Hello friends. I’m back after yet another hiatus. I was hibernating, or so, I feel. But, now that I’m back – let’s talk. The other day, one of my ex-colleagues, Jack, said he’s quitting – said that he was going through a rough patch at work and that he can’t take it any more. While I empathized with him, I wasn’t sure if what he did, made for a good decision. I was discussing this with yet another good friend (and ex-colleague) Shantanu – when he shone the light of wisdom on the matter.
Here’s what he had to say about that other friend’s decision – UNWISE. He then went on to say “Never quit your job when you’re sad/upset/in trouble”. As another wise man (way before him) said, “When a ship sinks, it’s the rats that abandon it first”. Not a lover of Animal Planet – I did not notice that – well, I’ve never been on a ship either.
Getting back to the point – his theory was simple. When you quit as a desperate measure – you lose an essential weapon from your arsenal – your power to bargain. It was simple to understand – if one quits when desperate – they could hopelessly cling to the branch that’s easily available. Now, this branch may not be the strongest – it could snap once you’ve let go of your previous job (support). This could eventually land you a job that you don’t like.
Even worst can happen to you – as mentioned earlier – you’ve already lost your bargaining power. You end up settling for lesser pay than you deserve. All this because you need another job at the earliest. You fear that bargaining for a better package could lead you to lose that opportunity too. You not only lose your power to bargain, in more ways than one – you compromise on your self-respect too. You cut a sorry figure before your next prospective employer (your interviewer – at that moment).
Long story short, plan a move when the going’s good. Don’t be surprised – you’ve read it right – when the going’s good. When the going’s good – you’re at your bargaining best. This is for a simple reason – you HAVE a job at hand and that if the prospective employer rejects you or cannot cede to your salary requirements – you don’t stand to lose anything. You can happily get back to your existing gainful employment.
There’s another benefit – if you apply elsewhere ‘when the going’s good’ you can get a better idea of your market-worthiness or how much you’re worth in the market at that point in time. This can help you renegotiate your payment terms with your existing employer – you can let them know that you’ve figured what your current market worth is. You can find out if your employer is willing to do a ‘market correction’. If they don’t – you’re free to move.
So, the next time you find yourself job-hunting – ask yourself this simple question – “Why am I quitting?”. The answer should sound like “because I see a better opportunity” or “just to size up my market-worth” and not something like “This job sucks – I need to find another job.”
While I wanted to write a ‘short’ this time – I still ended up crossing the 500-word mark. Well, I can’t complain. I can let you live in peace, though. Bye for now.