Reasons For Resigning Archives

“Resigned and relocated for my daughter’s health; seem plausible?”

Published on January 22nd, 2014 by Alan L Sklover

Question: I recently came across your blog and I believe that the information and resources you provide are fantastic!

I moved to Australia with my family three months ago after 13 years in the middle east. I am actively looking for employment but as a newcomer it has been a little challenging so far. I am preparing for interviews and I need your advice regarding the best answer to the following question a prospective employer may ask: “Why did you leave your last job?” 

The real answer is that my daughter developed asthma while living in the middle east due to the weather conditions, and while it was not an easy decision to leave, I am happy I made it because so far her health has improved. 

In my opinion this is not the ideal answer to a prospective employer and here is where I need your help. What do you suggest? 

Many thanks for your time and consideration,

Answer: Dear Lenush: Here are my honest thoughts and best answers on the challenge you face:      

1. To begin, I must say I find your “real answer” to be a great answer. Whenever I think about “What will another person think?” or “How will others react?” I try to pretend for a moment that I am that person. While I cannot imagine what every person or every prospective employer may think, I do believe I have a pretty good sense and sound judgment on these things. I have given your question a lot of thought, asked others what they think of your dilemma, and have concluded that your “real answer” is nothing less than a “great answer,” in that it is entirely believable, entirely understandable, and entirely defensible.   

2. Your “real answer” (a) shows you have concern for others above your concerns for yourself, (b) suggests that you are a person whose values are squarely in the right order of priority, and (c) in my opinion, is one that any person with children (or spouse, parents or siblings) can quickly, easily and heartily relate to. The answer that is best – from the perspective of what employers seek in a job candidate – is one that shines a positive light on your character, with strong values, and the ability to act selflessly. Basically, “Is this person a true team player?”  

I, for one, deeply admire your “what needs to be done” and your accepting life’s difficulties head on as they come upon you. Quite candidly, though I am as fallible and imperfect as we all are, I strive daily to be the kind of stand-up person and caring person and father that you surely are. It is my belief that almost all employers – and surely all employers worth working for – support employees who hold their families first.   

Another thought that came to me is this: your “real answer” – including your daughter’s health improvement – suggests that you won’t be again relocating soon.     

3. In addition to your “real answer” being a great answer, your “real answer” just happens to be the truth, and for that reason alone it is so very much preferable. It is simply undeniable that the truth is always the preferable path. First, it comes from the heart, and others can usually sense its presence. Second, it does not have to be practiced, rehearsed or remembered. Third, you don’t have to worry about getting caught in “the truth.” Fourth, by its very nature, the truth is verifiable. Fifth, for those concerned about comfort with themselves, it just feels better. And sixth and finally, for those who live lives of faith, the truth is simply required of them. Albert Schweitzer always said, “Sincerity is the cornerstone of spirituality.”

4. I am struggling a bit to imagine what your basis might be for the sense that your “real answer” might not be ideal to a prospective employer, as you state. Are you concerned that prospective employers prefer employees who are willing to endanger their children’s health? Might you think that your reason for relocating is not sufficiently business-oriented? Is it possible you think your reason for leaving the middle east might seem implausible to a prospective employer? Is it even possible that you are trying to make sense of your inability so far to gain new employment? 

While I am not “in your shoes” and so cannot truly see the world from your prospective, it is my view at the moment that, if any of these thoughts might be the basis for your concern, they are probably in error.   

By the way, if you are now interviewing, don’t forget what your Mom always told you: “It pays to be polite!” Use our Model Letter After Interview; with Later Follow Up. It shows you “What to Say, and How to Say It.™” To obtain a copy, just [click here.] Delivered by Email – Instantly!

5. Might it be the case that interviewers have given you these explanations, or these impressions, for not recalling you for further interviews? If that is where your concern has arisen, then it just might be that you are not being told the truth. And, if you are being told the truth by interviewers, might I share with you my strong sense that this interviewer’s company is not a company you really want to work for. I take the unusual step for me of inviting you to email me again, and in your email let me know the source of your concerns, with the assurance that I will respond directly to that email if you send it.  

If, nonetheless, you would still like to consider using other reasons to explain your last job departure, we offer a list of 50 Good Reasons to Explain Your Last Job Departure. It is one of our very best selling items, and those who have obtained it have commented that the 50 Reasons are original, creative and so very useful. To obtain your copy, [click here.] Delivered by Email – Instantly! 

Lenush, I hope this is helpful to you. It is never easy, and in fact often quite difficult, to be out of work and looking for a new position. Please simply have faith. Faith in what you have done, faith in what you are doing, faith in yourself, and faith in what got you this far. Faith is what gets us all through life’s inevitable darker moments. If you keep up your faith, and continuing pursuing the “shining light” of your values and principled reasons for doing things, I guarantee you that things will only get better. Just like they did with your daughter’s health. 

Please consider telling your friends, family and colleagues “down under” about our blog – we’d REALLY appreciate that!! Oh, yes, and tell them, too, that subscribing to our blog is free, fun and helpful.

My Best, and My Admiration,
Al Sklover 

P.S.: Plan on looking for a New Job? We offer a 152-Point Master Checklist of Employment Negotiation Items to help you make sure you have not (a) forgotten to ask for anything, (b) failed to raise any issues, and (c) that your interests are protected in your offer letter and/or employment contract. To obtain a copy, just [click here.] Delivered by Email – Instantly!    

© 2014, Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved. Commercial Use Prohibited.

“How can you resign from a job in both silence and good conscience, if it means that people in need will only remain in greater need?”

Published on November 5th, 2009 by Alan L Sklover

Question: I am a Social Worker who took an oath to protect the people I serve. For years now I have been doing my best to do that, but for years I have also been constantly “beating my head against the bureaucracy.”

Sadly, I have reached the conclusion that, in order to preserve my health and sanity, I only have a choice of either (a) leaving, or (b) pretending I do not see the incompetence, the uncaring, and the absence of accountability of my colleagues that, together, prevent my clients from being helped as they should be. I just can’t stick my head in the sand; I really must leave.

However, every article I have read about resigning recommends “Don’t say anything negative.” When I do resign, should I be honest about why I am leaving? Should I say anything after I leave? If I do say something, should it be anonymously?

Name Withheld
Santa Rosa, California

Answer: Overall, the answer to your very difficult dilemma is quite simple: Sometimes you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. So, first, take care of you.

My suggestion is that, if possible, you stay on your job until you can find a new one. If that’s not possible, I suggest you resign, and then seek a new job. Your resignation need not include a reason for your leaving. You can always deal with that later. There is no law, rule or regulation that says you cannot say or write, “I am going to wait until I feel the time is right to advise you – the people who run this agency, and those who fund this agency – of my reasons for leaving. If you want to register your voice regarding the sorry state of affairs at your agency, it would be far better to do it when it is “safe” for you to do so.

If you do later share your thoughts, feelings and frustrations, do so in writing, with passion but without poison, with compassion but while maintaining your composure, with conviction but without contentiousness. Remember that no one can hear your voice through a closed door: the way you say things can stop, or stimulate, people hearing your message. You might want to do it anonymously, but your message will be that much more powerful if not anonymous.

Be careful, though, not to defame anyone (defined as a false statement of fact that harms reputation), or violate any rule about confidentiality, both of which could get you in legal “hot water.”

The world surely needs more people like you, who care, and who work each and every day helping those in our community who need help. But, first and foremost, you need to take care of yourself, to your best ability. I hope these thoughts help you do so.

Keep the faith, and don’t ever lose your courage to care.

Al Sklover

© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

“Resign or Be Terminated. What should I do?”

Published on September 24th, 2009 by Alan L Sklover

Question: My employer wants me to resign rather than be terminated due to alleged poor capabilities at work. My employer says it is in my interests to do so.

On the other hand, my friend told me to never resign or sign anything in this instance.

I don’t know which way to go. Help!

Quepelle, Canada

Answer: In most instances, I agree with your friend. However, there are some instances where I would agree with your employer. It all depends on the facts, and what is important to you:

A. Resignation: No severance, no unemployment benefits, no right to claim discriminatory treatment. If you are asked why you resigned, the truth is still the truth: you were asked to, due to “capabilities” reasons.

B. Termination: Possible severance, probable unemployment benefits, you can raise claims of discriminatory treatment, and you can still explain to your future employers that you disagree with the “capabilities” determination.

Between the two, termination usually seems preferable to me. However . . .

C. Negotiation: But, how about negotiation, that is, a way both you and your employer get what you want. Why don’t you consider WRITING IN AN EMAIL to your employer,

“I will consider resigning, but will you also give me, in return, a WRITTEN PROMISE that (1) you will not contest my application for unemployment, (2) before I resign, you will give me time to find a new job, say, six months; (3) if I don’t find a new job, you will give me severance of three months, and; (4) no matter what, you will sign a reference letter that I draft that will say a lot of good things about me that are all true: (i) I am on time every day; (ii) I am friendly, with every one; (iii) I try hard; (iv) I always finish a job I start, and; (v) I am seeking a new job because my present opportunities for advancement are limited.”

Resignation and Termination both have potential advantages and disadvantages. On the other hand, Negotiation really has no down side. It could achieve a “win-win” for all. And even if it doesn’t work, you will just go back to your first two alternatives. Why don’t you give Negotiation a try?

Teaching people that they CAN negotiate – and in that way achieve more in a smart way – is the reason I write this whole Blog, my newsletters and produce my videos. Consider giving it a try. . . like riding a bicycle, you’ll do it more and better each time you try.

Best, Al Sklover

© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

“Is it wise to resign because promotion was denied, and without a new job?”

Published on August 4th, 2009 by Alan L Sklover

Question: I work in a Silicon Valley software company, and have been raising the issue of promotion for six months now. I was verbally assured that a promotion was in the works, but I just found out it is not going to happen, without clear reason. I am crushed and humiliated, especially considering that others with lower performance have been promoted. I have decided to resign, even though I don’t have a new job yet, since my wife’s income is enough to get us by.

Two Questions (if you don’t mind): First, is not having a job going to place me in a slightly unfavorable position while negotiating the terms of my next job? Second, is resigning because a promotion was denied a fair explanation to a future employer?

Oakland, California

Answer: My experience in negotiating for employees for 25+ years, and my experience as an employer for 25+ years, tell me that the answers to your questions are (1) Yes; and (2) No.

First, is not having a job going to place you at a disadvantage in negotiating new employment? Yes, because of the common-sense, near-universal perception that unemployed people are more eager, if not desperate, to get a new job, especially now, and in California where the unemployment rate is above the national average. To hire a person who is presently employed, a new employer usually believes that he or she must at least match the terms of the existing job, or do better. Your circumstances, your views and your motivations are different than most, but that does not change the fact that most people see unemployed people as “needing” a job, and thus, a bit “needy.” In this, as in many things, “perception is more important than reality.” I say this as a negotiator for employees, as well as an employer.

Second, is resigning because a promotion was denied a fair explanation to a future employer? I would say, “No.” Resigning for this reason, especially without a new job, is so unusual that many prospective employers might not believe you. Worse still, it tells the prospective employer that “If I don’t get the promotion I want from you, I may resign from your company, too.” Finally, since it leaves you without a job, without unemployment insurance (because those who resign do not have a right to it, with few exceptions), and without benefit coverages (though your wife may provide them), it seems to be either done without careful planning, on an uncontrolled urge, and/or due to poor judgment, none of which is flattering to a person seeking a new job.

Perhaps most important, resigning for this reason says to an interviewer “My boss thought I was not deserving of a promotion.” That can’t be helpful.

If you haven’t yet resigned, I urge you to reconsider.

Best, Al Sklover

Resignations can be tricky – and treacherous. To help you, we offer a 100-Point Master Pre-Resignation Checklist. All you need to know and remember. To obtain your copy, just [click here.] – Delivered by Email – Instantly!

© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

Should I Resign to Avoid Possible Termination?

Published on May 16th, 2008 by Alan L Sklover

Question: There is a possibility I may be terminated soon due to job performance. I work hard, but my organizational skills have ruined me. My job is so stressful, I have been put on anti-depressants. I’d like to change careers, to perhaps pursue teaching. I don’t have another job yet, and I’m not certified to teach yet, but I’m considering resigning Monday to avoid the termination. I have a family to support. What do you think I should do?

Richard, Alpharetta, GA

Answer: I always say, “Never resign unless there’s a good reason to.” That’s because resigning leaves you with a better resume, but no rights. You may be able to do better.

First, you may not be on the “to be fired” list, or at least not right now. Second, you might be able to get something in return for your resigning, such as (a) your employer’s agreement not to contest your unemployment insurance, (b) continuation of salary and/or health care for a month or two, (c) use of your earned but unused vacation time, or even (d) a promise to pay you a partial bonus, or an extra month’s commissions. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Also, due to your depression and use of anti-depressants, with your doctor’s cooperation you are probably entitled to a 12-week, unpaid “Family Medical Leave Act” (often called “FMLA”) leave of absence. You should ask your HR Dept, BY EMAIL, for the forms. This would give you through most of the summer to look for a job without “fired” or “resigned” on your resume.

Best of luck. Let me know how it goes.
Al Sklover

We offer a Model Memo to assist you in Requesting FMLA Information, Forms and Procedures. To obtain a copy simply [click here].

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 35 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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