Timing is Everything: Should I Really Resign as the Year Ends?
For many, a new year means new life, which sometimes means new work. But is it really the best idea to resign from your current job as the current year ends?
With the holidays in full swing, it is typical for many employees to also be considering having the end of their time with their companies to coincide with the end of the year. After all, year-end bonuses are typically released at this time, and being equipped with that money– while also accomplishing most, if not all≤ work-related tasks for the year– does indeed make it feel like it is the most opportune time to explore other career opportunities. And these include roles vacated by others who are also really doing the same thing.
While the end of the current year (or the start of the new one) being the best time to leave a job and look for a new one is debatable, it is hard to deny the popularity of the practice. You’re reading of this article alone means that it is at least something you are considering, after likely hearing of how a colleague or two is planning to do it, or how well it had worked out for others.
However, before you make the bold decision to up and leave and rely on your year-end bonus for your finances for the next few weeks or so, there are some considerations you may want to make.
Are there still skills to learn and experience to gain in your current company?
With a new year right around the corner, everything feels rather promising. And while you, like everyone else, surely deserve a fresh start, a reset in your career may not always be the best way to go about it.
This is particularly true if are still relatively new in the workforce and have only been employed no more than a year or two. Granted, while an increasing number of employers are now looking at applicants’ skills more than their years of experience or school which they graduated in, taking time to hone your craft and uncover other talents remains paramount in your being able to successfully take the next step in your career.
So ask yourself: “Have I learned everything I can in this company?” If you’ve fully determined that you’ve stopped learning and stopped growing, then it indeed is time to get out. But, if you feel you’re still getting that added value from your company on top of what you earn, then it may be better to stay put a while longer.
Are new opportunities reachable or (for now) more of an idea?
As previously mentioned, the prospect of the fresh start that coincides with the New Year can be overwhelming, so much so that many of us want to take that leap of faith take that risk of leaving our present jobs to be free enough to explore new opportunities.
The question is, however, are there indeed new opportunities that can be had? Or is it just the possibility of finding greener pastures being what’s driving as to let go and look? It is said that there are no guarantees in life, and this definitely includes employment, making it paramount to have a job (or at least a better plan) lined up before leaving your current company.
If you want to look around, then, by all means, look around. Opportunities, after all, don’t find us. Surely you’re not working 24/7, so you’ll have time to log-in to your Kalibrr account and view which opportunities best line up with the skills and experience you’ve gained so far. You can do it on mobile as well, just make sure you don’t do it during working hours.
Are you indeed entitled to a year-end bonus and other similar payments?
While some may not admit it, year-end bonuses on top of the law-mandated thirteenth month-pay are the main reason they are resigning now instead of earlier in the year. Then for others, its these payouts (and sometimes the income tax return that follows several weeks later) that emboldens them to leave their job, as they feel it can cover their finances for a few weeks while they look for “better” opportunities.
In effect, it is a good idea to have some money set aside to serve as a budget while in between jobs. However, problems can arise when the time spent between jobs becomes longer than expected and/or the bonuses we expected to receive while rendering our last few weeks at the job is lesser than we initially thought, or that we end up not receiving these at all.
The bonus criteria of many companies can be rather exacting. For one, most typically have the amounts as pro-rated and will be based on how many months you actually worked for them for the calendar year. Then, eligibility is also a concern as some companies may only provide bonuses to tenured/regularized employees.
If you are, do you need to be around for it?
In as much as most who resign towards the end of the year do so in consideration of their year-end bonus, it’s payout still remains subject to an employer’s discretion. Outside of tax refunds, companies are not mandated by law to provide bonuses or incentives, and in effect, allows them to set the provisions of when they do.
This often includes employees needing to be part of the company as bonuses are paid out. Granted, there usually a 30-day notice that needs to be rendered upon resignation, which in effect makes you part of the company for a month more, a time which can include the bonus payout schedule. But… what if the company says there’s no need to render 30 more days in the office? What if they say, you only need to stay a week or two. Or say you can leave as soon as you resign? That, as a result, ensures you DON’T receive a bonus.
Seems a little cut-throat? Absolutely. But remember year-end bonuses– and incentives in general– are designed to reward employees for not only their work but also their loyalty and value to the team, not their desire to jump ship. So if your company says you have to be there during, and sometime after, bonuses are paid to actually get it, then you might want to at least reconsider the time you leave the company.
Timing is Everything
Indeed, when opting to leave your current job, timing can be everything. So whether the start, end, or middle of the year, what is important is to have a good reason as to why you want to move on, and to actually have a plan in place for what happens next.
Considering resigning as a step towards a goal, and not the end game, and time it so that all variables: your bonuses, tax incentives, the things you need or want to learn or get better at, your next job, the time you need to take if you need a break, and anything else you may deem important, are all given the proper amount of consideration.
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The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.