Whenever one door closes, another one opens
– this is an inevitable cycle in life whether you’re about to leave your job for a better opportunity or out of misery. There are many factors to consider when doing so although you may not recognize them immediately (especially if this is your first time). Having left a handful of jobs now, I totally understand the guilt and grief that comes with quitting, but also the relief and revel associated with starting something fresh. Here are my top things to consider before quitting your job:
Time in job.
How long have you served in your job? Leaving a job when you’ve worked there in less than a year can actually look unfavorable on your resume since it really does take time to build the knowledge and skills to become proficient in a position. I’d recommend serving for a minimum of one year before jumping ships since it gives you time to prove yourself, your capability, and worth in a position and with a company.
Leave on good terms.
Never burn bridges.
Whenever possible, always quit on good terms, meaning make sure you’re in good standing with your current employer as far as year-end reviews, major projects, etc. Also, don’t piss people off or start slacking before you leave and always put in your two-weeks notice (or however long the standard time is depending on where you are). The benefit of leaving on good terms is that you’ll always be welcomed back. You’ll never know where life takes you and the grass may not be greener on the other side – better knowing you can return to something familiar than nothing at all.
So many things surrounding benefits:
Do you have vacation time left and will your company reimburse you for unused vacation? If so, you can simply accept the lucre and work until the end of your time. However, if they don’t, you may want to maximize your paid time off and use your remaining vacation days prior to parting since these are days you’re entitled to.
– Health benefits
Will it take time for your new health benefits to kick in? In my experience, most places do require a certain time in job before you become eligible for benefits. I would advise protecting yourself by getting any outstanding annual doctor/dental visits in as soon as possible.
– Retirement accounts.
Assuming you have a retirement savings account of some sort with your current employer, you’ll need to find out if the employer will allow you to keep your funds in place or if you need to move them into another plan. If the latter is required, you’ll need to decide if you want those funds rolled into an IRA (individual retirement account) or into your new employer’s plan. Be sure to contact the financial institution housing your account to determine the succeeding steps.
During the transitional period, will you want to take a break from working? Be sure to time your situation appropriately so you can get yourself settled and prepared for the new position, especially if there are moves involved or if you have kids. I always take a two-week break when making such transitions…it gives me time to tidy up any unsettled loose ends.
Another timing affair to think about is whether or not you’ll be receiving a bonus or payout of some sort. These things may not be worth missing out on. When I quit my first job, I realized a week later that my employer would have added a few thousands in my retirement account had I stayed an extra week – although it was money I never saw, the fact that I missed out a chunk of funds I didn’t really have to work for hurt. Never forget the small things.