If you feel like you’ve had enough, don’t resign in a huff. Mind these tips from FlexJobs to make a more thoughtful exit.

We’ve all been tempted to submit an impromptu resignation or quit in some dramatic fashion.

As satisfying as it might be to use the next all-hands Zoom as your chance to sign off with a rant for the ages, it’s wise to take a longer view of your career. And err on the side of not burning bridges.

According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the number of employees who quit increased to 3.9 million. This tumultuous job market is fueling “The Great Resignation” and is prompting droves of employees to abruptly leave their roles in search of greener pastures. This remarkable spike in “rage-quitting” is leaving many employers in a difficult spot, but it could be troublesome for workers, too.

To help you avoid the pitfalls of “rage-quitting” and make more clear-minded career decisions, we collected insights from FlexJobs writer Rachel Pelta. She shares this guidance from FlexJobs’ top career coaches.

Reasons you might be tempted to rage-quit

1. You’re not sure your work matters.

If employees fail to see how their labor contributes to the greater good of the company—or to the world—they likely won’t stick around for long.

Not every job will be fulfilling for every employee, but companies can go above and beyond to make workers feel like they matter. Pelta says:

“Are you getting reasonable raises and bonuses? Do you like your career path, and are you advancing on it? Does your boss thank you for the work you do? If you answered ‘no,’ you’re probably feeling under- or unappreciated, and that’s likely contributing to your negative feelings about the job.”

2. You don’t fit in the company culture.

Sometimes it’s just not a match.

Especially in a post-pandemic environment, it’s tempting to jump ship in search of a more vital culture that matches your personal beliefs or values. That’s fine, though FlexJobs warns against making any rash decisions based on preconceived notions of what another culture may (or may not) be like.

3. The tradeoffs don’t add up.

Is the stress worth it? As Pelta says:

“If you’re in a well-paid job, is the money worth the long hours or the way your boss treats you? Does unlimited paid time off pay off in the long run if you’re never allowed to use it? Examine if the job is worth it anymore before you rage-quit.”

Consequences of rage-quitting

1. Earning a bad reputation.

Is quitting on the spot worth the short-term satisfaction? Probably not.

“Also, when you rage-quit, you’ve most likely guaranteed that you won’t get a good reference from your current job,” Pelta says.

2. Red flag to future employers.

If you resign in a huff, you must prepare for the inevitable interview question, “Why did you leave your last job?”

FlexJobs shares there are ways to explain employment gaps in your work history, though you’ll need to account for why you left without securing a new job first. Either way, it’s not a great look to just abandon ship.

3. Forfeiting pay and benefits.

Pelta notes that most companies have a resignation policy that requires workers to give two weeks’ (or more) notice.

If you rage-quit without giving your company sufficient notice, you could miss out on a paycheck, contributions to health insurance, retirement accounts, and any other perks you might have otherwise kept had you fulfilled your notice obligation.

Tips to avoid rage-quitting

1. Create coping mechanisms.

“Find ways to cope with your situation until you can leave the job gracefully,” Pelta says, adding that it’s a smart move to create a list of strategies to endure each day with more resilience.

That could be reminders to get up and exercise, or perhaps a new dart board with a certain colleague’s face plastered on it. Whatever it is, “Keep the list handy, and when someone or something at work is too much, refer to your list and engage in a coping activity to help you get through the day.”

2. Plan and act.

You likely won’t find your dream gig overnight, so take your time searching for new jobs, updating your resume, and applying for jobs that excite you.

With so many companies hiring remote workers, now’s a great time to apply for gigs that were previously off limits. So, why not expand that search beyond your own borders?

3. Clean up.

If you’ve already made up your mind to resign, go ahead and start cleaning up your workspace. Pelta offers a reminder to do some digital polishing, too.

“Get copies of anything you need for your portfolio from your company-issued laptop or cloud-based systems. And make sure you’re keeping your project notes up to date so anyone coming in behind you can pick up where you left off.”

4. Be nice.

Even if your colleagues might deserve it, don’t be a jerk. Be professional, remain polite, and keep all those bridges intact. You might need them down the road, after all.

Also, we could all use an extra helping of grace, patience and compassion these days. Keep that in mind before you mass email a nasty resignation letter to the whole company.

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