Working parents, 2020 has added quite a bit to your plates. Thinking about quitting your job? Here's how to decide if it's the right choice for you.
2020 has given a whole new meaning to “work-life balance.” With 42 percent of the U.S. labor force working from home full-time according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, many of us have to redefine our daily schedules and balance life in unprecedented ways. This can certainly be said for working parents who, in many cases, have had to add the role of educator to their resumes.
With the start of the new school year, working parents are now being given the difficult task of deciding between trying to do it all or making calculated choices to benefit their families — at the expense of their careers. From August 28 to September 10, 2020, TopResume asked 2,122 U.S. working parents about their plans to accommodate their children's education for the 2020/2021 school year. The survey found that one in five working parents are considering quitting their jobs to accommodate their children's education.
If you're thinking about leaving your job to assist your children with distance learning, the tips below will help you decide whether this move is the right one for you and your family.
Is it time for you to quit your job?
Before you hand in your notice, consider all of your options. Have you explored hiring extra help or tapping your extended family to pitch in? Or, if you've already ruled out those possibilities, have you spoken to your manager about adjusting your schedule so you're available to assist with your kids' education?
TopResume found that nearly a third of households are heavily relying on childcare providers or family members for extra help, while a little less than half have successfully negotiated with their employers to modify their work schedules to accommodate their children's schooling.
In addition, consider whether your children's education is the main reason for quitting your job, or whether you were already considering leaving your job when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. If you were already on the fence about staying with your company before your district announced its plans for the school year — regardless of whether or not you have a Plan B for accommodating your kids' education needs — ask yourself these additional questions before pulling the plug:
Are you unhappy with how your employer treated your and your colleagues during the pandemic?
Is it the people you work with? The culture?
Are you sitting at a desk for too many hours of the day?
Would a different workgroup, manager, or position be better for you within the same organization?
Is your current work environment just not for you anymore?
Do you dread going in (or logging in) on Monday mornings?
Is the discomfort you feel short-lived and brief, or constant and permanent?
What is your “point of no return?” What is your deal-breaker?
Does the mission of your company not align with your values?
What would need to change in order for you to be happy at work?
If your answers to these questions only increase your desire to quit, that's OK! If you have that little voice in your head — you know, the one that's telling you something's off and that you should be doing something else with your life — give yourself permission and the space to listen to it. Explore your options, daydream, see what ideas come to you, and make a game plan to make the right changes in your life.
If you are set on quitting your job, here are some key points to remember.
Know it's OK to disappoint others
You're in the driver's seat of your life. No one else knows what's best for you but you — not your parents, your grandparents, your spouse, your best friend, or your mentor. If you make a career choice to please others before you please yourself, you may grow to resent those people in the long run.
Also, you're the one who has to get through each day, and no one else can or will do it for you. If you know that quitting your job is the best choice for you and your family, trust that others will see it too.
Along those same lines, one obstacle to pulling the plug on your current position often has to do with the feeling of loyalty to your co-workers and managers. Though this might seem like a noble action, if your work is impacting your quality of life — and now, potentially the quality of your children's education — you're not doing anyone any favors by staying. Your manager and co-workers might be disappointed or sad to see you leave, but ultimately they should understand that you need to do what's best for you.
Have a game plan
After you do some soul searching and make the decision to quit, you need to create a game plan so you're not stressing about money and paying your bills in the foreseeable future. Whether it's looking for a part-time job that offers more flexibility, saving up to start your own company, or landing a consulting gig so you can be your own boss and make your own hours, having a game plan in place will support the transition from your current job to whatever your next step is.
Also, before you quit your job, it's important to note that it's typically easier to find a new job or make the transition to a new career path while still employed at your current position — especially when it comes to your finances. However, if balancing home life and your job is causing you stress to the point of sickness or is causing you more harm than good, it's OK to quit before you've determined your next step.
Update your resume
Once you have your game plan squared away, it's time to focus on your resume. Make sure you've gathered all the information you'll need to properly update your resume and sell yourself in an interview before you quit, in case your company decides they don't want you to give two weeks and has you leave immediately — which is something they are allowed to do.
Too overwhelmed to update your resume? Hiring a professional resume writer to help you out will not only take the pressure off you, but a professionally written resume also helps you land the job faster — and even helps you earn more. The transition between quitting your job and landing your new position shouldn't be overly stressful.
Don't burn bridges
If and when you do decide to leave your job, do so as gracefully as possible; don't burn bridges if you can help it. It can be a small world, and people remember those who handle things in a respectful and appreciative manner.
If you quit your job without notice, in a rude manner, or in a way that can harm your professional reputation, that could follow you around to your new job, your job search, or even a new industry. Trust us, you never want to ruin your professional relationships this way — you never know when you might need to call on these connections later in your career.
We know it can be interesting to go against the grain. It can also be tough to admit that you simply can't do it all. It might take you some time, but eventually, you know you need to listen to that little voice that's telling you to make some changes in your life — and it might need to start with your job.
If that means quitting your job or requesting a temporary leave of absence, it's OK for you to do so. It's OK for you to put your family first. And the fact is, you're the only one who can choose to do it for yourself.
Not sure if your resume is ready to re-enter the job search? Our professional writers can get you up to speed.
This article was updated in September 2020. It was originally written by Ronda Suder.
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