26 Apr 2012

Resigning with no job to go to...

I have a candidate who has handed their notice in with no job to go to.

It got me thinking…

Fundamentally, it’s not a good idea in the current climate to leave a role with no job to go to.  Yes, there are jobs out there, but the lead time to finding a job is significantly longer than in the past.  It’s a risky decision!  Obviously it depends on the individual and the circumstances but in general, I would advise against it. With a lot of choice, employers focus on CVs where candidates have stayed in their roles for over 18 months and where there has been seamless transition into the next role, thus progressing their career.  Interviewers will always ask about gaps on CVs and if you have left a role with no job to go to, that’s going to raise questions.   It may be perceived as a negative, the interviewer may think that you showed poor judgement for putting yourself in that situation so you need to be concise in your reasoning.  Keep it upbeat, keep it positive.  If you have left a role because of issues with your boss (as another candidate has recently), keep it objective and don’t provide detail.  Even if the boss was an absolute monster who made your life miserable, keep it to yourself as an interviewer, may perceive this to mean you are a bit wet/ a moaner/ a troublemaker/ thin skinned etc.

If at all possible, stick it out.  Sometimes, these things are taken out of your control and in those circumstances, then clearly, it’s not your choice to leave.  Equally, if a job is literally making you sick then it’s not worth it and something has to change.  However, most candidates who have handed in their notice with no job to go to, 3 months later after not working, do say that they wish they’d toughed it out for a little bit longer and that they hadn’t realised it was going to be quite so difficult to find a new role.  It’s not just that there are less roles, it’s much more competitive too – there are lots of good candidates out there.     Something that I observe reasonably often is that candidates who are not working, perform less well at interview.  This is tied up with confidence and self esteem and generally, the longer out of work, the harder they’re trying in interviews and if the interview doesn’t go your way, then the knock-back feels much greater. It’s a slippery slope.  Equally clients comment that a candidate was ‘a bit desperate’ and whilst sympathetic, they’re more likely to go for the confident and self deprecating candidate who has the luxury of being paid whilst searching for a new role.

Ultimately if you’re not happy in your employment, you need to work hard to find a new job.  It’s best if you can do this whilst being paid.  If you’re considering jacking it in do take a step back and visualise just how hard it will be not earning a salary and make sure you have calculated how long you can survive jobless for.  There are lots of folk out there in this position, not out of their own choice and who would struggle to understand this decision.