People in unhappy work situations sometimes fantasize about quitting in some dramatic fashion — perhaps with a sendoff involving fireworks or rude gestures flung at managers and coworkers alike.
But is it ever ok to quit on the spot in real life?
Business Insider spoke with four career experts to get their take on leaving your job in a hurry.
Their responses were pretty uniform — quitting on the spot is best left to your daydreams, except in cases where something nefarious is going on. They all also provided advice to individuals who want to quit suddenly.
Here’s what they had to say:
Ryan Kahn, a career coach, founder of The Hired Group, and author of 'Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad,' says that it's important to carefully evaluate your situation in order to determine whether you should put in your two weeks notice.
'It's important to weigh the pros and cons of quitting the job abruptly,' Kahn says. 'Ideally you don't want to burn any bridges as you may need to use that employer as a reference in your next job.'
Jason Hanold, the founder of executive and board search firm Hanold Associates, says that quitting suddenly is only acceptable in cases of breaches of integrity.
'It is cliché to say it is a small world, but that is an accurate statement,' he says. 'At one point in your future, you will be asked for a former employer reference, whether for another job, home mortgage or advanced degree application and a host of other scenarios. The most critical references are 'soft-references,' the ones that a future employer explores informally, not the names that a candidate actually provides. Those are formal references. In life broadly, we should not readily burn bridges.'
Hanold says he has seen marginal performers who handled their departures thoughtfully receive better references than highly-valued performers who quit hastily.
'I have seen this several times, recently in the case of an executive leaving a major pharmaceutical company to join a mid-cap rapidly growing company, only to have that new company acquired by his former employer within a year of his departure,' Hanold says. 'Fortunately, he did not burn bridges when he left for his new role.'
Caleb Papineau is the director of marketing at TINYpulse, a product that focuses on employee surveys. He says that relationships between employees and employers can be complicated. He noted that when individuals quit on the spot, it's typically a symptom of poor communication on both sides.
'Younger employees who are used to a hyper-connected, information-rich world are not tolerant of workplaces that fail to give feedback or respond to their needs in a timely fashion,' he says. 'Quitting a job abruptly is neither good for the employee nor the employer. Employees that feel unheard and under-appreciated at times can feel as if they have no choice but to leave abruptly. I would advise setting up time to talk with a manager or leader in the company who can help address these issues, as leaving a job should be not be the result of a hasty emotional decision. Have a plan, be professional, and don't burn bridges unless you have to.'
Amy Hoover, president of TalentZoo, says that quitting on the spot should be reserved for situations involving illegal activity or harassment.
'A job change is usually a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly since its effects reach every other part of your life. My advice is to not react immediately, but to excuse yourself and take time away from the workplace to consider your options,' Hoover says. 'If you have a mentor or trusted confidant, talk it over. This is especially key of the situation is emotionally charged. The old adage to 'sleep on it' when it comes to a big decision can definitely save future regrets.'
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