The Great Resignation: How to Quit Your Job With Confidence

Atlanta Falcons linebacker and Kiplinger contributing editor Brandon Copeland provides tips on how to properly quit your job and upgrade your career.

What's up, everybody? It's your boy, Brandon Copeland, aka Professor Cope, and you are now tuned in to another very special episode of Cope'ing With Money.

I know, I know. You like the new digs. This 2022, it's time to step our game up. But, as always on Cope'ing With Money, we got to talk real.

Quitting your job. How do you know when it's time for you to quit your job, and how do you prepare yourself for that?

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We've got to talk about the Great Resignation.

The cost of living is continuously increasing while wages are staying the same. Working conditions have become even worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for many people, the idea of quitting their job is sounding more and more enticing.

If you're one of those people, these are some of the strategies for you to quit responsibly.

Know Your Reason for Leaving

One, we have to assess, "Why am I leaving in the first place?" I need you to be honest with yourself about your reason for leaving.

Will quitting this job propel you towards the life that you want, or is this a decision made out of passion after a particularly hard day? Recognize your emotional state and never, never, ever quit simply out of anger.

Plan Out Your Next Move

Another thing we have to consider is plotting out our next move. We got to be prepared.

Now that you've decided to quit, you need to try to find a new job before you leave your current one, if possible. If you're looking for that perfect work-life balance, make sure you find a company that suits your lifestyle.

Whether it's a remote work policy, office location, the benefits – you need to make sure that you thought this through thoroughly and that you're taking the time to leave your current role for a role that actually suits and improves the lifestyle that you are looking to attain.

If you're trying to pursue a specific career or move up the corporate ladder, you'll want to find a role that builds your resume and allows for growth.

Make sure your new job doesn't have the same downside as the old one. If you quit because of a mean boss, make sure your new one is nicer. If you quit because of the workload, make sure the new one is more manageable.

I see this time and time again: People quit because they believe the grass is greener on the other side. However, once you actually get to that lawn, you realize that, "Man, it's the same color green."

While personally, I don't recommend quitting your job without having another one lined up, you know your situation better than anyone else. If there's any risk of you becoming unemployed for a time, make sure you have enough money and resources to survive until an opportunity arises.

Don't Burn Bridges

Another thing you want to avoid, and I see happening a little too often. You don't want to burn bridges. Don't sever any connections that could be extremely useful later on. Is your company owned by a larger one that you may eventually work for later on? Are you on good terms with your manager or boss before you quit?

Give your two weeks' notice. Try to tie up any loose ends regarding your responsibilities so that you can leave your workplace better than it was before you got there.

Ultimately, we understand that life is about relationships. Your network equals your net worth. So, we want to avoid severing ties with people or burning bridges because you never know when that can come back to bite you, which actually rolls into my next point.

Keep Your Online Pages Clean

Keep your online presence professional. Please, please, please don't badmouth any current or previous employers. Even when it's warranted, future employers won't like to see public complaints.

Yes, sometimes it feels good to vent and get that stuff out there. However, if it can ultimately affect you negatively and affect your pocket in the future, is it really worth it?

And speaking of social media and your social presence, make sure you update your social pages. If you use sites like LinkedIn or Facebook to network, make sure you keep your profile up to date with your education, job experience and that new employer.

Trust Your Instinct

And finally, trust your gut. You have to trust yourself when it comes to quitting your job. You know your situation and your circumstances better than anyone else.

If you've gone through all the steps that we've talked about and you still feel confident about quitting your job, then do it. Don't let a bad employer guilt you into staying on staff.

And no matter what you do, everyone deserves to be paid for their hard work, and you deserve to be happy. They're not mutually exclusive.

Ultimately, there are ways to make sure you take steps toward your ultimate dream goal and dream job or profession that you find happiness in, but let's do it strategically.

Don't let the excitement of quitting an unpleasant job leave you unemployed, unprepared, and ultimately, unpaid.

Make sure the Great Resignation is ultimately great for you as well. Leaving a job you're not happy with could and should be the first step in achieving an ideal life for yourself.

With that being said, I wish you luck on your decision, and I hope that you can use this as a resource and a tool to help guide you confidently into that next career path.

As always, I hope you all stay safe, stay blessed and stay sane. Cope'ing With Money. I'll see you next time.

Brandon Copeland
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Brandon Copeland, an active, eight-year veteran NFL linebacker, has spent the past two years teaching a class he created, and nicknamed “Life 101,” at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. Life 101 focuses on life’s constant money decisions so that students are better prepared for the financial realities that adulthood brings. Copeland also spends time off of the field consulting and investing in real estate. He is the co-founder of a nonprofit organization, Beyond the Basics Inc., and was the recipient of the 2020 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award, the NFLPA’s highest honor given for extraordinary dedication to service, social justice and equality. He is a member of CNBC’s Financial Wellness Council and the NFL Players Inc. Advisory Committee. Copeland has interned for UBS and Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers.