Categorized | Career

Three Reasons to Keep Your Job

Posted on 05 October 2008

Michelle has a dilemma. She wants to quit her job because it is no longer challenging and the raise she expected fell through. Her employer isn’t doing well and she is afraid she will be laid off. Although she has a good amount of money saved for such emergencies, the decision is not easy. What should she do? What would you do? At one time or another, we’ve all been tempted to quit before finding another job. Whether we want to leave for professional, personal or financial reasons, the thought of pulling up stakes and hitting the road can be alluring. Even if you have a nest egg like Michelle, there is much more to consider than just financial stability. Turning in your resignation without a new offer in hand could jeopardize your future in other ways.

Reason #1: It will be more difficult to get another job

While many employers won’t admit to this, they have a preference for employed applicants. Why? One reason is employed applicants appear to be more stable than their unemployed counterparts. Staying on the job will help you get those interviews and job offers. “Although there is less stigma than there once was, there is still a preference for employed people,” said Joan Lloyd (, of a nationally recognized management consulting and training firm. “As soon as a potential employer hears that someone is unemployed, they always want to know why.” Another thing to be mindful of is the shaky economy and the fact that there is more competition now for fewer jobs. According to the Conference Board, 50.7 percent of those surveyed said jobs were “not so plentiful” while 15.9 percent said that jobs were “hard to get.” Only 33.4 percent said jobs were plentiful, down from more than 50 percent a year ago.

Reason #2: Job-Seeking Blues

The first few days of being unemployed may seem like heaven on earth, but reality will soon enter the picture. You may wonder what’s next for you and where to go next.

Lloyd believes that Americans’ identities are wrapped up in what they do.

“It’s one of the first questions at every cocktail party,” she said. “When people lose a job, it often feels like a death…a death of who they were. They experience denial, anger, depression and bargaining, such as thinking ‘Maybe if I call them, they’ll take me back.’” She believes it’s important to have a supportive network, such as a job-hunting group, to lean on in difficult times.

As with any job search, there is bound to be rejection. This rejection can lead to what Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute, defines as “unemployment depression”.

He believes that unemployment depression has four roots: emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. Bolles recommends frustrated job seekers start talking, to their partner, family, friends or counselor and keep perspective. After some time of being unemployed, they may have the urge to take any job that comes their way. Before jumping into another potentially bad situation, it’s essential to assess the position and determine if the job meets the required needs and expectations. If it doesn’t, keep looking. As you may already realize, there is nothing worse than to be stuck in a job that doesn’t fit.

Reason #3: The Empty Piggy Bank

Keep your future goals in mind before quitting your job. If your finances have been in order, becoming voluntarily unemployed could derail your progress. Whether your plans include buying a house, starting a family or retiring, voluntary unemployment can delay those plans. For example, when applying for a mortgage, lenders like to see at least 2 years of job stability. To the lender, job-hopping and unemployment show instability.

If you’re still thinking about taking the leap into unemployment, it’s important to stretch the money you do have saved as far as possible. Stacy Kravetz, author of Welcome to the Real World: You’ve Got An Education, Now Get a Life!, suggests taking an inventory of monthly expenses, deciding what are necessities and wants and eliminating unnecessary expenses.

Other ideas include canceling cable service and newspaper delivery, renting videos instead of going to the movies, eating out less, buying clothes on sale, cutting coupons, and bartering with friends.

Even with careful planning, the credit cards may come to the rescue sooner or later. You may not think you will need them, but when the kitchen only has a package of ramen noodles and a can of tuna, the credit cards look appealing. The bottom line- using credit may temporarily keep you afloat but in the end you’ll wind up deeper in trouble.

In the end, the choice is up to you. Whether you leave or stay, don’t regret your decision. Stay positive and make the most of every opportunity!

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