09/27/2018 Steph Anderson

Should you resign or wait to be fired?

All week there has been talk of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, will he resign or be fired? Political pundits are taking guesses and discussing outcomes.

Rosenstein is in charge of the Russia investigation and has been the center of much criticism by President Trump. While his situation is incredibly unique and certainly high profile, it hits home for a lot of people. Many professionals have been in a situation where they’ve asked themselves: “Should I quit a job before getting fired?”

There are many situations where the average worker might know that getting fired in the future is probable. Perhaps they are on suspension for violating a rule. Maybe they aren’t hitting goals or the company is tanking. It could just be that there isn’t a good fit between the employer and employee.

No matter the reason, it’s common to wonder if you should quit before you get the ax. The advantage of quitting would mean you get to manage the situation. You’re ending the employment relationship on your terms, which can help you have higher control of the story when you interview for future jobs.

While you should still tell the truth about why you quit, you don’t need to share you were close to getting fired. Rather, you can explain the situation so it best reflects you, noting that you’ve learned important lessons from the experience (and be prepared to explain what exactly those are because future employers will want to know).

In fact, being open about mistakes and your professional growth from them can help you appear mature, honest and relatable. We’re all human, after all. Many employment experts argue that getting fired is more common — and acceptable — now than ever before. What used to be considered a big black mark is now a shared experience for the modern worker, particularly in some cutthroat industries or positions.

On the flip side, quitting has one big drawback: You typically won’t get any benefits from the company or the state.

While never a guarantee, a company that fires you may offer a severance package that includes salary benefits, outplacement services and more. They do this to part ways in as positive a manner as possible and to hopefully help you on your way to the next chapter of your life. Additionally, when you get fired you may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the state where you live. These benefits replace a portion of your salary, which can help you make ends meet while you seek new employment.

For financial reasons alone, many people wait it out and end up getting fired so they can take advantage of the benefits. They still can help explain their story and lessons learned during future interviews, but they will have to note they were terminated if asked.

Ultimately there is no one-size-fits-all solution when facing the likelihood of getting fired. The choice is yours and is dependent on many factors, including your personal finances, family situation, how far along you are in your career, and so much more.

Have you ever faced this predicament? How did you handle it?

Photo credit: Mark Reinstein / Shutterstock.com