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5 minute read

Resigning Before Finding a New Job: Should You Do It?

Would you take a leap of faith and resign without a new job lined up? There can be many reasons why people leave their jobs before finding the next one. Here’s what you should know before deciding to call it quits.

According to Randstad’s 2022 Workmonitor survey research, 41% of Singaporeans would rather be unemployed than feel unhappy in their jobs.

In today’s uncertain and stressful work environment, many desire more personal time to enjoy their lives rather than spending their evenings at work.

Recruitment rates have been increasing astronomically across Asia-Pacific, making it opportune for professionals to consider a career change. However, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of leaving your job before making any consequential decisions.

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4 reasons for leaving a job

1. Desire for better compensation

Randstad’s employer brand research unveiled that 7 in 10 professionals in Singapore ranked “attractive salary and benefits” as the most important criteria they look out for in an ideal employer.

This is unsurprising, as people around the world grapple with rising inflation and concerns over job security. It is critical that employers fairly compensate employees for their time, skills, and experience.

Before rushing to a decision, do your research to find out if your salary reflects your skills and experience, as well as the value you bring to your company. If your remuneration is way below the market average, it might be more practical to look for a new role that compensates you fairly.

2. Need for more flexibility at work

As working professionals increasingly value work-life balance, job flexibility is another key factor motivating people to change jobs. Randstad’s Singapore Workmonitor survey research revealed that 42% would not accept a job if it failed to provide flexibility around work location.

While some employers expect their workforce to be in the office more often, simply focusing on presenteeism can be harmful to workplace productivity.

Some find themselves more productive when working remotely, as they don’t have to contend with many in-person meetings or impromptu conversations. Others can get more work done when they have the freedom to decide their working hours while balancing chores and family care.

If your current role does not grant the work flexibility you need to maintain a good work-life balance, or if your work interferes with your personal life, you might consider finding a more suitable employer.

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3. Prioritising health

Illnesses and age-related health issues can make work challenging. If your job is causing you to fall sick often or compromising your physical and mental health, it may be time to look for a new employer that values their employees’ well-being.

The Talent Expectations Survey in Randstad’s Reimagine Work white paper found that 68% of respondents across Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and Singapore said their overwhelming workloads have led to poor work-life balance. 27% also said that they dislike hybrid work as they fear missing out on work and promotion opportunities due to a lack of physical presence in the office.

While many career-driven individuals are willing to take on additional workloads at the expense of their health, you should not let your career consume your life. It’s also important to take a break from work and take the time to build and enjoy life outside of work for a healthy balance.

4. Need for a career change

Having a meaningful career that we are passionate about is important to employees today. Hence it is increasingly common for people to switch careers to seek growth opportunities. They may switch from accounting to marketing, or from marketing to UX design. A career switch might require you to get additional certifications or enrol in programmes or attachments that equip you with the necessary skillsets.

What to consider when leaving your job

Before you officially resign, here are some factors to consider if it’s the right move for your career, especially as job markets become more competitive.

1. Financial security

The top consideration is how much savings you need to tide you through until you get a new job. Without a steady cash flow, the cost of daily necessities can quickly drain your bank account. Besides your income, other benefits you may have received at your company will also affect your finances – such as subsidised health insurance or corporate discounts.

To calculate how much money you need to save, consider your living expenses such as groceries, rent, transportation, and purchases for the lifestyle you want to live.

Additionally, it’s important to consider a potential pay cut for your next job if you’re switching industries or changing the way you work, be it reducing your hours or adjusting your workload.

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2. Career pathway options

Before resigning, first, make sure you have a clear career path forward.

While you may be frustrated and tempted to quit your job at once, it might be prudent to wait and leave at a good moment instead. For example, if you’re nine months into a job you feel unfulfilled in, it might be better to finish a year of work before resigning, as overly short job tenures can be a red flag towards prospective employers.

It is also necessary to consider if you have enough education and experience to make the switch to a new industry. Speak to industry experts to learn about what they do and what your career path could be.

3. Maintaining professional relationships

It is important to keep cordial relationships with your colleagues and supervisors even after leaving your job. Not only will this help you maintain a good reputation in your industry, but you will be able to ask for character references for your next job. If the industry you work in is small, there is even a chance that you could work with people from your current company again in the future, as colleagues, clients or vendors.

4. Explaining an employment gap on your resume

When you have taken some time away from work, employers may probe about the employment gap on your resume during future interviews.

It is not advised to lie about your time off, such as claiming you worked at a certain company when you had not – it would be very easy to debunk that via a background check.

Being honest is the best way to explain your career break. You can tell your employer about the sabbatical you took off work to focus on external pursuits, or that you had taken time off to upskill.

This article is contributed by Randstad Singapore.

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