How to resign from a job you hate

Quit The Job You Hate

By Daniel Bortz, Monster contributor


If you're giving off "I hate my job" vibes to the point where the phrase may as well be stamped on your forehead, you're probably counting down the seconds until you quit. After all, with so many job opportunities out there today, why stay put when you can be quitting a job you hate and moving on to greener pastures?

While it's great that you're so eager to make a change, resist the urge to run out the door and leave everyone in your dust. Tact still counts. Use these approaches en route to the nearest exit.

How to Quit a Job You Hate

Be Discreet

When you're unhappy at work, venting to coworkers for emotional support is a natural stress reliever. But that's very different from announcing your plans to quit, especially if your boss finds out. Workplace etiquette 101: Break the news to your manager before telling your coworkers. The other way around is very bad form.

Pro tip: Ask your boss how she'd like you to notify the rest of the team. Certain managers want to be the person who breaks the news.

Don't Go on a Rant

Rest assured, your boss is going to want to know why you're leaving, but saying, "I hate it here"—or some variation of that sentiment—will only burn bridges.

Instead of making it about what you dislike about your job, explain why you couldn't resist your new job opportunity. Your boss will be more receptive when you present it that way.

Write a Resignation Letter

In addition to having a conversation with your boss, you'll want to put your announcement down on paper so that HR has it on your record. A resignation letter should include the following:

  • a statement of intent that you will be leaving your job
  • the name of your official staff position
  • the date of your last day on the job
  • gratitude to your employer for hiring you
  • an offer to train your replacement
  • well wishes for the future of the company
  • your contact info

Give at Least Two Weeks' Notice

With few exceptions (an abusive work environment, illegal company activity, etc. ), quitting a job you hate by walking out on the spot is not cool. Timing is crucial for when you announce your intent to depart.

Two weeks' notice is the standard amount of time, but some companies even have a set policy for how much notice is required. And, if you have the flexibility, you could offer to stay on for longer to help train your replacement. (Even if your boss doesn't take you up on the offer, she will appreciate the gesture.)

Ace Your Exit Interview

Many employers conduct formal exit interviews with departing employees. However, this isn't the time or place to express your anger. In other words, it's important to keep your emotions in check, especially when quitting a job you hate. By having a positive conversation, you'll be better positioned to ask your boss for a reference, which will benefit you when applying to future jobs.

The exception: If HR will perform an anonymous exit interview, you can speak freely, but make sure you have it in writing that what you say will be confidential.

Find Your Next Job Before You Peace Out

Though this might seem like an obvious first step before quitting a job you hate, some job seekers still make the mistake of by not lining up their next gig. Research shows it's easier to get a job offer when you're still employed.

Could you use some help with that? Get started by creating a free profile on Monster. We can connect you to recruiters who are looking to fill open positions, plus we can send you customized job alerts. Get out of your old job and into a new one that you don't hate.

What to Do Before ‘Quick Quitting’ a Job You Hate

It can feel like a professional “sin” to quit a job you just started, but if you find yourself hating your job, something’s wrong. 

When you’re unhappy at a new company, it’s hard to know if the problem is fixable. You’re still getting to know the people, the culture, the day-to-day realities of the role. It’s an overwhelming time that can cloud your judgment of what to do: cut your losses or give it a chance?

Sometimes acting on your feelings is the right thing to do; other times, it means you’re quickly making a decision you’ll regret. That’s why it’s good to go through some key steps before quitting a job you hate. 

For some expert input on what to do before rushing to the exit, read on. 

How quick is “quick”? 

LinkedIn defines “short tenure” as holding a position less than one year. Of course, we all know someone (and may have been that someone) who has left a job within a week or a month. 

Widlyn Pierre, a professional HR recruiter at Frazer Jones, has seen nearly everything that can happen when it comes to hiring, firing, and quitting in her 15 years of helping people and companies find good matches. She considers any exit within the first 90 days as “quick,” since that’s a crucial period for the employee to really get to know the role, and for the company to make sure the employee is getting what they need.

“The first 90 days is an incubator moment for the new hire,” Pierre says. “Whether it’s experiencing a big learning curve, establishing institutional knowledge and learning internal processes, building relationships or a combination of all of these, you’re going to be challenged and it can be an emotional roller coaster in those first few months. But I’ve seen people quit the first week. To me that is too quick, because quitting within a week means you’re not giving anyone, not even yourself, an opportunity to see what really can develop out of your employment with the organization.” 

If there’s a chance the frustration you’re feeling is fixable, it’s a great idea to explore solutions before making a hasty decision.  

“Often people move thinking the grass is greener on the other side, but that’s not always the case,” Pierre says. “So give a company an opportunity to show you what they are all about, a chance to share that they may actually have what you are looking for. I think that is a much better approach to get what you want than just quitting quickly.” 

Note this does not apply to situations where there’s mistreatment or anything illegal happening. In those cases, leaving quickly can be the healthiest decision. 

If you find yourself far from loving your new role within those first 90 days, and you want to give the company a chance to prove themselves, here’s what to do.  

Read more: Everything You Need to Know Before Quitting Without a Job Lined Up

Find the “why” before quick quitting a job you hate

Pierre says if someone came to her within the first 90 days, or the first week or two, saying they hate their job and want to quit, she’d first help them get to the “why.” 

“I think it’s critical to really pause, dig deeper, and evaluate feelings and facts to establish a why. Then, depending on that root cause of current emotions and thoughts, I would ask them various questions and have them see the bigger picture. Step back and look holistically at the current situation and even more macro, at their longer term career. Our emotions can cause us to make decisions rather quickly, and helping someone to slow down and process their thoughts and feelings can help them reach the right outcome, whether that is a decision to stay or leave. I’ve found, often people say to me, ‘you know what, it’s not that bad…’”

Pierre says communicating these feelings to your manager is key if there’s going to be any potential for change. Many times people fail to do that before bailing. 

“It’s always ‘I really didn’t talk to the manager,’; ‘I really didn’t tell this person how I really feel,’; ‘I really didn’t ask this person if I can have the flexibility.’ So I notice a lot of individuals quit quickly because of unresolved emotions that they failed to talk about with the appropriate parties,” Pierre says. 

And that’s the case even when something [again, nothing illegal or discriminatory] is happening that’s triggering because of past trauma. 

 “This is real—we’re people, and people come into situations with their personal baggage,” Pierre says. “You need to have that conversation and be open with your manager and let them know, ‘I don't want to get too personal, but I do have trauma in certain areas and when this occurs it does trigger me, it does make me uncomfortable; is there any way we can possibly change or go about it a certain way?’”

Of course, this will only work if you truly want to try and resolve whatever issues you’re facing.  

“You have to start from a place of being interested in wanting to make it work,” Pierre says. “It’s like a relationship. Whether it’s with a friend or a significant other, if you’re not interested in making it work, you’re not going to have those open conversations to try to see if you can make things better. Many times I have candidates who want to quit very quickly and when I ask them why it’s usually some type of organization issue, or it’s some type of management issue, or it’s some type of miscommunication. And all you need to do is be interested in finding a solution and having an open conversation.

“Now, if what happens after those open conversations is still not satisfying, or if it’s still going on, then you may have a decision that you have to make.” 

You can also communicate with others besides your manager. Pierre says reaching out to teammates to get their perspective is important when you’re trying to make a new role work or you’re having issues with a coworker.

“Maybe someone else had a rough start like you are, and they can say, for example, ‘oh, so-and-so is just like that, once you get to know her she’s great to work with,’ or ‘she’s really not like that, she might be having a bad day, if I were you I’d contact her in a week and let her know what happened and you’re going to see she’s very apologetic… if you want I can initiate the conversation between you two to make things flow more smoothly.’”

Just make sure you do it “cautiously,” she says, so it doesn’t appear that you’re gossiping or talking badly of anyone. 

Read more: How to Quit Your Job Gracefully

When you do “quick quit” a job you hate, what about your resume? 

Many of us have been told for years that no hiring manager or company wants to see a short tenure on our resumes. So should your “quick quit” even go on there? Pierre says honesty and transparency are the best policy.  

“You want to be transparent about positions you’ve held as these will show up in your employment verification and background check if your new employer does these,” Pierre says. “Equally, you want to use your resume as an opportunity to explain your career moves. Don’t be shy to explain your reason for leaving, professionally, on your resume. I would also say the notion of employers expecting not to see shorter tenure is somewhat outdated as employees tend to change positions more often than historically.” 

When you do put a short tenure on your resume, be transparent. The more you tell your recruiter about why you left or why it wasn’t a good fit, the more likely they are to help you find an excellent fit—and help you avoid another bad match.

If you did have something happen that was out of your control, you’re not alone. A good recruiter and company will understand that. 

“There are a lot of unfortunate stories where every company this person has been with has literally shut down, or there was an acquisition and management came in and reduced the department, or the individual got sick or they’re helping a family member,” Pierre says. “So you have some unfortunate stories that are legitimate and you can say you know what, it’s not this person’s fault. 

“I don’t judge a book by its cover. I talk to everybody—you can ask my team,” Pierre says. “I do believe in second chances in life because I’ve always gotten those second chances. So I’m not going to look at a resume and say ‘oh, I see this person has been at each job for three months,’ and then disregard it. I’m going to have a conversation and ask those very important questions: ‘What happened at your last position, the position here, the position there…?’ I’m getting the story from them.” 

Quality recruiting is just one of the ways you can land at a company and job you don’t hate. 

Read more: Two-Weeks Notice Letter Templates To Use

How companies can help prevent people from quitting—and hating—their jobs

The beginning stages of an employee and employer getting to know each other—even before an offer is made—are key to a successful working relationship. They include interviewing, onboarding, and training.  

First, you want to find a recruiter and recruiting process that involves really getting to know the candidates and what they’re looking for, and what will make them happy. 

Pierre says her style, that’s supported by her company, Frazer Jones, prioritizes getting to know people well in order to place them in the best possible role and work environment.

“You want to get to know the person first. So my conversations are finding that commonality between me and the individual,” Pierre says. “I’m a very transparent person, so when I’m having conversations with my candidates it’s not like buttoned-up and professional. It’s more like ‘I understand, I get it, let me tell you my situation…’ I open up my life to them so they can feel more comfortable to do the same.”  

What you can do to help yourself when you’re interviewing is get answers on the specifics.  

“Ask the challenging and tough questions aside from job duties and expectations,” Pierre says. “Questions like, what is your management style? How is your flexibility with employees? Who will I be reporting to? And if it’s not the interviewer, ask to meet them. Ask questions you know are deal breakers for you based on what you do not want.” 

Once you’re hired, the training and onboarding process are extremely important. 

“The first 90 days you’re setting the stage up for what’s to come in the future,” Pierre says. “If [the company is] apologetic, transparent, available to new hires, answering questions, having those weekly meetings, allowing employees to feel empowered by asking them for input and actually following up on that input or implementing that input, I can tell you that’s key.”

Pierre says her own company is a great example of how to welcome new employees and make sure they have everything they need.  

“Within my first two weeks I probably met over 30 teammates. My first two weeks were one-on-one team meetings with different people who could support me. And when I tell you they fix a problem, I mean everyone is on those email chains and they fix it within a 2–3 hour period. Those are the types of things that are very important to display to a new hire to keep them around. Because if something goes wrong after the first 90 days or within six months or a year, they know this company has their back.”  

The good news is, most companies want you to be there and do what they can to keep you. If you’ve had a bad experience with one company, know that better ones are out there. And you speaking up and resolving any issues at your new company can get you to a better place. 

“I can honestly say from my experience, for the most part, I know just speaking to employers and speaking to candidates that employers do want to try to be flexible,” Pierre says. “They really want to fix things so people don’t quit quickly. They really do. I had one person who did quit quickly and the employer reached out to me and said, ‘can you please reach out to this person and find out what we did wrong; what did we do? I want to know what we did so we don’t make that same mistake.’ I think employers really want to retain their employees, they don’t want people to leave, they want to do right by them, they want to give them the flexibility and all these different things, but if the communication is not there, if the new hires and candidates aren’t speaking up and telling these employers what’s happening and why they’re doing what they’re doing, it’s going to be very difficult to drive positive change.” 

Read more: The 50 Best Companies to Work For (As Rated by the Women Who Work There)

“I hate my job, but I'm afraid to quit”

Ask an expert Career and self-realization

I don't like my job very much. First of all, I don’t like the team that every day washes each other’s bones, collects gossip and shifts responsibility to others. It is morally difficult to work there, and I practically do not communicate with anyone. The work itself is uninteresting, does not give me development as a specialist.

But the income, in principle, is quite good and very stable. It will be very difficult for me to find a similar one in my city. This is the whole problem: I can’t work here, but it’s scary to quit, because I have dependent children and my mother. I understand that I need to leave. But I can't decide. nine0003

Oksana, 36 years old

Oksana, your letter shows that you already have a solution, but you are not yet ready to implement it. Work is an important part of our life. We spend a lot of time there, we inevitably get involved in the processes not only professionally, but also emotionally. If work is depressing and brings a lot of negativity, then we inevitably transfer it to ourselves and even to our loved ones.

Your delay is completely justified: it is difficult to be in such a depressed state, so the determination to act is lost. Do you receive support from loved ones - from your mother, children, friends? It is important to feel that you are not alone in this matter, that you can share your feelings and concerns. Also, do not be afraid to ask friends and acquaintances if they can help with finding a new place or at least a temporary option. nine0003

I suggest starting change with a little exercise in dealing with expectations. Write down your negative thoughts and change the wording to less categorical.

For example: “I really dislike my job” we turn into something more neutral, realistic: “Yes, I would like to love my job, but this place is not ideal at all. But right now I have a steady income that I appreciate. I can study the labor market and possible options without resigning anywhere. And I definitely won’t constantly scold myself for staying here.” nine0003

Be your main ally in this matter

Try to find other advantages in your work that you can use for your own benefit: is it a convenient work schedule that allows you to spend more time with loved ones? Or the ability to work from home? Or some tasks that work on will help improve your skills and become an additional plus on your resume? Consider if there is something useful for you here until the moment of decisive action comes.

You write that it will be very difficult to find the same job: is this an objective fact or is it your anxiety? What if you can find something in a related field or switch to a remote work format with employment in another city? There are many such proposals. Do you monitor vacancies?

The decision to change jobs is always a very stressful moment that causes a lot of anxious thoughts. Sometimes we generously draw ourselves the most terrible consequences, which further exacerbate the situation. If there is no way to easily leave, then a more thoughtful and complex plan of action is needed. Sometimes change requires a long preparation and investment of effort. nine0003

I repeat: do not walk this path alone, seek help and support from relatives, friends and like-minded people in your search. Study the experience of those who have changed jobs in your industry or in your company. Quitting is quick, but it's best to have a plan and be prepared for that moment. Do not push, do not finish yourself. Be your main ally in this matter.

Photo source: Getty Images

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What if I hate my job? Psychologist answers

Reason and feelings

Adriana Imzh

December 8, 2016 15:15

Afisha Daily continues to ask psychotherapist Adriana Imzh questions about relationships with oneself, people around and the world. This time we figure out what to do if you hate your job, but depend on it financially.

The situation is a stalemate, of course. But let's try to figure it out.

Surprisingly, attitudes towards work also have a cultural connotation. In different cultures, work is treated differently: in Spain, in Israel, in the USA and in other countries, many people love their work and go to it with pleasure, rather upset if there is no work.
It has to do with goals and values.

In Russia, children are rarely explained why work is needed and why it is valuable. Why it is good to work, for example, as a baker or a carpenter. Much more often, children are oriented either simply to financial success, or to some positions associated with power or social prestige: bosses, doctors, financiers, lawyers. Therefore, adults often suffer from the fact that their expectations and goals are not realized in work. In countries where it is simply important that you work and benefit people, there are fewer people who are disappointed with work. nine0003

It is important to ask yourself: why do I hate my job? I don't like the people I communicate with? I don't like what I'm doing? Did I expect that I would lead a different lifestyle at my age? I came into this profession to do one thing, but I have to do something completely different?

And it seems important to me to start with the fact that many of us lack respect for our work. Am I doing something, is it not a criminal offense and is generally aimed at improving life (mine or other people's)? I'm fine fellow. It's already work. Maybe not the best, but valuable. At least for me. Yes, there are certainly people who earn more than me and live more interesting, richer, better, more comfortable. But my work is important. If I don't respect him, what can I expect from others? nine0003

The second problem is relationships between people. Quite often, relations in teams are not very pleasant, there are many negative assessments, competition, sluggish conflicts can smolder for years. Corporate activity and team building are most often perceived with aggression and resistance - there is no desire to recognize colleagues, imbue them and interact. But this is a very important point - people spend many hours in a team, and at least one friendly colleague with whom you can have lunch and chat near the kettle significantly relieves psychologically. nine0003

Sometimes there is a lack of someone in the collectives who could be friendly to everyone, organize activities, hikes, events - just such that everyone would have fun. You can become such a person (if you want, of course).

If not at all, methods of psychological relief help: draw comics about your crazy serpentarium or write stories, publish a wall newspaper - even if only for yourself, support colleagues in battles against each other, mentally placing bets on who will win. Mental distancing from the process of unpleasant actions or communications significantly reduces the level of irritation. nine0003

When there is a discrepancy between what I do and what I would like to do, in some cases it helps to go to school - either to improve my qualifications or to get a new profession. This, firstly, gives hope for a change in the current situation, and secondly, it allows you to do something new and interesting. When in painting classes someone says: “Lord, how tired I am of working as a physics teacher!” - there will surely be someone who will sympathize and support, while in the school teacher's room it is much more likely to hear - "We are all tired, and nothing - we are silent. " nine0003

Several times I have had to work with blue-collar workers with very good leadership and organizational skills. But the team pulled them back - and they needed my help and support so that they decided to study and move on - to more complex, well-paid and interesting positions.

It is not easy to answer the question “What are you doing there, studying? Do you think you're smarter than us?" find the correct answer or refuse to go drinking with the guys on Friday night because you have an exam tomorrow. Nevertheless, it was study that helped people at least say to themselves: “Yes, I am smarter than them and think more about my tomorrow, so it is important for me to pass this exam.” nine0003

It is very important to ask for more support from friends and family. Of course, it happens that things are not very good with their work either - some of my clients said with amazement that they, in principle, did not meet people who like their work. One of the girls in the group was amazed to find that she was the only one there who did not like her work - in her childhood and among her family members, work was a horror story that required sacrifice and suffering. For her, finding people who love their work and go to it with pleasure was already a powerful incentive to start doing something to change their situation, because if an interesting job is not a utopia, but a real thing, then it makes sense to look for it. nine0003

Nevertheless, if I manage to convey to my relatives that I do not like my job, but now I have to go to it and therefore I need additional support, this can also help a lot. When another person next to you says: “I understand that you don’t like it, but you keep the whole family afloat” or “I sympathize with you, I hope the crisis in your area will end soon and you can find something new,” live becomes more fun.

In conclusion, I would like to say that in most cases, working with a psychologist helps to increase well-being. Often, employees in Russia are underpaid, their salaries have not been indexed for years, colleagues do not even try to develop and somehow improve the current situation, and those people who begin to defend themselves, show initiative, move forward and learn new things quickly gain a strategic advantage.

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