It happens to almost all of us eventually, and for pretty much everybody, the experience ranges from unpleasant to downright panic-inducing … so get your moving box ready because “Quitting Your Job” is today’s topic, something that I, unfortunately, know a lot about.
Don’t Ever Quit Your Job Like This
This is the one job I quit that I have remorse over. Not because it was my dream job but because I acted in a way that I am still embarrassed about some 20 years later. I now know that I was wrong and immature and wish that I could fix it. I have made loads of terrible decisions since entering the “real world” but this one really stands out. Since I am a glass-half-full sort of person, I have internalized this experience as an opportunity for growth and as a result can look back at all the experiences I’ve had and how they have contributed to make me the person I am today … but if I learned one thing from that experience, it was that I will never quit a job again until after we have eaten our food.
If It’s Wrong, Bob Probably Did It
I’ve had enough jobs in my career and been around enough blocks to have seen what happens when someone mentally “moves on.” We all can guess what happens – they become worthless at best, and a virus to other members of the staff at worst.
There’s no question that quitting your job is difficult, particularly if there are hard feelings involved or things aren’t handled appropriately. Since I have quit a total of 7 professional jobs over my career, here are a few things to consider when the time comes for when you need to quit your job:
• Don’t tell your colleagues about your plans before you tell your employer.
• Quit in person.
• Give at least two weeks notice.
• Write a two weeks notice letter.
• Train your replacement if necessary
• Work hard those last two weeks
• Express gratitude
• Keep the personal details to yourself forever … don’t talk smack
The architectural community isn’t so large that any of us can afford to be cavalier with how we go about doing our job’s. It’s also not the way I handle things – my reputation is really the most important thing I will leave with as I move into the next phase of my career and I will protect it with every tool and ability I have at my disposal. If you haven’t figured out the value of your reputation, or come to realize that how people see you will be how people treat you, I think this is something you should make some time to think about moving forward.
Time for Andrew to chime in –
Don’t work and Dash! [Andrew]
The wrong way to quit your job; the younger me felt it was best to quit my job at the car wash by simply not showing up the next day. It was in reality only my first day on the job, but the 17-year-old version of Andrew believed he was worthy of more than working at the car wash. What can I say, youth is both arrogant and stupid. But I worked the first day, but then without any notification to my employer, I did not return to work the next day as scheduled. This, of course, is a terrible way to end your employment and a complete disrespect to my employer. In part, I did actually obtain another job that same day once I was one working at the car wash, but still not the way to handle yourself. (and I was very loyal to that one for 4 years) But no excuse for bad 17-year-old me!
The Quitter from the Perspective of an Employer.
So as an employee, especially a younger one, you may not understand the impact that you quitting your job has on your boss and employer. The need to handle the situation in a proper manner is beneficial to both you and your employer. If you handle your departure from your job in a method that only benefits you, it may not be the best for your employer. So just make sure to take some consideration for them, no matter your feelings about your office, firm, co-workers or boss. You leaving the position your in will have an impact on many others at your workplace. And as we discuss many times; the architecture community is a fairly small one. So always plan to be a good person when you end the relationship.
For this episode, we have a new hypothetical to consider. Here is the scenario:
"You are given a place to live, a comfortable yearly allowance, and you are not allowed to work. Where would you live, and what would you do?"
I’m not going to ruin this for you and tell you how we answered this hypothetical other than to say, I don’t think the choices Andrew and I made are all that unique … except for the fact that it’s possible that I put myself into Andrew’s fantasy and we now live together in a remote cabin on the side of a mountain.
Quitting your job doesn’t have to be a panic-inducing moment, and certainly not one that is worth dreading. If there is one thing that you can take away from the lessons I learned from quitting so many jobs, it’s that if you handle professionally, regardless of the circumstances that precipitated your need to leave that particular job, everything will work out fine.