Posted by Paladin on January 24, 2019
There comes a time in every creative professional’s life when you feel the need to bid a job farewell. Whether you’ve outgrown your current position, you’re moving out of town, you’re looking for a bigger challenge and accompanying paycheck, or you simply crave a change. Deciding to quit is rarely easy — and often brings up some hard questions.
How can you be sure your future isn’t brightest at your current company?
Where will you go from here?
Before you hand in that letter of resignation, it’s wise to take a close look at your situation, your interests and needs, the job market, and more. Making this kind of career move isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Should I Quit?
When you’re in the early stages of determining whether or not to quit a job, start by analyzing your everyday life and the impact your current role has on your physical, emotional, and financial health. Immense pressure and ongoing stress can be cause for a switch — but so can feeling underutilized and undervalued. Do you spend a lot of time complaining about work? That’s another sign your instinct to leave might be a good one.
To be happy in their career, most creative professionals require some combination of fair pay and benefits, challenging work that promotes intellectual growth, room for advancement and building new skills, and an appealing work environment. Consider which of these you might be lacking — but don’t overlook the state of the job market and salary trends. If jobs in your field are hard to come by, perhaps you should stick it out for a while longer.
Above all, don’t jump into anything without evaluating every aspect of your work life. One company in Boston discovered its employees tend to quit in February and determined the cold weather was “wearing people down” (ultimately, that company began renting a house in a warm destination and inviting its staff to work remotely until they felt better). Your decision to quit may be justified by more than just cold hands and feet. But that’s something you should be sure of before it’s too late to change your mind.
How to Quit
If you determine that resigning is the right thing to do, it’s time to consider how to do it. In industries like marketing and advertising, which see a lot of turnover — 81 percent of marketers expect to leave their job within the next three years — networking is key. Contacts have a tendency to crop up everywhere. So it’s important to depart in a manner that’s both graceful and respectful.
Some marketing professionals advocate giving two weeks notice, training your successor, and expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to your mentors and colleagues before you go. Others recommend talking to your supervisor face to face to outline your transition plan. You should always review your employment contract to refresh your memory about any notice period and non-compete clauses that might exist.
When your resignation is complete, you’ll be faced with even more decisions. Should you take a break from full-time employment to travel, or explore your other interests? Is it best to use this time to develop some new and coveted professional skills?
The answer may differ from one creative to the next. But there’s no question that transitioning to a fresh role opens the door for new opportunities. If you’ve always wanted to try freelancing, this is your chance — and doing so may allow you to make new connections that could result in a full-time position down the line. The same can be said for pursuing a personal goal. Start a blog, become a social media influencer, or take some continuing education classes to hone your industry expertise. These kinds of experiences offer both short-term and long-term benefits by improving your mental health, boosting your confidence, and even redirecting your career onto a more appealing path.
You might feel as though you’re ready to quit your job…but don’t do it without first formulating a plan. Knowing whether resigning is the right move, how best to do it, and where to go from there can make the process — and your career — run more smoothly.