Reasons for Leaving a Job & When to Do So

By Aily Foo, Manager – Temp & Contract Recruitment, Links International

One of the questions that my candidates looking for jobs in Hong Kong often ask me is whether they should resign from their current job before securing a new job. It can be hard to find a job that you enjoy and that makes you love going to work. When our jobs become frustrating, some decide to grin and bear it, some decide to work through it to overcome the frustrations, whilst others decide to quit straightaway and then look for another job. In my opinion, unless you have a clear picture of where your career is going or what’s ahead of you, leaving a job without first securing a new one is very risky.

Carrying Packed Box

Everyone has a different reason for leaving a job. Once you have resigned, it might take some time to find another job. We have no idea how long it could take – for some, it might take only a week, for others it might take a month, or it may even take several months. It really depends on your capabilities, but also on external factors such as the job market situation at that time, and also the current talent pool.

Sometimes, people have no choice but to resign from their job, for example, if they have family issues, or need to take care of their health or complete further education. Others leave their existing jobs to pursue new challenges, growth, a better work-life balance or to change career direction. These are all valid and rational reasons and should make sense to most HR teams. However, if the reason for quitting your job doesn’t fit into any of these categories, such as avoiding office politics or finding your boss or company disappointing, perhaps you should rethink your reasons for leaving the job before you make the decision to resign. After all, there are things that are inevitable in every company.

Have you considered the financial burden?

What if you have no income for several months? Assuming it might take three months for you to find a job, what is your plan for these three months? If you want to live comfortably as usual and cover all your living expenses, for how long can you support yourself and your family before you find a new job?

Have you considered that your skillset might become outdated?

We are continuously developing our skillsets from on-the-job training. If you are out of the job market for a while, this could mean losing your specific talent. Is your skillset unique? Will it be easy to regain this, or could you be replaced by someone else who hasn’t been out of the market?

It is good to have dreams and good to look for a job that you truly enjoy, but try to think rationally before making a “naked resignation”. If you are idle for more than six months, this could damage your career development. If you are unable to find a job within a certain timeframe you have set for yourself, perhaps you could try a temporary or contract position until something comes up? It might help you get back into the market, keep developing your skillset and, most importantly, it will ensure you have a salary coming in that will pay for your lifestyle, relieve your financial burdens and your anxiety about being unemployed.

I specialise in recruitment for temporary and contract positions in Hong Kong across a range of industries. Should you wish to discuss opportunities, please do not hesitate to get in touch.