All good, or bad things come to an end. Especially in today’s job market and work culture, quitting, being laid off or getting fired are simply part of life, issues most people face at one point or another. Still, many of us have the fear of how we will survive losing a job for both financial reasons as well as our self-esteem and reputation. If you are getting the feeling for one reason or another that your job may be on the line, is it best to quit or wait to get fired? There are pros and cons to both, and the best decision really depends on your situation. Here are some things to think about that can help you debate quitting vs getting fired.
What is your financial situation?
Unless you get fired for cause (which is caused by severe errors in judgement on the employee’s part such as stealing, fraud, failing a drug or alcohol test or disclosing confidential company information to outside parties), you will likely be eligible for unemployment benefits if you get fired or laid off. This can be a big deciding factor between quitting vs getting fired since many people need some sort of income while they look for another job. If you quit you are likely to look better to potential employers and avoid uncomfortable interview conversations about why you were let go, but if you wait to get fired you may end up with more money in your pocket until you find another job.
If you quit you won’t be able to collect unemployment, but it’s possible if you work out a deal with the company you could receive a generous severance package. This is more likely to be an option for workers in more senior level positions. Do some research to find out if your company offers severance packages and what is included in them (amount of money, health insurance and other benefits, and will you be given a good recommendation to use in your job search).
Is your job worth salvaging?
It’s possible quitting vs being fired aren’t the only two options for you. Are you happy enough at your current job that you can see yourself sticking around for a while if they don’t let you go? Then you may want to consider setting up a meeting with your boss to see what can be done to save your job. This way you won’t have to quit or wait to be fired and have a sense of job security. Before you meet, make a list of the issues you are having with your work, as well as anything your boss has mentioned about your performance. Ask your boss what specific goals you must meet and if you don’t what will be the next steps (i.e. will you lose your job, be demoted, etc.) Can you be given a trial period to improve your performance and productivity? Is there another position the company can move you to that is a better fit for your skillset?
Whether you quit or wait to get fired, be prepared
Whether you decide to wait it out until you get fired or laid off, or put in your two weeks notice and quit, it’s important to be prepared. If you decide to wait until you are fired, start updating your resume, networking and gathering references, and applying to jobs. If you can land a job before you get fired, even better. Just be sure not to conduct your job search while you are on the clock at your current position, since that could result in getting fired earlier or under worse circumstances.
If you decide to quit, it’s best if you can get a job lined up beforehand. It’s often easier to get a job when you already have one. At the very least make sure your finances are in order and that you are aware of the job options out there.
Whether you quit or wait to get fired, consult colleagues, friends and family about how to best handle the situation gracefully. If you leave on the best terms possible, you will maintain your dignity and have a smoother job search.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.