Should I Resign to Avoid Possible Termination?

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].