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When and How to Quit a Job

If you have a job, you’ve probably dreaded going in at least once. Whether it’s because you want five extra minutes of sleep, or maybe you’ve had a long school day and the three hour shift at your local restaurant is not something you’re looking forward to. For many of us working is a necessary part of life, but how do you know when it’s time to leave a job? And if you decide you want to quit, what’s the best way to do it?

Is the job really worth quitting?
I know your immediate answer is going to be “yes!” You may even have your resignation letter printed out and signed. But before you get ahead of yourself, it is important to consider your reasons for quitting and decide whether or not these involve issues that you can resolve through talking with your manager or co-workers.

The truth is that you will most likely never 100% love every single part of any job, and no job is designed to be fun for you, especially if it is minimum wage. So if you’re thinking about quitting because you dread going to your three hour shift at a restaurant chain, I hate to break it to you, but as a teenager most of the jobs available to us will be pretty much the same. However, if you change your mindset toward your job, you might be surprised about how much you can improve how you feel about your work.

Something as simple as changing your attitude towards a job, and adapting a positive mindset can promote a more optimistic outlook. In life, you can never control all of the external factors that impact you throughout your day. However, you can always control how you let them affect you. This is especially true in a work environment. So, for example, when something doesn’t go as you planned, try to keep a positive attitude. Some people have a mantra, or a phrase they repeat, when something stressful occurs, such as “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Others take a few deep breaths to calm down and take a beat before reacting. Although it may sound cheesy, positivity and learning to shift your mindet can go a long way!

Although a positive mindset can go a long way, there are still things that may be out of your control that may make you consider leaving your job. For example, maybe you have coworkers that are always entangled in work drama, or a manager that is not flexible with your schedule even after you’ve talked with them. These can all have a huge impact on how you feel about your job.

Also, sometimes work environments are truly toxic places to be. For example if your coworkers are offensive or display inappropriate behavior consistently, this can create a negative and hostile atmosphere. If this is the case, it may be time to move on (and maybe file a complaint with your manager if you feel comfortable).

Applying for a new job
If you have come to the conclusion that the negative aspects of your job far outweigh the positive aspects, and the negative things are not something you can address, then resigning may be your best option. If you want to keep making money, you might just want to find a backup job before putting in your two weeks.

When searching for a new job consider the aspects of the job that you’re leaving and make sure you’re not getting yourself into a similar situation. It is crucial that during an interview for a new job, you ask questions about work hours and flexibility, along with how managers typically resolve work related issues. As much as the interviewer wants to get to know you, you should get to know the business and work environment.

Resignation
When resigning from a job, make sure to keep it professional. Don’t just text your manager that you’re putting your two weeks in and leave it at that. When resigning, it is most professional to type and print out a letter to your manager and hand it to them in person. It is also important to give them a minimum of two week notice if possible.

So what needs to be included in a resignation letter? Well it doesn’t have to be long, and it certainly does not need to include your reasons for leaving. It is important to directly address who you’re writing the letter to. State that you are leaving, tell them when your final day at work will be, and make sure to do a formal closing to your letter, for example, by ending the letter with “best regards” or “sincerely”. Finally, make sure to sign your name and date the letter. You can also ask an adult for help writing the letter, but if you want a shortcut, you can find templates for resignation letters online.

Staying on top of it
Lastly, now that you’re in a new job and finishing the last weeks of your current job, it is important to stay on top of your work. You should still work hard and not slack off. Why? Your previous manager is someone that you should stay on good terms with if possible, because they can potentially be utilized as a reference for you in the future. So, if possible, don’t burn any bridges. It might seem like a good idea to vent all of your frustrations to your manager and co-workers, but it is often something you’ll regret later.

To learn more check out these articles:

Author: Summer Wildbill is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla based in Pendleton, OR. She is a rising high school senior who dreams of being a journalist.

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