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How to avoid resigning….then regretting


There are many reasons we might seek a new career challenge; financial reward, location, working hours, horrible bosses, horrible colleagues, lack of opportunities, restructuring, interesting projects drying up – the list can go on and on.

However, rather than jumping ship too soon, or being lured by riches, it is worth exploring three considerations to try and avoid resigning then regretting; Voice, Loyalty, Alternatives.  That’s the argument of Anthony Klotz, a management professor at Texas A&M University and expert on ‘quitting’ (yes, that’s a thing!).

Fundamentally Klotz makes the case that to avoid huge regret over quitting at the wrong moment, one should consider Voice (do I have a say in improving my situation?), Loyalty (do I care about the company’s mission and culture?) and Alternatives (are there any other compelling options out there which work better for me?)

First, let’s consider Voice; instead of leaving a role because you don’t like one particular thing – or even, say, 20% - instead take that 20% to your boss or to your HR manager and say, “Is there a way that I can improve this?”.

Joining another organization may get rid of that 20%, but they could easily have five other problems you didn’t encounter in the old role.

If the ‘Voice’ route isn’t working, the last resort may be Loyalty.  However, if you simply don’t care enough about the organisation’s mission and people to stick around, you need to consider whether you have compelling Alternatives.

You need to ask yourself what’s important to you; are you drawn to a more interesting role, a great mentor, a better learning culture? Something else?  Too many people simply don’t fully consider these key Alternative questions before walking away from a role.  

In today’s world the Alternatives are more readily available and wider in scope than ever before; a more open-armed approach to contractors or ‘expertise for hire’, the gig economy, greater flexibility towards hybrid working, full working from home roles, international work etc.

Trying something completely new has also never been more accessible. As so many of our traditional work-associated expenses have either been driven down or completely disappeared, a lot of individuals are not bringing those expenses back into their life, and instead using those savings to pursue some other venture – even for a little while.

- by Tariq Siraj

Posted by: Beament Leslie Thomas