Is It Better To Quit Your Job Before You Get Fired From It?

Many of us don’t always get to choose how we leave a job. But when you do see the writing on the wall at your company, you have an opportunity to consider your options.

Maybe you see finances are in the red, hear grim updates at all-hands meetings, or otherwise know that a layoff may be imminent. Maybe you’re just reaching a breaking point with your boss and are more than ready to work somewhere else.

This is the crossroads you face: do you quit on your own terms, or wait to see if your employer lays you off or fires you?

Both options come with major consequences. How you leave a job, or how a termination happens to you, can have ripple effects for your professional reputation and future financial benefits.

Here’s what you need to weigh up when deciding whether to exit on your own or wait to be ushered out.

PRO: Quitting avoids the unpleasantness of losing your job suddenly.

One big advantage with quitting is that you control the story of leaving the job, rather than having it decided for you. Victorio Milian, a human resources consultant at Humareso, says that in his 15-plus years of experience, being terminated is more emotionally fraught for people than quitting.

“Even when they have an adversarial relationship with the employer, even when they know, ‘OK there’s all this progressive discipline against me, they’ve made it clear that any further missteps are going to result in a termination,’ when you’re actually administering it to that person, it is still always an emotional gut punch for that person,” he says. “So for me, you can avoid that by taking the reins yourself and choosing the way you’re going to exit the workplace.”

Particularly if you are in a job you hate, quitting may also come with much-needed peace of mind that you are finally leaving behind unreasonable bosses and co-workers, and not just suffering until an uncertain end date.

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