(When) Do I Go? And How?
November 18, 2017 10:29 AM   Subscribe

I started at this job almost two months ago (despite having major reservations) because I really needed a job. As it turns out, I am not happy for multiple reasons, and I’d like to quit before I have to put it on my resume. Snowflakes inside.

Complicating factor: I noticed about three weeks ago that they had reposted for my job externally and were interviewing behind my back. I know it’s for my job–the description and reporting structure is exactly the same, I was not told about any additional hiring, and they were clearly trying to hide it from me. No one has spoken to me about my performance, but there was an incident around the same time where I got on the bad side of an influential senior staff member. The interviews have stopped and the position listing is down, but I don’t know what that means and I’m not close enough with my boss or coworkers to discreetly ask them about it. I’m still getting projects and my boss keeps talking about next year.

It seems like the decision is easy, but I don’t know if I should just quit now or try to ride it out until (if?) they fire me then offer to resign instead.

The main reason I haven’t quit is that financial instability scares me to death, and I’m worried about not finding another position, especially with the holidays coming up. Also, it seems like every time I’m about to quit, I have a decent day at work and chicken out. I seriously don’t have the energy to job hunt after work (please do not suggest I try harder at this). If I quit, I have some side work that I’d list on my resume to cover the gap, health insurance coverage, and several months worth of living expenses.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You keep doing your job and wait to see if you get terminated and then collect unemployment. If you think they're building a case to let you go for cause (you'll know, you'll get written up or put on a performance plan or some other paperwork to prove cause) then you worry about quitting. Do not ever offer to resign when you are terminated unless you are a high-visibility CEO or the president of the country.

Your resume is not a formal permanent record. You can leave this job off and list the side work no matter what happens and how long you stay, if you decide to. If you are background checked you'll need to provide the information just to affirm that X entity paid you Y dollars for services performed but a resume is a marketing document to sell you to an employer. As long as you don't tell huge whoppers that say you did something when you didn't, leaving something off that you did do is not the same sort of lie. People do it all the time (hell, I'm now forced to remove my early job experience because it makes me look "too old". I'm 45.).

You can passively job hunt by putting your freshly-polished resume on Indeed and doing nothing other than checking your messages/email once a day and bumping the resume once a week. If something really interesting washes up, call them back, otherwise just ignore the rest. Around the end of the year tends to be low tide for most hiring, or any leads you actually pursue will move like mud into January before much happens.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:40 AM on November 18, 2017 [16 favorites]

If you'll potentially be eligible to collect unemployment if fired or laid off, I'd avoid quitting and let them do the dirty work -- especially if you're anxious about financial instability already. (I believe you may have to have worked twenty weeks over the course of the past year to qualify for unemployment, though this can include multiple jobs, and you can't have quit or been fired with cause. But it's worth applying no matter what, even if you do get fired with cause, since your (ex) employer may not contest the claim.) There's absolutely no benefit to you in offering to resign. In the meanwhile though the job may be awful, it sounds like you have a lot of guilt and angst about your performance, which might be coloring your perception of it. Trust yourself more, and go read that AskMe thread from a few weeks ago about people who made huge, thousands-of-dollars mistakes at work only to discover that their bosses had their backs nonetheless.

Also you don't "have to" put anything on your resume.
posted by tapir-whorf at 10:44 AM on November 18, 2017

Why would you offer to resign and give up any chance at unemployment?
posted by jbenben at 10:56 AM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

In a lot of states, even states thought of as very employer friendly, it's damn near impossible to get denied unemployment as long as you don't quit, no matter how bad you are at your job. As long as you show up on time and can't be documented to be intentionally doing things wrongly at work you get unemployment. Some vindictive employers try to contest it because they don't grasp that merely being bad at your job doesn't make you ineligible for UI benefits, but if you go through the process you'll win.

In a few states, like Oklahoma, it doesn't actually matter what they call it, if they suggest you should leave and you do, you collect unemployment, even if the reason they suggested you leave is because you were convicted of a crime and they think continuing to employ you will drive away customers. They have a very expansive definition of constructive dismissal such that even a drastic reduction in scheduled hours while still leaving the employee with some hours often falls within their definition.

Even by those lax standards, it doesn't sound like you'd be able to take advantage of that at present since no action has been taken that could be construed as being to your detriment. Unless the place is seriously messing with your mental health, I'd suggest sticking it out until you find a new job or you get let go.
posted by wierdo at 10:30 PM on November 18, 2017

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