7 Ways to Know if it’s Time to Resign

For better or for worse, it’s true that all good things must come to an end. Whether you find yourself holding your dream title or in a position that is no longer as fulfilling as it once was, there comes a time (or multiple) in everyone’s career that calls for a graceful exit from a position. However, the challenge arises when trying to decide how to know when it’s time to leave. After all, how do you know when the timing is right? Below are a few questions that professionals at every level can use to help guide their decision-making process.   

Define your purpose. Even the most seasoned leaders are susceptible to burnout should they lose sight of their professional purpose. Having a well-defined career pathway enables clinicians to identify what a favorable career progression should look like. Additionally, a well-defined purpose also allows clinicians to identify which obstacles are worth pushing through and which are best left alone.

Monitor how you are feeling. No matter what point you are at in your career, every position has its ups and downs. However, a sustained level of frustration or prolonged lack of engagement, may be indicative of burnout rather than just common frustrations every clinical may leader face. Taking a vacation or engaging in different activities in the work place can be a great way take a step back, reenergize, and reevaluate your situation with a fresh perspective.    

Identify external factors that would make you want to stay. There is a difference between changes that would make one want to stay in their role versus simply be willing to. While a pay increase may be enough to incentivize someone to be willing to stay in their position, it may not be enough to engage them to want to. Whether you are considering leaving a role because it no longer challenges you, or because you feel you are undervalued, it is crucial to identify whether it is truly time to resign from your position or if it is salvageable.

Make the necessary changes to feel fulfilled. If there is a potential for you to want to remain in your current role, identify what changes might help improve the situation and initiate a conversation with your organization. Collaborating with your organization can be a great way to identify mentorship programs, new projects, or training opportunities that can be used to help find satisfaction within your current position.

Research your options. Going on interviews and exploring your possibilities is an excellent way to create clarity about what your options are and what you want. By doing so, it’s possible to stumble upon a position that you may be a better fit while it’s also entirely possible to gain a newfound appreciation for your current position when reviewing your options.

Don’t allow personal conflicts to influence your decision. While a toxic work environment or culture of bullying may be a valid reason to resign from a role, having one personality conflict with a colleague does not necessarily mean you need to exit the organization altogether. Unfortunately, the reality is that conflicts are bound to happen in professional settings, but it is crucial to work through uncomfortable situations and use them as a learning opportunity to enhance your interpersonal skills when possible.

Last but not least, exit with grace. Once you have decided it is time to resign from your position, the ability to do so with grace is the sign of a true professional. Of course, giving at least two weeks notice is always recommended, and in senior leadership roles, a month’s notice may be recommended. However, being as accommodating as possible in terms of ending dates and flexibility can make a world of difference to employers as they begin the processes of filling the vacancy. Doing so is also an excellent way to maintain professional ties and exit the organization on a good note. Additionally, your new employer will likely appreciate your willingness accommodate the needs of the organization to the best of your ability.

For related articles:


MacArthur, H.V. (February 19th 2019) Top Tips For Deciding Whether It’s Really Time To Quit Your Job


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