinking of the consequences like not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from or how it will affect the situation at home or with your spouse, then you’re acting stupid and selfish.
The professional world is small. Leaving your job out of anger will reach other companies.
This will only make things harder for you in the long-run. You might feel good right now because you finally blew off some steam but it’ll come back to haunt you when you start looking for a new job.
Be smart instead. Separate your decision to leave and prepare beforehand.
Warm up your network. Go to interviews. Get a job offer. Then you resign properly.
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