Don’t just Quit your job!

Lessons from a teenager…

A good friend of mine has an 18 year old daughter who is still in high school. Recently this young woman informed her mother that she was going to quit her job. When asked why (she’d only been there a few months), she said because there were people at work that didn’t like her and that her manager was very demanding.

The mom continued listening, gently trying to get her daughter to understand that there will likely always be people that you work with that either won’t like you or vice versa. There was no stopping the young girl. She quit her job the next day.

As a recruiter, we always look at work history. How long were you there? Why did you leave? Personally, I always ask if they gave a two week notice before leaving. Most people tell me “Yes, of course!” however, in doing reference checks, I sometimes find that in fact, the person did not give that much notice.

Here’s why that’s important: For one, if you do it to one employer, what’s going to stop you from doing it to your next employer? Secondly, if you cannot learn to get along with others in a work environment (whether that be trying to work with a difficult person or just doing your best to not engage), what are your social skills really like? Are you able to deal with conflict? What is your emotional intelligence level?

Now, some of you may be saying to yourself – but Shauna, you just don’t know what my work environment is like! Let me be clear on something: NO ONE should put up with abusive co-workers or managers! However, if you find that you have tried “everything” to work things out (talk to the culprit, your manager, HR, etc.), then perhaps it is time to leave?

With that said – please do what you can to find another job BEFORE you leave the one you have. An employed person looking for work is much more desirable than someone who is not employed. Why? Because at the time of this writing, the unemployment rate (Oregon) is at an all-time low.

Employers are looking for the cream of the crop (because they can). They deduce that someone who is still working is a better choice than someone who isn’t. I don’t necessarily believe in this theory because you have to look at all of the circumstances. Sometimes there is good reason why someone left their last job (lay-off, plant shut-down, care for an elderly parent, etc.)

So, stick it out, make a plan, find another job and then – give your TWO WEEK NOTICE. It may seem insurmountable at the moment but think about the effect it could have if you leave on bad terms.

If you’ve lived life long enough, this is a “Duuuh” moment. But for some, it is a critical lesson to learn. Life isn’t always easy but our attitude about what we do with what life brings, makes all the difference!