I did it! I quit my job! Read all about it in I handed in my Two Weeks Notice. I would love to hear what you think.
Should I quit or get fired? This question will most likely come up at some point in our lives. Even if you like your job now, a lot can change over a life time. There are many factors that can change how you and your job fit together. The manager, coworkers, job function, corporate culture, and expectations will all change over your career.
You will also change as you get older. What motivates you now probably will no longer do so in 10 years. When I was younger, I didn’t mind working late and on weekends, but now that I have a family, I avoid those extra unpaid hours. When I was a junior engineer, I was eager to learn and take on more responsibilities. Now, I avoid any extra work and just stay entrenched in what I’m familiar with. My interest in this field is rapidly shrinking to zero and that diminishing interest only accelerates as the company asks their employees to do more with less. I am very happy with my pay and if I can keep the same level of work and receive the same pay, I would be fine with that. Unfortunately, my employer wants the employees to keep growing and to take on more responsibilities every year. The message is if you stop growing, you will be performance managed out at some point. I have seen this happen to several senior level coworkers over the last few years. No matter how much work you do, if you don’t take on more next year, watch out.
I am not a good fit for my current job/career anymore and that is the main reason why I want to Retire By 40. I made up my mind already so now the question now becomes, should I quit or should I get fired? Let’s look at the various pros and cons of each.
There is no question that getting fired will be more financially rewarding than quitting. If I quit, the paycheck will stop coming right away. Our cash flow will still be fine, but the paychecks are nice. If I just show up at the office and don’t do a thing, I will keep getting paid until they fire me. This process can take a very long time in a big corporation especially if you have a good record. Most people get some kind of warning at the annual review and it takes years to get fired because the manager and HR need to build their paper trails. Also, if you quit, you won’t be able to get unemployment. If you get fired, you can file for unemployment and hope for the best. I hear California approves unemployment applications very easily so it all depends on your state. There is also a small chance the company may offer a severance package if I hang on until the bitter end.
The general rule of thumb is – don’t burn any bridges. You know, I’m going to disagree with that old axiom for my situation. I don’t plan to go back to my company and will change careers if I go back to work for a corporation at all. My company has a set of rules about rehiring depending on how you leave. It will be easier to get rehired if I quit rather than get fired. Also, I known my current boss for only 2 years and I don’t really care what he thinks about me. My previous boss was fired right before Christmas in 2009 and I still keep in contact with him. I’m giving the edge to quitting here although it doesn’t seem to make much difference.
Getting fired will look worse than quitting to any future employer. Neither one is conducive to getting hired, but an employer will be more reluctant to hire someone who got fired from their last job.
I am burned out and I don’t want to go into the office anymore. I can tough it out a bit longer, but it is miserable. Quitting is much better for my mental health because I can move on with my life. Waiting to get fired is a crappy way to live. Don’t you agree?
What else should I consider? Do you have any experience with this dilemma? I plan to be self employed and Go It Alone after I leave the corporate job, but life rarely goes as planned so perhaps it’s better to keep my reputation intact and resign instead of getting fired. My gut says quit when the time comes, but my wallet says just goof off and get fired in a year or two. Who should I listen to? Perhaps I should get Mrs. RB40’s opinion. She is sick though and won’t be able to edit this article for another day or two.
Bonus: I found a funny video. Best way to quit your job. Enjoy!
Update: Don’t Quit Your Job Until You Read This Book. If you can stick it out a little longer, read this book and it could help you get a severance package.
Photo credit: flickr – tellumo and Gage Skidmore