At some point in your life, you’ll inevitably end up in a job that just doesn’t fit. This could be the case for any number of reasons, but it still remains the case that you should probably quit.
The signs could be flashing in your face like the Vegas strip, or they could be so subtle that you might not even see them until someone or something gives you a sharp nudge in the stomach. What you need to know is how to recognise them and what to do so that leaving is a smooth process which doesn’t leave you with a sour taste in the mouth.
The most obvious problem is the amount of hours you’re working, particularly if you’re studying at the same time. Unless you’re doing it for leisure, studies should always take precedence over work. If your bosses are asking to overstretch yourself or trying to put you on shifts that’ll conflict with studying, don’t be afraid to call them on it. A good way to avoid this can be telling them straight out after you’ve got the job – it does help if the hours are regular, as most bosses can then orient the full-timers around you.
How you’re treated
Another thing you should be looking out for is how your co-workers and boss treat you – it should always be a pleasant working environment for everyone, and the moment you start to feel uncomfortable, feel free to quit if that’s the easiest option. However, you should always try to sort the problem internally, even if you’ve made your mind up to quit. This is much harder to achieve at an independent place of work, but is still doable if it’s not the owner. If you can’t solve it, then feel free to tell your next employer exactly why you quit.
The type of work
If you just can’t hack the work, you should probably call it a day – for your sake and for the sake of your employer. No one wants to deal with a lazy and unmotivated employee, and some jobs just aren’t for everyone. In fact, most places of work have a grace period of sorts which enables a much easier quitting process. It may exist to help make life easier for your boss, but don’t be afraid to take advantage of it.
Handle it well
When it comes to quitting, you need to remember that this may be the end of an uncomfortable job for you, but the boss or managers might not have seen things the same way. You should take this opportunity to have a balanced and thoughtful conversation to explain why you’re quitting – but keep it polite, and don’t end up fighting them as it could lead to bad blood. It’s almost insane how important it is to leave things on a good note with your first boss – nothing looks better than a CV with an employment reference instead of a character one. It might be illegal to give a bad reference, but refusing to give one sends the same message.
Do it in person
Therefore, when it comes to quitting, remember some basic things and you should be fine. First of all, do it in person. It implies that you give a shit about your soon to be ex-employer, and makes life easier for both of you. Also, work your notice. Nothing in the world is more annoying than the lovely co-worker who disappears the day after they gave in their notice. It’s unbelievably rude, and the notice period usually allows your boss to find a replacement and effect a smooth transition.
Go through with it
Finally, actually do it. Don’t just stop turning up. It actually drags the whole process out, and makes it more difficult for everyone. Unless you give in your notice, it actually takes about three or four months for an employer to officially terminate you. You might not be getting paid, but they can’t hire someone new. And without a P45, you’ll struggle to walk into any new jobs. The document is considered essential, and can’t be issued by HMRC until you’ve officially left the employer.
Just remember that the person who you’re giving the notice to is normally just as human as you. You’ll probably be missed, if only for the work you’ve put in and the amount they might have come to rely on you. You might loathe working for them, and you might not be able to work the unreasonable hours that you’re being confronted with, but respond like an adult and quit with grace. Everyone will appreciate this in the long run, yourself included.
Have you ever had to quit your job? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr
Warwick Editor for Career Camels and Deputy Comment Editor for The Boar.