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The good, the bad and the ugly of surviving on the job



How to Know When it’s Time to Quit

You’ve just read my article on the benefits of getting fired which should leave you some comfort about the shame of job termination.  However there are times when it’s good and actually sensible to leave your job so here are some tips on knowing when it’s time to say goodbye and farewell.

quitting your job, employment attorney, unemployment benefits, steven sack

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•  You’ve lined up another job. Of course this is the most obvious and preferred reason for resigning so if you’re lucky enough to have procured another position comparable to your current status, by all means, take that leap.

“People that have jobs have better negotiating power with new employers than people that are on the street.  If they know you’re unemployed, they may offer you less money,” advises New York-based employment attorney Steven Sack.  “Better to negotiate a job when you already have a job in hand.”  Sack is the author of best-selling book, The Employee Rights Handbook.

•  You’re not getting paid for your work. Sack advises that while in most cases, quitting isn’t the best option for employees he does say that exception to this rule is in the event that the employee isn’t getting paid for their work. “When a company is not paying you, or owes you money or commissions, you should quit,” he says.  However in order for the employees to be eligible for unemployment benefits, they need to write a formal complaint to the companies protesting the lack of pay and that they are resigning under protest.

And this is a way of showing the unemployment office that “you’re not quitting voluntarily but that you were forced to quit” which in turn will insure due unemployment benefits, Sack says.

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•  Your terms of employment have changed. If your job hours change for example, and suddenly the company asks you to work the night shift instead of the usual day shift, this would be a good reason to leave the job.

•  You feel abused on the job. If you happen to be working in a place in which you’re getting screamed at, personally attacked and harassed by bosses or co-workers, by all means, save yourself.  This is commonly known as workplace bullying and many people have suffered severe mental breakdowns as a result of enduring such hostility.  So if you’re in a job that’s causing you to feel depressed and anxious, realize that your health should always be your first priority.

•  You’re working in a hostile work environment. In most cases you can determine this by how you feel being privy to unethical actions at work.  For example, if you have to listen to vulgar and sexually explicit jokes and comments all day and it makes you very uncomfortable, this would be a good reason to leave the job.  If you see illegal activity at work or are asked to help cover up illegal activities of other employees or bosses, this would constitute a hostile work environment which would be another good reason to leave the job.

For all of these points, Sack advises all employees to create a scenario in which unemployment will not deny your benefits— “your working situation was so deplorable that you had to go.” The best way to do this is to document your concerns in writing to your employers so that there is evidence that shows you are leaving because you had no other alternative.

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Again, there is a chance that your employers could act out against you for complaining, commonly known as retaliation discrimination, but as it was covered in a previous post, if you do end up getting fired, you may just end up getting much more than unemployment benefits.


<<previous, When it’s Better to Get Fired>>

Reader Feedback

2 Responses to “How to Know When it’s Time to Quit”

  • wi unemployment says:

    Great blog you have here. Lots of blogs like yours cover subjects that can’t be found in magazines and newspapers. I don’t know how we got on 15 years ago with just print media.

  • news says:

    This website is extremely cool. How can I make one like this .

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