Exiting as Gracefully (and Safely) as Possible
January 16, 2013 9:15 AM Subscribe
I feel that my current job threatens my personal safety. How can I leave this job as professionally as possible while protecting that safety?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Background for the question: Let me start this by saying that I love my job. Or, at least, I used to. Without being too specific, let's say that I work in a field that involves a lot of client contact. This used to be great, because I love working directly with people. However, the clients we help have changed significantly over the past couple of years--many of our clients are now dealing with long-term homelessness, untreated mental illness, and drug problems, with few available resources to help. The services we provide are becoming more like those that a social services agency provides, which sounds great. The catch, however, is that we are not really a social services agency with the training and infrastructure that such an organization provides.
As a result of these changes, my job has grown increasingly dangerous. Adminstrators do not take security risks from clients seriously, and are not trained in working with people who are suffering from mental illness or substance abuse conditions. Our facility has inadequate security. Threats of violence by clients are dismissed, and it seems like they grow more and more common. Physical altercations between clients inside the facility where I work have become more common, too. Recently, a client threatened me directly while I was at work. As much as I love the parts of my job that do not involve fending off these risks (and those parts do exist), my family and I are growing very concerned about my personal safety, and I think I need to quit.
Now, here is where the actual question starts. The catch is that I have been working for this employer for over ten years. This is the longest entry on my CV. I am currently seeking opportunities in another field, and hope to line something up before resigning. However, I do not want to burn any bridges, and for the sake of good relations with this employer in the future, I feel obligated give at least two weeks of notice before departing as a professional courtesy. Am I an idiot to try to continue on in this situation for another two weeks?
As a bonus question, in my official letter of resignation, if I do state that safety/security concerns are the reason for my resignation, will that come back to bite me later if I ever need a reference? Is it better to write a brief, generic resignation letter with as little extraneous information as possible?
Note: I'm specifically asking for advice as to how to resign as professionally as possible while preserving my personal safety. Please do not offer advice regarding ways to change conditions at my job. I have thought very long and very hard about my decision to move on.
Thanks for your help.